Online Writing Style: ‘Up All Night’

It’s a familiar feeling for any guy — married or single. You’re lost in the supermarket with no clue where to go.

But only dads — and new dads, in particular — know the true horror the supermarket can bring on a weekday morning.

The cheese is in multiple places, there’s hordes of people getting in your way and it just feels so big. The old lady threatens as she reaches for your child’s adorable cheeks.

A slight exaggeration? To some, perhaps. But not to us dads who sympathized with Chris Brinkley, played by Will Arnett, in Wednesday’s pilot episode of NBC’s new sitcom, ‘Up All Night.’

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Longform Writing Style: ‘A Story of Survival’

Unpublished | Contact for rights

SPRINGFIELD – Fate, perhaps.

Divine intervention, maybe.

Whatever you call it, it was necessary.

Springfield Central football coach Valdamar T. Brower knows that much.

“It,” of course, is the link between the coach and one of his players. This link, though, goes beyond what the normal coach-player relationship consists of. This is a story of coincidence.

A story of love.

A story of survival.

When Brower, a former Northampton High School football star who went on to an All-American career at the University of Massachusetts, started as a teacher’s assistant at Central, he attended a parent-teacher conference. Of the many parents and legal guardians present that night, two people stood out to him. They spoke of Nate Shea, then a freshman at Central.

The name stuck with Brower, but he couldn’t put it together. It wasn’t until he spoke with his sister that he realized: Shea, along with his brother and sister, had lived with Brower’s family in Northampton when he was a teenager.

You see, Brower’s family housed many foster children through the years. The coach can remember playing basketball with Nate’s older brother, Shawn. Nate was just a baby when the three siblings lived with the Browers.

This fairytale story, however, took anything but a positive turn.

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UMass lacrosse preview for InsideLacrosse.com

I recently began writing for InsideLacrosse.com on a freelance basis. My first piece was a preview on the 2011 UMass lacrosse team.

UMass head coach Greg Cannella believes that regardless of Division, leadership is the key for any lacrosse team.

As Cannella’s Minutemen (ranked No. 15 in the Face-Off Yearbook) begin final preparations for their Feb. 12 season opener against Army, that theme continues to ring true in Amherst.

“Leadership is the key, every single year,” said Cannella, whose team is also ranked No. 16 in the USILA Division I Coaches Poll released Monday. “And it’s a special type of leadership that makes the difference.”

Following a season in which the UMass lacrosse team saw plenty of time ranked in theInside Lacrosse Top 20 before sputtering to a final 8-6 record, leadership, according to Cannella, will be the key factor in getting the Minutemen over the hump this season.

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