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Why I Write: Mike Wittmann

UC San Diego v San Diego State Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Editor’s note: Welcome to our series for this summer. Every Thursday from June through August, one of our writers will share a bit about the journey that brought them here. The goal is to provide a way to our readers to learn more about the people behind the keyboard as well as the steps they have taken in their careers so far.

What are some interesting notes about your personal life that you care to share?

I enjoyed sports from a young age, both playing and watching. I played baseball (through junior high) and basketball (through high school) and it may surprise some but I never played competitive football. I do have a few fun “highlights” in my high school basketball career:

  • I used to be able to dunk (never in a game though)
  • I guarded Marcus Jordan (Michael’s son) in a game. And he guarded me!
  • My senior year, I shot 88% from the field. I was 8 for 9 for the season.
  • I made a tip-in at the buzzer in the final game of our senior season. We were getting destroyed in our playoff game, so I came in for the last few minutes. But I did time the jump perfectly and got the ideal bounce off the rim to tip it back in.

Some of you may know, that in my full-time job, I work as a licensed clinical social worker for an agency that provides housing and therapy for adults with mental illnesses and developmental disabilities.

Why do you like writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, even from a young age. Thankfully, I’ve gotten better over the years. It was a very helpful way to tap into my imagination and creativity growing up and helps me organize and express my thoughts well in a way I can struggle with when talking.

The idea of taking ideas or phrases from my mind and transcribing them into written work always feels great to me and gives a sense of accomplishment. Also, as fellow writers know, it can be the most frustrating process even when the words don’t flow as easily from mind to paper/keyboard.

However, it is a nice compliment to my full-time job. It is a relaxing activity in the evenings, an outlet for my creative ideas and writing me sets up on a journey for never-ending improvement.

Why do you follow college sports?

I’ve written about why I love college football a few years ago for those interested in my complete thoughts. For those who want a quick recap: college football is diverse and every game is different and enjoyable. Anything can be exciting and the random afternoon game can turn into a marquee matchup just as easily as the after-dark contests. It’s a sport where underdogs and blue-bloods both have their place and can reign supreme at the same time; sometimes just for a season and sometimes just for a Saturday. Plus, the drama of it all is sometimes nearly as entertaining as the games themselves, as Twitter can attest.

What led to writing for MWCConnection?

I had a bit of a winding journey to end up here, but as I think about it, I’m not sure if there is a “traditional” journey to become a sports blogger.

After I got a Twitter account, I began follow college football recruiting and overtime, dove head first into it. In November of 2014, I was approached by someone from Rivals about jumping over to the other side of things and becoming a recruiting analyst. I was excited and although I had no experience, I jumped in. Over that time, I developed my skills and had a lot of fun learning the art of talking to recruits and reporting on recruiting news. I made connections with a few different football teams and learned how to write different types of posts and think of engaging content.

In July of 2017, one of my colleagues at Rivals took the gig as the site manager for MWCConnection after the old team left. Myself and another writer followed him over. I was ready to grow in my writing and have a new challenge once again. I went from covering recruiting for one team to twelve teams. And I could expand my opportunities to write columns and other areas of college sports aside from recruiting (which I still enjoy covering).

What you like about writing for MWCConnection?

As stated above, the opportunity for growth and a new challenge was very appealing. Also, being able to have more freedom and diversity in my writing. During my time here, the site has posted a plethora of various new annual and unique content. It has also opened a lot more access and connections to interviews with coaches, other team employees, people in the athletic department, personnel for the conference, and others associated with college football. Planning and organizing content is very enjoyable as well.

Plus, working with and managing a team is awesome. We have a great group of writers, both past and present, and over the coming weeks, you will be able to hear from more of them as they share their stories.