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Fisher: The true power of the Stanford fan

I never thought this moment would come — for three reasons. I never thought I would be a writer, once I started at The Daily I certainly didn’t think I’d be writing a goodbye column and, after I somehow caved on the first two, I promised myself that my goodbye column wouldn’t be as gushy as Jacob Jaffe’s.

Like too many times on the diamond back in high school, I’m about to go 0-for-3.

It’s been a little over two years since I wrote my first article of any kind. At the time, I was a sophomore CS major whose least favorite thing in the entire world was writing papers, and anyone who read that column knows that I had the emotion part down but not much else.

I sometimes laugh when I think back to that version of Sam Fisher. It’s hard to imagine that he really was me. He had no interest in The Daily or writing in general. In fact, if it weren’t for my friendship with then-incoming Editor in Chief Billy Gallagher from our freshman year in Twain, there’s almost no chance I ever would have written another story. Good thing Billy is as persistent as they come.

I found The Daily during a time of personal uncertainty. I had lost much of my passion for computer science, which was the focus of my first two years at Stanford, and I truly did not know what I wanted to do with the rest of my time on the Farm. Put simply, I was searching for a new intellectual vitality, and I found it at The Daily.

My 16 months at The Daily have been a whirlwind. They couldn’t have started any better — my first ever newspaper came after Stanford football’s upset of No. 2 USC; I’m still proud of that “Finished Business” headline — and I can’t imagine a better group of people for them to end with.

That special group of people isn’t just limited to the office or broadcast booth — though I have to say, they are pretty amazing. A big part of what made this journey so exhilarating is that all of you read The Daily, and many of you listen to my broadcasts on KZSU.

It’s often hard to find motivation to keep working well into the early hours of the morning, and that’s before we even get to start our actual homework. It’s much easier to settle for less than our best, as we overworked and overextended students are forced to do so often at Stanford. But because of all of you, we find a way to stay up until 4 a.m. for days or weeks on end and spend countless weekends holed up by a computer. You force us to be our best.

I fell in love with covering Stanford sports because, somehow, in spite of how good just about every team is, the community is so small. In the true spirit of Stanford, there’s something delightfully quirky about every little aspect of Stanford Athletics, and I’m going to miss the niche of Cardinal super fans I’ve found through The Daily.

Whether you’re out there on Twitter reacting to our opinions, posting on the message boards or firing emails off from wherever you’ve called home since you left the Farm, you matter. @BlockInTheBack, @MsIngaSpoke, @jilldubs, @LSJU97 and everyone else who has reached out to me time and time again, it has been an honor to be a source of information for such passionate fans.

So in my final editorial act at The Daily, let me ask for one favor of yours: Keep reading The Daily, and keep listening to KZSU.

There’s a reason why this column is coming to you at the end of January and not the beginning of June: The talent level at The Daily and KZSU is so strong that I’m not needed for these last few months.

I’ll be focusing on the behind-the-scenes tasks that will help The Daily stay relevant for years to come, because people like Do-Hyoung Park, Ashley Westhem, Winston Shi, Michael Peterson and David Cohn are more than ready to take my place. Let them take my place in your lives. Reach out to them. Tell them how you feel about their work.

Most of all make sure that they give you nothing less than their best, because only you have that power. I’ve seen that firsthand, so thank you for making me go that extra mile.

It’s time for the end of this journey and, with that, the beginning of a new one. Don’t be strangers — I know that’s not your style.

The mentoring and guidance that Sam Fisher has provided to all of us sports writers is incomparable and will be carried with us forever. We’ll do our best to make you proud. Email your own thanks and praise for Sam at safisher ‘at’ stanford.edu and follow him on Twitter @SamFisher908.

About Sam Fisher

Sam Fisher is the managing editor of sports for The Stanford Daily's Vol. 244. Sam also does play-by-play for KZSU's coverage of Stanford football, Stanford baseball and Stanford women's basketball. In 2013, Sam co-authored "Rags to Roses: The Rise of Stanford Football," with Joseph Beyda and George Chen.
  • ThankSam

    Thanks, Sam, for your gracious column and your tremendous effort in managing the sports section. I am sure many of regular readers of your section share my view that you have been a great editor and writer, and that you will continue to contribute to the Daily for the years to come. Thank you again!

  • Phanatic2008

    Thanks for your insights and for helping take the Daily sports section to an entirely new level of excellence. Long may you run and write!