Two Velvet Tacos And A Dream That Won’t Die

Kyle Porter —  December 7, 2012 — 33 Comments
Masters

Masters 2009 – (L to R) John Sheets, Ryan Oss, Nolan Cox, Bryan Jackson, Kyle Porter

The story of how I went from rogue Oklahoma State blogger to lead golf writer at CBS in 23 months.

Much like Matt Norlander two years ago, I’m not too keen on writing this post, but I figured all of you would want to know what just happened, why it happened, how it happened, and what’s happening with PFB. Plus, the list of people I need to thank is lengthy.

When I started this blog in December 2010, I didn’t know what I was doing1. I knew I wanted to do something with my life that wasn’t boring and that didn’t involve the humdrum of commuting to work at the same time in the same way as the three million other people who live where I live (Dallas).

The reason I landed on this site as my entrepreneurial outlet of choice was because I felt like it involved the two things I knew enough about to trick everyone into think I knew a lot about: blogging and Oklahoma State.

The reality, I learned after a few months, was that I knew nothing.

Blogging is this odd, seemingly ephemeral, thing that people are scared to talk about. When you tell people you “blog” or you’re a “blogger” they oft look at you like you just finished off a spider sandwich: “dude…weird.”

And it’s true, blogging is in a lot of ways a very strange way to make a living. But it’s also about as much fun as I’ve ever had with any project I’ve undertaken.

This blog, Pistols Firing, has evolved too. From the time I broke the uniform news, to the tragedy of covering the Budke plane crash, to relating the Penn State scandal to OSU, to KD lighting up Stillwater (for a second time), to Bedlam, the Fiesta Bowl, the Masters, Bedlam again, all of it has traced a narrative in my life.

I’ve learned from it, grown because of it, been changed, changed some more, been encouraged, gotten upset, almost quit2, tried harder, wrote some truly awful posts, been (digitally) yelled at, and grown some more. Over and over.

When I started all of this back in December 2010 my wife and I agreed that I could work on it for 24 months and if it hadn’t 1.) produced an income that we could live off of3 or 2.) led to another opportunity to write about sports full-time then we would talk about shutting it down.

Our two year mark was roughly Jan. 1, 2013. I got hired at CBS with 34 days to spare.

Oh and about that…because that’s probably what you’re wondering about, maybe even why you’re reading this.

A few months ago, in the heart of college football season, a guy named Jonathan Wall (@jonathanrwall) started following my @pistolsguy account. I clicked on his profile, saw he was from Dallas, went to A&M, and wrote about golf for Yahoo! and I thought “oh, cool, I’ll follow him4.”

A few days later I sent him a DM and said “hey, saw you live in Dallas, we should get together sometime and talk about blogging.” Dude…weird.

For whatever reason, he accepted and we had lunch a few weeks later at a place in Dallas called Velvet Taco (great spot btw).

We chatted about the kind of things 20-somethings chat about — Heisman campaigns,  Augusta, our (very very short-lived) college sports careers, the Ryder Cup. All in all a great lunch and another friend “in the business” (as they say).

We continued to stay in touch on Twitter over the last few months until the weekend before Thanksgiving he told me that a guy named Shane Bacon was leaving his gig at CBS as their lead golf writer.

They both threw my name in the hat for the now-vacant spot and I ended up talking with the guy who’s now my editor on the day before Thanksgiving. I had an interview the Monday after Thanksgiving5, and was hired that same day to be the new golf writer/blogger for CBS.

My first thought was, “wait….I watch and blog about golf (!) for a living now?!”

My second was “Augusta….134 days away.”

And really, the entire thing feels like a dream. One for which I have a massive list of people to thank. So let’s get at that…

My readers (even Nate) - this place would (literally) not be what it is without you. You keep me honest and hold me accountable every day. Thank you.

Eric Kay and Andrew DeWitt — for taking a chance on me to help run your site. I couldn’t be any more fired up.

KT King, Emily Nielsen, Anthony Slater, Brendon Morris, James Poling — all of you provided me with photos, posts, and ideas. And I wish you the best in each of your careers.

Royce Young, David Ubben, and Travis Haney — I appreciate you guys showing me the ropes of what it means to write/blog for a living, always helping me out when you didn’t have to, and being stand up friends.

Carson Cunningham and OKC Dave — thank you both for giving me ideas and always helping push this site forward, it wouldn’t be where it’s at without you. Thanks for “giving great effort.”

Nolan, Amilian, Quade — for trading ridiculous triple-digit email threads with me. And also for encouraging me, filling in for me when I was out, and (most of all) believing in me.

My family — for always supporting this even if you didn’t always understand what “blogging” was or why I was so into it. And to my dad especially for dropping that epic “do they pay you money?” line after I first told you about this CBS gig.

Jen — for letting me drone on for hours about ridiculous OSU uniform drama, bore you to tears with things like effective FG percentage and points per drive, and always offering your insightful opinions on who the Oklahoma State quarterback should be. You believe in me and I can’t imagine having made a better choice than you.

All of these people have invested either time, effort, or money into my career as an entrepreneurial writer/blogger — some, genuinely, for reasons that I am entirely unable to reciprocate — and I can’t thank them enough times. And there are dozens more I’m forgetting.

So I hope all of this, and mostly this self-aggrandizing post, is an encouragement to anybody out there who’s chasing something. I don’t want to make it seem that after 1,500+ posts I know what I’m doing now or that I earned any of this. I’ve been blessed with a sweet opportunity because some people (whom I barely know) went to bat for me.

But the lesson, as it often is, is to keep hustling after what you love. I love words and sports and ideas and entrepreneurship and somehow all of those have intersected at this moment in my life.

And I’m grateful for that…

…and good grief, the Masters is 122 days away.

FAQ

Will you keep blogging at PFB?

Absolutely, posts might not be as frequent, but for now I’ll still be running it full-time (Bullets aren’t going anywhere).

Where can I read your golf stuff?

The main site – here

The blog – here

What about Twitter? What’s going on there?

The @pistolsguy account will be an all-OSU feed. I will run most of it but might get some help from some of the guys (Nolan, Amilian) mentioned above.

This will be my new, personal and professional feed. Want to know about golf, what my wife and I are doing this weekend, how many times I can say “Augusta National” in one week — this is what you want to follow.

So is this your full-time job?

Yes, I quit my day job on Thursday, December 6th and I am now working for CBS full-time. I’m a #Quitter (great book btw).

Where is your office?

Here, at my house.

Will you travel? 

A bit, probably to the Masters, maybe the U.S. Open, and definitely to some tournaments around Texas.

What kind of golf stuff will you post?

A lot of what we do here at PFB — morning links, 10 thoughts, previews, infographics, etc.

Are you excited?

You have no idea.

  1. Insert (you still don’t, your an idiot!) joke here.
  2. I can’t even tell you how many times I almost quit, I wrote the “we’re not doing this anymore” post in my head dozens of times. I don’t know what kept me going — probably the allure of that Final Four-quality basketball product O-State has been putting out recently…
  3. Let me say this in retrospect: LOL.
  4. My standards for following people are clearly high.
  5. Honestly, no idea how I dragged myself out of bed that day after the most Bedlam hangover (figuratively speaking) of all time.
  • reformedsooner

    Congrats Kyle. Love it when a fellow Poke finds success doing something he enjoys!

  • Nate

    Congrats man. Do big things.

    Even as your resident “hater”, there are not many that have enjoyed your blog more than me.

  • Tomintulsa

    Kyle,

    Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman) has turned her blogging into a brand. I know you can do the same. My son loves his “Choo Choo” tshirt. Tom Powers BSBA Class of 1980

  • OSUaggie

    Dude! I’m impressed. Congratulations and best of luck with the golf gig. Maybe one of these days we’ll see you being introduced on a Saturday doing the side-line color commentary for a Cowboy game! Gotta keep up the daily bullets though, it’s the single best one-stop-shopping source out there for a snapshot of the Cowboy world…

  • scking

    Wow! What an opportunity you made for yourself. That is inspirational. It is always awesome to see someone make their dreams come true. I have loved your work from the beginning and will still be a follower and reader. Good luck on your new path!

  • http://twitter.com/JewelzM Julie (@JewelzM)

    That’s amazing! Congrats!

  • Lee

    What was your day job?

  • Tommy Christian

    Congrats man! I am very excited for you and it couldn’t happen to a better person. I will definitely be following you in the future and hope for the best!

  • http://gravatar.com/okcdave okcdave

    I can’t imagine a better position for you. Imagine showing yourself this post two years ago. Great job, looking forward to seeing your work at CBS (and here).

  • Hurley

    The post on the football uniforms is what brought me here, but it was you, your contributors, and content that kept me coming back on a daily basis. Congrats Kyle!

  • http://twitter.com/cjarmstrong Chris Armstrong (@cjarmstrong)

    Sincere congratulations, man. I rarely participate in the comments, but your Bullets are a daily stop for me. Congrats again!

  • http://twitter.com/JamesonReynolds Jameson Reynolds (@JamesonReynolds)

    Beyond excited for you man, such cool news! It’s been fun to see all the work you have down end up leading to such a great opportunity. Will continue to follow the PFB site and will keep with all your work with CBS. Keep doing big things man!

  • http://gravatar.com/clintjames CRJ

    This, this is awesome. It was obvious this blog was something special when a classmate of mine and I stumbled upon the “What OSU Means to Me” post in the middle of a class. Seeing two teary eyed grown men trying to keep it together while someone drones on about oil and gas leases was one of the (in hindsight) funnier moments in my law school career. You have managed to hit the nail on the head for what it means to be an OSU fan and have put into words what ties our family of OSU grads and fans together. This is a well-deserved advance. Congrats man, you deserve it.

  • Brian

    Wow, that’s quite a story. Congrats! As much as Gundy owes Weeden2Blackmon big commission, I think now you do too.. Ha just kidding. That is so awesome! Doing what you love for a living is a blessing!

  • Fellow Cowboy

    So so happy for you! It’s amazing what you can accomplish with a dream and a little support! CBS is lucky to have you!

  • http://www.facebook.com/shane.hatfield.5 Shaniac

    Congrats Man!

  • texastln

    Kyle,

    As an OSU Graduate, class of ’69 I can say I have never felt any writer in OK made me feel as comfortable with feelings & understandings of OSU as you have. From the deep dark days of Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer in Norman there was nothing to be written about then I spotted PFB in time for the Weedon/Blackmon euphoria of last year and your articles, bullets, and analysis was spot on. Really glad to see someone move into the Golf writing space–there haven’t been to many good Master writers since Dan Jenkins and Furman Bisher of the AJC–read up on them. That stuff sells in the South. I will be watching and reading.

    Terry Nixon–Marietta, GA

  • John

    Congratulations, Kyle. It didn’t take long to see that you had potential to turn this into your profession. Good Luck with your new gig at CBS. I’m sure you’ll “knock it stiff”.

  • Greg

    Great work Kyle! Always enjoy your writing. Love golf (but it hates me) so this is gonna be fun! Look me up if you come to the Valero Texas Open this Spring.

  • PokeyV.

    So excited for you my brother. Can’t wait for more guys to find out about your writing! PLC forever.

  • Mark

    Another old OSU grad is proud for you. I hit your site at least twice, and I am computer illiterate.

  • Mark

    Twice per day, that is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.turvey.9 Ben Turvey

    Dear Kyle, I have read your blog since my brothers (Justin and Jeremy Greenfield) and since your post about the new football uniforms I have been a huge fan of your blog, reading it daily to read comedic posts that still mean things about the Cowboys. To (finally) get to the point, good luck writing for CBS and I can’t wait to see what your inevitable bias for Oklahoma State means for writing golf.

  • Money

    Great post, Ben, and best of luck, Kyle!

  • Robert

    That’s that’s awesome. Congrats and look forward to content on OSU golfers on Tour. BVP is going to win a major!

    • Robert

      One That’s..

  • http://sadastronaut.wordpress.com Chance

    Congratulations Kyle. I’m glad you’ll get paid doing something you love. I don’t follow golf to closely, but it looks like I’ll have to start.

  • Mimi

    Your hard work and determination has allowed your dream to come true very early! Congratulations! Will be reading more.

  • Dan_OSUFan

    Congrats Kyle! You put out a great product on PFB and no doubt you’ll do the same for CBS Sports.

  • Troy_diehardpoke

    Congratulations! I was brought to your blog because of the break in the uniforms, and came back daily. This site is the perfect combination of news, special interest, and most importantly the stuff my buddies talk about when we talk sports.

  • Bones

    Kyle – congratulations!!! I’m really happy for you. I really love the line from your Dad ‘do they pay you money’ That is a classic Dad line. I will be following you on Twitter. Good luck.

  • G-Block

    Congratulations, Kyle! I don’t read many blogs – frankly, I just don’t have the time available. However, I always make time to read this one because you write about things that are near and dear to my heart and just as important, your writing is thoughtful, timely, and professional.

    Well done, and good luck. Keep dreaming, stretching, and achieving.

  • Temo

    Congrats Kyle! You inspire me to chase my dreams too! Best of luck with everything.