Anwar Richardson’s career as a sports journalist spans more than 20 years at several news outlets including Yahoo Sports and the Tampa Tribune. He’s covered everything from high school sports to National Football League games. The title “NFL Hall of Fame voter” stands out on his resume. Currently he is a columnist at Orangebloods.com for the University of Texas. Richardson has plenty to boast about. But in speaking about his career, there’s a great sense of humility and gratitude.
Coming up the ranks. Before landing the gig at UT, Richardson had certainly paid his dues. He started his career at the Tampa Tribune while he was in college. As a clerk, he got coffee for staffers and ran other errands. He got the opportunity to do some writing and worked his way up to a full-time correspondent position. “Always work hard at your craft. Put in the work and despise not humble beginnings,” he advised. His work ethic paid off. After graduation, he got a few job offers and was considering taking a position at a publication in Alabama. He remembers at first, the management at the Tribune wasn’t looking to offer him something more permanent. But once other offers rolled in, they changed their tune. “Sometimes people don’t reward you where you are. Use leverage to get what you want,” he said. Richardson got what he wanted and with more pay than what he was offered at that publication in Alabama. In Tampa, he was responsible for covering high school sports, boxing, the NFL and anything involving football player Tony Dungy.
Hard work pays off. Richardson spent 14 years at the Tribune before moving on to Detroit to cover the Lions at MLive.com. While in Detroit, becoming an NFL Hall of Fame voter was one of his greatest achievements. He says he hadn’t been in Detroit long before people took notice of his work. Officials at the Pro Football Hall of Fame were also paying attention and contacted him about the opportunity. Usually it works the other way around. The HOF voter hopeful typically has to make a pitch, but Richardson was a shoo-in for the spot. To have people vouch for him spoke volumes of the work that he put in over the years. “You are essentially viewed as the best in your industry. To have success pursue you was a huge honor,” said Richardson. His responsibility has a HOF voter meant that he was a part of the selection committee that decides who is voted into the NFL Hall of Fame during the week of the Super Bowl. Such a distinction seals a player’s legacy in the industry and to be a part of that process was rewarding for Richardson.
Keys to success. Success continued to pursue Richardson once he left Detroit. In 2014, he joined the staff at Orangebloods.com, covering everything related to the University of Texas Longhorns. To have this level of success, Richardson credits perseverance, hard work and dedication. “It’s just you and your dreams. It’s no sleep… knowing you’re going to have to have pep talks with yourself,” he said. He advises aspiring sports journalists to “treat high school games the same as Super Bowl games. Perfect your craft”. “No one will be able to deny you opportunities because you’re prepared,” he added.
In addition to his work at UT, Richardson has a podcast called “Your Drunk Uncle’s Sports Podcast”. He discusses Longhorn sports mostly but wants to grow it into something bigger. He wants it to be a reliable source of sports news. Richardson also hopes to create more content on YouTube and social media to attract a larger audience.
Richardson has definitely made his mark in sports and it has brought him great rewards. Despite his accomplishments, he remains grounded and focused on his work. “I’m still striving to be the best. I appreciate things I’ve done… things I’ve achieved but none of that matters on a typical Monday.”
To subscribe to “Your Drunk Uncle’s Sports Podcast visit: https://theyakk.com/austin/your-drunk-uncles-sports-podcast/