This is the debut of Sports Talk, a Q&A series in which The Globe sports writer Calvin Shomaker chats with people who also work in sports media.
CS: What has been the hardest part of the COVID-19 pandemic for you?
JF: Probably the overall quarantine ... It’s hard to stay inside all day. I think we are social people by nature as humans, for the most part. Not getting that social interaction and being able to go out and enjoy life has certainly been a challenge.
CS: What do you enjoy most about sports?
JF: Game stories feel like they are getting more obsolete in our profession, and editors are constantly asking for more than game stories, which I completely understand, but just going to a game and watching it develop from start to finish. One basketball game can have so many different outcomes or strategies involved. (I enjoy) being able to see that side of it … When it comes to high school sports, (it’s) just telling the stories of these kids. I think every kid kind of has a unique story, and I really enjoy being able to tell those unique stories.
CS: Is there one sports moment that you’ll never forget?
JF: The Ray Allen shot in Game Six of the 2013 NBA Finals.
CS: Who is the best professional athlete you’ve seen compete in person?
JF: It’s a tie between LeBron James and Tiger Woods.
CS: What do you think the future holds for people in our industry?
JF: The future is really unknown. It’s changed so much in the past 10 years before I entered the profession and now going through it the past five years. There’s always going to be a desire for news and for quality reporting … Papers are moving to more digital and online focused, and I think that trend is going to continue. I hope there’s never a day when there’s no such thing as newspapers.
CS: What kind of value do you see in what we do as local and high school sports reporters?
JF: I think there is immense value in local sports journalism … We have the opportunity to tell stories about kids that if there wasn’t a local sports journalist, those stories would never be told. Just because a kid is not playing in March Madness or working out for the NFL Draft or anything like that, he still has a story to tell and something that his family and other readers and community members are interested in.