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Meet the Writers: Ben Tankersley

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come learn more about the guy at FTRS with the most Star Wars opinions!

Today I sit down with fearless leader Ben!

How are you?

I’m surviving. This quarantine hasn’t been terrific for my mental health, but I’ve started going for walks every day, which has been very good for me. I hope all of you reading are finding ways to cope.

What’s your quick bio?

So I was born and raised in Athens, but being raised as a Georgia Tech fan, I was the only one of my siblings stubborn enough to stick it out. I graduated from UGA with my journalism degree back in May last year and have been job hunting ever since. Strangely enough, I think I’ve had more job interviews during this quarantine than I have had the rest of the year. Right now, I am still working in the job I had as a student.

What’s your relation to Tech?

My parents met at Georgia Tech through the Baptist Student Union, fell in love, and ultimately moved back to Athens where they had five kids that all got degrees at UGA.

How did you get to FTRS?

I wasn’t always a journalism major. For the first year and a half or so of college, I was a computer science major...and then I got a 30-something on my first Calc II exam, dropped the class and changed my major. About that time, I was trying to get some experience and saw that Talking Chop was looking to add some new writers. I had read some SB Nation stuff in the past and decided to give it a shot. I decided to shoot my shot at The Falcoholic and here as well. FTRS was the only one to give me a shot. The rest, they say, is history.

What do you normally write about?

I’ve written about a ton of stuff since I’ve been here, but nowadays, I tend to stick with the boring stuff that nobody else wants to write (e.g. How to Watch posts for football) and pre-writing some recruiting stuff. I also spearhead any hirings that we make. I’d love to say that I’ve perfected my method, but it’s always evolving as I continue to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Favorite Tech sports moment?

I’m gonna choose two big cliche moments: The Miracle on Techwood and 2014 UGA. I remember both very fondly. In 2014, I was sitting in the corner endzone next to Georgia Tech’s marching band completely surrounded by Georgia fans. It was glorious to see that game unfold. As for The Miracle on Techwood, I was at my then-girlfriend’s apartment watching the game with her, and I remember going absolutely nuts as the game ended. It was so much fun!

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

This is going to sound really weird, but one of the coolest moments I remember was the 2014 Clemson game. If you’ll remember that game, Broderick Snoddy broke his leg (in a very graphic fashion). I was covering the game from the press box, and I remember seeing the entire team rush the field and surround him. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The rest of that game was pretty cool too.

Favorite non-Tech sports moment?

That’s a tough one. I would have to say watching Jason Heyward hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat. I was a big fan of Heyward coming up, so that was a really cool moment to see.

Favorite piece you’ve written for FTRS?

My Star Wars rankings are definitely close to the top. As for some of my favorite sports-related posts, see the ones below:

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

I don’t live in Atlanta, so I don’t know really know any off-the-beaten-path restaurants there. There are some really great local restaurants in Athens though. My favorite is Brett’s Casual American.

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

I don’t read a whole lot, but I’m down for all the other things, so I’ll go by category:

Music: I listen to just about anything, but my favorites are Billy Joel, Elton John, Ed Sheeran, and Queen

TV: Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Community, The Mandalorian, Game of Thrones (all six seasons)

Movies: In order, here’s my Top 10: Star Wars, Swiss Army Man, Good Will Hunting, The Shawshank Redemption, Back to the Future, Coco, The Dark Knight, Parasite, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Podcasts: The Adventure Zone, but I’m open to expanding this list

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

Outside of sports, there are two things that take up the majority of my time: my podcast and theater. I started a podcast with a friend of mine a couple years ago, and we’re fixing to go through a massive rebrand/relaunch that should be fun! As for theater, I also got into that about the same time, but it’s been some fun experiences.

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

I normally go, “Uhhhhhh…..I have a podcast!”

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

Not really, but I would say I’m kind of jealous of some of the talents that the writers have.

So about that podcast?

You can find Some Jerks Who Talk About Movies on our website somejerkspodcast.com or on our various social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). It’s also streaming on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Tune-in Radio, Stitcher, Google Play and Soundcloud.

Closing words?

I really like this idea of doing this Meet the Writers series, and I hope you all are enjoying it as well. Thank you for spearheading this, Chris!