JOURNALISM MAJORS GREW UP AS FANS OF BASEBALL, BASKETBALL, AND FOOTBALL
That Matt and Colin McDonough ’12 (CLAS) grew up as sports fans is not surprising. Their father, Jim, a native of the Boston area, encouraged them to follow the Celtics and Patriots.
“Our father was obsessed with the Celtics,” says Matt, who was born three minutes before his brother. “We skipped our first Little League game to go to a Celtics game. Our bedtime stories were about Bill Russell, Red Auerbach, John Havlicek, and Sam and K.C. Jones.”
Colin says he and his brother grew up playing baseball and spending their family vacations traveling to ballparks around the United States. When a friend became editor of the Hamden (Conn.) High School student paper, the twins were not only asked to write about sports, but also became co-editors of the sports section.
Now journalism majors in UConn’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the McDonough twins continue their writing in journalism classes and for The Daily Campus. This year, with Matt serving as sports editor and Colin as associate sports editor, they will both cover football and men’s basketball in addition to their editing duties.
Matt says their father, who majored in journalism at Duquesne before moving into a sales career, inspired them with his Boston sports stories and their family baseball vacations. He says their mother, Marcy, a preschool teacher, has also grown to be a sports fan.
“She’d tell all her co-workers where we were sitting at the game when we were working at the men’s or women’s basketball games,” Colin says. “When we were at the men’s Big East Tournament, she’d follow the games on the computer during [her classroom’s] nap times.”
The McDonoughs, who interned at the New Haven Register in 2010, say they feel fortunate to be covering sports for The Daily Campus during a time when Huskies teams went to NCAA tournaments in several sports, won national championships in men’s and women’s basketball, and the football team played in its first BCS bowl game.
“After freshman year, when we lost in the men’s Final Four, we thought it would be our only chance to see a possible title,” Colin says. “This year, [the NCAA title] came out of nowhere.”
“I think we’re really lucky we came here when we did and got the job we did,” adds Matt.
They admit it is sometimes difficult to separate their fan enthusiasm from the job they must do as reporters, as well as find time just to be students.
“You feel bad some nights when you want to meet up with friends and they want to know when, and you say, ‘When I get done,’” Colin says. “Our friends now encourage us because they know it’s not just another job. When you have a support group, the job gets easier, and people start to realize putting out a newspaper isn’t like anything else.”
Like many twins, Matt and Colin have not spent much time apart. In fact, when Matt went to the men’s basketball NCAA regional in Washington, D.C., it was the first time they spent a day without seeing each other. But they know this will likely change sometime soon.
“This time next year, I could see Matt in Boston and me in California,” Colin says. “That’s why we were glad to be able to work together. We’ve been together our whole lives. You never know when that will end.”