Break the Huddle with Sports Journalist Sean Patrick Bowley

Break the Huddle with Sports Journalist Sean Patrick Bowley

By RYAN KIM
Octo­ber 12, 2018

Sean Patrick Bow­ley is a local sports edi­tor and pro­duc­er at Hearst Con­necti­cut’s Game­TimeCT. (Pho­to cour­tesy of Sean Patrick Bowley)

Meet Sean Patrick Bow­ley, a do-it-all sports jour­nal­ist who is the edi­tor and pro­duc­er of Game­Time CT, Con­necti­cut’s pre­miere site for high school sports. Bow­ley said he did­n’t devel­op an inter­est in sports until the incep­tion of Mad­den NFL for the PC. Nowa­days, his day job involves a con­stant stream of high school sports.

Most of what I learned is from watch­ing oth­er peo­ple, not from the video or edit­ing class­es offered at Syra­cuse,” Bow­ley said. “I’ve cov­ered the Orange Bowl and Fies­ta Bowl and just learned how the ‘pros’ did it in the press room.”

He said he chose Syra­cuse for col­lege not for their jour­nal­ism pro­gram or the school’s loca­tion, but to go to a D‑I ath­let­ic pro­gram and learn by doing the trade. Once Bow­ley joined the school’s news­pa­per, Dai­ly Orange, his career took off. A nat­ur­al writer, Bow­ley grav­i­tat­ed towards high school sports because it wasn’t as cov­ered by the media and he could own the space.

At the high school lev­el, you get to craft the sto­ry because no one’s done it yet,” he said. “His­to­ry isn’t in front of you. In high school, no one real­ly keeps records… That’s on you to fig­ure out.”

Bow­ley’s enjoy­ment for high school ath­let­ics is still fresh. He does­n’t get to go out to the field as much as edi­tor, but encour­ages involve­ment with the com­mu­ni­ty to gain trust.

Get­ting peo­ple to trust you is hard at this lev­el… It’s so local that every­body knows every­body,” Bow­ley said. “It’s hard to find out what’s going on behind the scenes because they are afraid any infor­ma­tion may get back.”

He says the most impor­tant to tack­ling local sports sto­ries is the same three words jour­nal­ists know all too well: talk to people. 

Some of the best sto­ries come from lis­ten­ing, and then talk­ing,” Bow­ley said. “Phone calls are phone calls, but going to them and engag­ing with them may lead to a future story.”

Bow­ley said he enjoys many oth­er activ­i­ties that draw his atten­tion oth­er than fol­low­ing his favorite teams. “I’d say my sports fan­dom has declined over the years,” he said. “I work all week on sports. At the end, it gets old.”

Bow­ley’s advice to aspir­ing sports jour­nal­ists: “Make your­self ver­sa­tile and valu­able, because they can get any­one to write a great sto­ry.” He added that high school sports is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn from your mis­takes because it’s a lit­tle more forgiving.