While Husky football fans have been spoiled by the coverage by Bob Condotta for over 16 years, all good things must come to an end. Or maybe continue – hopefully the latter. Adam Jude, a Lynnwood-native, takes over the Husky beat after covering college football for both The Oregonian and the Eugene Register-Guard.
Jude began his job at the beginning of July, but was kind enough to answer a few questions about himself and what kind of coverage Husky fans can expect to see from him in the future.
UW Dawg Pound: For those of us unfamiliar with your work covering the Ducks, how would you describe your approach to covering a college football beat?
Adam Jude: I aim to be fair and honest ... and hopefully have a little fun. I'll provide insight, analysis and offer a peek behind the curtain, if you will, with the team every now and then. I take my job seriously, but this isn't the police beat or politics; it's football, and I think readers and fans want, at least in some way, to share the emotions - good or bad; elated or frustrated - of the players and coaches they follow so closely. If I can help even a little bit in that regard, I think I'm doing my job.
UWDP: More specifically, what was it like to cover Chip Kelly, both pros and cons? What's your general opinion of him off of the field?
AJ: Chip has a reputation as being cantankerous with the media, and that's true to a degree. I think he sort of tried to imitate Bill Belichick in that regard. That said, a lot of coaches can be, um, difficult with the media at times; it's a long season for everyone - coaches and media alike - and it's unrealistic to expect everything to be roses all the time. I didn't really have any problems with Chip, though. He didn't always make things easy, but he was typically accessible, and these days, that's not bad.
UWDP: What are your hopes and expectations in differences between covering Kelly and Sarkisian?
AJ: Hard to say. I don't know Sarkisian well enough yet to have any realistic expectations, but from what I've heard, there's a mutual respect with the local media and the coaching staff. I think that's what we all hope for.
UWDP: Do you mix editorializing in to your blog coverage, or do you leave that strictly to columnists? Is this a line that is still drawn between beat writers and columnists, or has that been blurred?
AJ: Sure, some of that has been blurred a bit on blogs. And, as I said, I'll provide some analysis from time to time. I think that's part of my job. But I'll always be objective and fair in my coverage, and I'll typically leave the opinions to columnists.
UWDP: We all know college football fan bases can get worked up over rivalries. What would you say to reassure certain Husky fans that your history as an Oregon alum and writer on the Duck football beat won't bias your coverage of the Huskies (nevermind that Bob Condotta - a Coug alum - is universally revered by Husky fans)
AJ: It's a nonissue for me. I know it's a heated rivalry, and I know Husky fans are passionate about their team, but I'm just as passionate about my job. As I've said before, this is a dream gig for me, having grown up in the area, reading The Seattle Times every day. I received a good education at Oregon, and I learned a lot from a lot of great people working there the past 10 years, but I truly am thrilled to be here now. It feels like a good time to be on this beat, too. The Huskies have the potential in the near future to do some special things, and I'm excited to chronicle the ride.
UWDP: If I've read correctly, you're a Washington native. What led you to Eugene for you college studies?
AJ: I considered UW, WSU and PLU. But, to use a cliché line often heard from recruits, Oregon just felt right at the time for me. I've wanted to be a reporter since I was 14, so I was pretty dedicated to that by the time I reached college, and I really liked the journalism program and the student newspaper at the UO.
UWDP: What's something really great about Eugene that most Husky fans probably don't know?
AJ: No traffic!
UWDP: What's been your favorite experience so far in your career?
AJ: I've had a lot. I've been lucky. Certain games and tense deadline moments stick out; covering Chip Kelly's near-departure for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a memorable night; and following Oregon golf coach Casey Martin at the U.S. Open was a ton of fun. But one of the best parts of my job is getting to know the people I cover and sharing their stories; this is one my favorites.