All three alums cut their journalistic teeth working for the sports department of The Daily Campus, and now they are covering this Sunday’s Super Bowl as New England Patriots beat writers for prestigious media outlets.
There is a difference covering college and professional sports, but at UConn it wasn’t all that different. — Kevin Duffy '09 (CLAS)
Kevin Duffy ’09 (CLAS) covers the major league football team for the Boston Herald, while Mac Cerullo ’12 (BUS) is on the beat for CNHI, a national publishing company with newspapers that include The Daily News of Newburyport, where he is the sports editor. Andrew Callahan ’13 (CLAS) is the Patriots beat writer for MassLive.com, a online news source in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The trio have been covering the team all year long, and the season comes to a conclusion Sunday when the Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams in Atlanta. It is the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl appearance in the past five years, and they are going for their sixth title in franchise history.
Duffy, the veteran of the group, has been at all four of the Patriots’ recent Super Bowl appearances. “The Patriots have had sheer dominance, and it can get monotonous until you really think back about all they have accomplished,” he said.
Duffy worked at The Daily Campus for two-and-a-half years and was sports editor his senior year. He started by covering sports such as volleyball and ice hockey, before becoming the men’s basketball and football beat writer.
He chronicled the UConn men’s basketball run to the 2009 Final Four in Detroit. “I loved covering Hasheem Thabeet and A.J. Price,” said Duffy. “They were just fantastic and good to be around.”
Duffy followed the football team to the 2010 International Bowl in Toronto, and enjoyed developing relationships with student-athletes such as Andre Dixon ’09 (CLAS) and Scott Lutrus ’10 (CLAS).
“Being at UConn really helped me prepare for where I am now,” said Duffy. “Covering Jim Calhoun and the Big East and Randy Edsall with a top 25 football team was big time. There is a difference covering college and professional sports, but at UConn it wasn’t all that different.”
Following graduation, Duffy covered high school sports for the Danbury (Connecticut) News-Times for almost two years, and then was the UConn men’s basketball beat writer for the Hearst Connecticut Media Group until 2014.
Since last summer, Duffy has been with the Boston Herald, one of the oldest dailies in the country, dating back to 1846. “There’s pressure to live up to what they have done in the past here at the Herald,” he said.
Callahan graduated with a degree in communications and psychology, and was on the staff of both The Daily Campus and WHUS Radio as an undergraduate. He was co-sports director at WHUS, and both a columnist and women’s basketball beat writer for The Daily Campus.
“This is my first Super Bowl, but it doesn’t feel like it because of what I did in college,” said Callahan, who traveled to two women’s basketball Final Fours with WHUS. “I got great experience at UConn. It taught me how to work and handle myself at big-time events – what to write, where to go, how to look things up.”
Callahan has also had stints at SB Nation, Hearst Connecticut Media, and the Lebanon Daily News in Pennsylvania.
Cerullo got his degree in business at UConn, but took plenty of journalism classes. He was a four-year member of The Daily Campus staff, serving as sports editor as a junior, and managing editor as a senior. Cerullo covered UConn’s 2011 NCAA championship men’s basketball team, and was with the football team when it played in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl.
It is Cerullo’s second year on the Patriots beat and his first Super Bowl. “I have never felt overwhelmed covering the Patriots,” he says, “and I think that is because of my experience at UConn.”
The Super Bowl assignment may even provide Duffy and Cerullo – whose tenures at The Daily Campus overlapped – a chance to reconnect.