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Meet the Writers: Chris Paschal

Come find out more about Chris!

Hello and welcome to the first edition of Meet the Writers! Today I sit down with...myself.

How are you?

Possibly already going crazy from mandatory work-from-home with no end in sight, but other than that I can’t complain!

What’s your quick bio?

I grew up on Saint Simons Island, GA, graduated from Tech in 2017 with a B.S. in Computer Science, and now live and work in Boston as a Software Engineer.

What did you / do you do while you were / are at Tech?

I was in a fraternity, but most of my time went towards the Club Tennis Team. Not as impressive as the former-varsity-athlete writers we have on staff, but it did afford me the opportunity to travel around the southeast and compete for Tech, something I look back on very fondly.

How did you get to FTRS?

So my FTRS career actually began by doing some guest writing on Stephen’s MMBP series. He and I were living together at the time, so I started writing a paragraph or so for him each week. After I graduated I saw that the site was looking for new football writers, so I applied! I’ve always liked writing (if you look hard enough you can find me writing for some other sites) and I was looking for an opportunity to stay close to the Institute as I moved up north.

What do you normally write about?

I write a weekly “Monday Musings” column during football season, contribute on the Mailbag, and do some other stuff here and there (like this series!).

Favorite Tech sports moment?

It’s cliche, but it’s the Miracle on Techwood. I’ve described it before as a perfect storm; I really don’t think there will ever be anything that can compare to the emotions, environment, events, and catharsis that went into everything that happened. I have a vial of Grant Field grass from that night that is honest-to-God one of my most prized possessions. That was one of those nights that I really felt like part of something much larger than just myself or just sports.

Favorite non-cliche Tech sports moment? (i.e. not Miracle on Techwood, 2014 UGA, etc.)

The ending of the 2016 (football) game vs Duke when Justin Thomas high-fived the whole front row of the student section. This was the game in which JT, in one of his last outings at Bobby Dodd, had probably the best game of his career. He threw for 264 yards and 2 TDs, and ran for 195 yards and 2 TDs as well. It was shaping up to be a typical-give-up-a-big-lead loss before JT sealed it with a 50 yard scramble on 3rd and 17 with just over two minutes remaining. JT was (and is still) my favorite player to watch and it was so fun to watch him absolutely ball out in one of his last games at home. It was the culmination of a career built on proving doubters wrong and making a name for yourself, and watching him run joyously through all the students was such a beautiful moment.

Favorite non-Tech sports moment?

You can probably guess on account of the “Club Tennis” thing, but I’m a huge tennis guy. Last year a buddy and I went to the US Open Final between Nadal and Medvedev. Not only was it an absolutely stellar match to see live, I grew up a massive Nadal fan (I’m left-handed and grew up on clay courts, go figure) and it was unreal to see him win his 19th slam. I’ve been watching him and trying to learn from him since I was a little kid, and watching him break down crying at the montage they played of him winning his previous 18 slam titles just killed me.

Favorite piece you’ve written for FTRS?

Fansville Field Trips 2019: It Never Rains In Tiger Stadium. This was such a fun trip, and such a fun piece to write.

Favorite off-the-beaten-path Atlanta restaurant (i.e. not one of the typical ones everyone talks about)?

Grant Central Pizza and Pasta is the best pizza in Atlanta. I swear I have a deeply emotional attachment to this restaurant and I really don’t know how to explain it. It’s usually one of my first recommendations anytime someone asks me about ATL.

What kind of media are you into (music, tv, movies, books, podcasts, etc.)?

Music-wise I’m pretty evenly split between folk/country and synthy 80s-esque stuff. My top bands/artists would probably be: Bleachers, the Avett Brothers, the Mulligan Brothers, Walk the Moon, Sturgill Simpson, the Dirty Guv’nahs, and the Killers. I also almost exclusively listen to movie scores at work, so my Spotify is filled with Hans Zimmer and Ramin Djawadi.

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is probably my favorite TV show, but I also love Archer, Westworld, Game of Thrones (seasons 1-7), Star Trek TNG, and Last Chance U. I don’t like to say I have a favorite movie, but I love anything by Christopher Nolan and if I could pick one movie to watch the rest of my life it would probably be Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Recently I read through the Song of Ice and Fire book series (i.e. the Game of Thrones books), but I typically read more nonfiction than fiction. Some of my favorite nonfiction includes: Rocket Boys, Ninety Percent of Everything, The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. For fiction I’ll recommend: The Martian Chronicles, the aforementioned Song of Ice and Fire series, and Ready Player One.

For podcasts I’ll recommend: Pardon My Take, Shutdown Fullcast, 99% Invisible, Armchair Expert, Planet Money, and How I Built This.

What do you do when you aren’t watching sports?

When I’m not quarantined I enjoy going to the gym and running. Boston also has a ton of really great outdoor activities when the weather is nice. When I get the chance to go home I love to do carpentry with my Dad. I’m also trying to get more into video games while I’m stuck in my room for a couple months, so drop me any suggestions in the comments.

What’s your go-to icebreaker “fun fact”?

I don’t have my appendix - I had it removed in high school.

Do you have a rivalry with any of the other writers?

Stephen and I ran a half-marathon in Nashville last year and I beat him by like one second. Dynasty.

Closing words?

If anyone has anything else they’d like to know about me I’d be happy to answer questions in the comments!