Thursday, February 4, 2010


In my long-awaited return to the internet...this was one of those posts I wished I'd never have to write.
The title was either going to be "SUCCESS!" or, unfortunately, what it is now.
I was hoping to be so happy I could dance, but now I'm more upset than I've ever been.
This is NOT such A Bright Look, sorry.
I hope you understand.

I like to make sports analogies (if you didn't know that, welcome to my blog!), so I'm going to make one that seems extremely fitting right now.

I was watching the Cardinals/Packers game a few weekends ago, and my friends and I were yelling and screaming at seemingly everything that happened during the game. Touchdowns (there were plenty), penalty calls, anything, you name it. But when your team (in this case, most people in the room were rooting for Green Bay) loses on a last-play-of-the-game-type moment, usually the viewing area becomes completely silent. That's the way it was when the Cardinals returned a fumble for a touchdown - no one said a word. There was too much disappointment.

I told you that story so I could tell you this one...

I love my mom.

She is the most wonderful person on this planet.

But my mom doesn't know the silence rule.

She's that person who asks a zillion questions immediately after your team loses in overtime and all you want to do is sulk in your chair and stare blankly at the television. So when we were sitting in my room talking on the morning of Christmas Eve, my mom unknowingly piled on. I was on my computer, and I read something that made the emotion drain from my face so quickly that my mom knew exactly what happened, even though I said nothing.

On December 24, 2009, I found out that I lost the Olympic Blogging Contest.

I didn't get beat, no. Absolutely not. See, to get beat, the person who beat you has to be better than you are. That was nowhere near the case. Somehow, someway, I lost. Did I break the rules? Can't see where that happened. Did I not write enough? Uh, only four times as much as the guy who I lost to. I don't get it. Good luck getting the kid who posted three times per month to blog roughly five times a day.

(The worst part? [Besides being told on Christmas Eve, of course. Hey Grinches! Really awesome timing!] Reminders are everywhere. Snow. Coats and Jackets. Every Morgan Freeman commercial. Stephen Colbert's sponsoring of USA speed skating. Every time someone asks about the contest. And every time, until now, that I've had to lie to you about "not knowing how it's turned out yet." Recently got an email from a psychology professor, Dr. Vancouver (really). My friend from high school is working the Olympics for NBC. I turned on the radio ten minutes before our campus' sports talk show and heard two people talking about how the Canadian ski team is extremely excited to win gold in Vancouver. The list goes on and on.)

Back to my room on 12/24/2009, I didn't want to talk to anyone. I put my head between my legs, closed my eyes, and said nothing. My mom, however, asked all the questions that would eventually need to be asked, only at exactly the wrong time...all at once.


I was perusing Facebook (yes, I was told on the internet) and there, on the group page that had been created so the contest sponsors could be in "communication" (quotes for sarcasm) with the semi-finalists, there it was:


It was a cruel joke, right? The kid who doesn't like sports is going to be blogging from the biggest sporting event in the history of Earth? You're kidding. Honestly, go to the link and start reading, if you make it through a whole post without being bored senseless, I'll give you the "Blogathlete" t-shirt that I got from the contest.

(side-note: now look, I'm not saying I've never made a mistake in my writing. That would be purely fictitious, but here's an excerpt from a winning post...

"The following day included a family/friend viewing of the Kansas University-Missouri University football game. Now I have never been much for watching football and I hold little knowledge of the sport beside the fact that I like seeing big hits, but considering my (hopefully) future school transfer is slightly religious about football and basketball I figured I should start paying attention. It was a good game and the heated rivalry definitely kept things interesting and I actually found myself very interested in the game and even began to kinda follow what was going on."

And you thought I was kidding about him not liking sports. First, I'd like to point out "Missouri University." Really, bud? Not the "University of Missouri?" That's like Terrelle Pryor saying that he had signed with the University of Ohio State. I won't say more about the actual writing, other than this: according to the rules of the contest, 20 points out of the 100 point scale judges were supposed to use to pick the winner were for "grammar, clarity, usage, and overall organization" and another 40 were for "relevance to the Olympic blogging opportunity." Please.)

It could have been anyone else, and I would have been able to rationalize it in my head. Christie, the skating guru - wonderful writer whose site is updated nearly every day - totally deserving. Or Jake, the skier - one of the most awesome sites I've seen - let's hit the powder. But no. Not them, and not me. Zero sense, sir.

But before I rant and rave more about this and that, I'm going to stop myself. And I'm going to speak directly to anyone involved in the voting. I would like to speak with you.

Ultimately, this comes down to your decision, and now I'm going to tell you why you're wrong. Dead wrong. (This will be the first and last time you will read me saying how good I think I am. I joke about it sometimes, but this is serious.)

What you failed to realize, when you were "judging" the entries (and I'm starting to doubt you even visited a single site), is that I can write and have written about literally anything. Experiences? Check. Life? Myself? Other people? Sports? More checks. I could write about any subject in any situation, and I could make it great. Drying paint? Yup. Watching grass grow? No problem. Chess? Checkmate.

You know when you do something bad and you're not so much worried about your parents being angry as you are about them being "disappointed?" Sure, I thought disappointment was the worse emotion too. Well, people of earth, we have drastically underestimated the power of anger. Because you, voters, just made me mad. And that's why I'm done telling you that you're wrong. Because for the next 60 years, I'm going to show you why you're wrong.

Congratulations. By being blind, you motivated me. And if you know anything about me, you'd know that was the last thing I needed. Good luck in Vancouver to the winners. You're only representing the company that invented the personal computer. But whatever, no pressure dude.

So yes, I'm slightly bitter (still now) and I hope I don't come off as too big a sore loser (possible), but, as always, I have since found a silver lining.


Since I got the call about being a semi-finalist until now, the outpouring of support from you has been astounding - my Facebook group had over 650 members, I had people telling me spontaneously that they were voting for me everyday, I had more views on my page than I ever had before, and heck, I didn't even know some of the people contacting me to say "good luck!" - this experience, though emotionally draining, has been incredible. And I wish I had good news for you. But honestly, I cannot thank you enough. To think that so many people would rally behind a college kid in support of a ridiculous dream is something I will remember for a very, very long time. I just wish I had pulled through for you. I wish I was the one helping you see Vancouver through my words. But more than ever, I truly believe the heart of life is good. And that's because of you.

Thank you for reading anything I write simply because it has my name attached. And I hope you continue to do the same in the next half-century. I love all of you. So, so much.

I still can't wait for the Olympics.

p.s. on the other side of the draw (the women's side), Amber won, and she, along with a few others, were very deserving, so voters went one-for-two...Hey Apple, if you ever have a contest like this (no doubt one that will run like Snow Leopard), I'd like to be considered. Thanks.


  1. Thanks for the nice congratulatory note at my blog! You're a great writer and I'm sorry you didn't win. However, to have been in the final five for a competition that involved the two biggest brands in the world? Amazing. I'd use this as leverage with your career because you are going places!

  2. Aw, Grant, I'm sorry you didn't win. =( I know it's a big loss for you, but give yourself a whole lotta credit for making it as far as you did... and as far as you will. I see big things happening for you in the future, mister.

  3. I love it- Keeping it real!

    In my post-contest entry, I really wanted to write : I entered this blogging contest, but all I got was this lousy t-shirt. But my family said "You will sound like a sore loser" so, I wrote something different!

    I know EXACTLY how you feel...I struggled for a while with the disappointment...and the punch in the gut feeling whenever the Vancouver commercial spots would come on.

    Sure, being in the top 5 of this contest is a great thing and will look super on the resume, but it doesn't sit well (yet) when the prize was something that felt so within reach, you could practically taste it. I know my category was tough and I know Amber will do a great job.

    That being said: Continue to keep it real Grant. You are a brilliant writer and your talent is evident. Doors will open, this I am certain. Keep this experience as fire in your belly. Great things come to those who carry that passion.

    For you, I see great things.

  4. g, i frickin love you. maybe you're not #1 in the olympics blogging contest, but you're always #1 in my heart!

    wow im so cheesy.

    glad you're back to blogging :)

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  6. Listen, Grant. I'm definitely one of the people who reads what you write just because it has your named attached (don't get me wrong - I'm never disappointed. You're a great writer). Heck, I don't even understand sports.

    This unwise, silly, dumb, depressing, and boorish decision by the judges has just deprived me of experiencing the Winter Olympics through a blog, because I'm definitely not going to subject myself to the winner's atrocious grammar and punctuation usage (not to mention his visually offensive profile picture).

    On a more positive note, I'm glad you're back to blogging. I've been waiting for this update. =)

  7. wow..

    This is honestly so inspirational and this might sound a little cheesy but while reading this blog, I actually got a little teary. I'm not sure if those tears were because I witnessed your dissappointment in person (well technicallly I was "sleeping" during your rant but it counts) or if they were because of your writing in general and how it reminds me of you. Oh I don't know I'm leaning toward the second one. All I know is, you ARE the winner of this contest. I know it. You know it. Over 650 of your fans know it. Hell, I think even the winner knows it. If those "judges" did't see that then they are truly blind.

    Your writing IS amazing and I am so glad you are back blogging again :)

  8. Welcome back Grant :)
    One of your best blogs yet & i cant wait for more!

    miss you!


  9. Awwww I'm sorry you didn't win Grant. I still think you're a great writer/blogger and a great producer for a pretty kick-ass show! ;)


  10. Grant - love your blog, love this post, love all the possibilities that your future holds for you! I would never have been introduced to your blog without this contest and for that I am grateful. Cheers!

  11. I'll say this Grant. You do come off as a sore loser BUT a sore loser that is one helluva writer and brings up very valid points.

    Either way, sorry you lost man. But let's be serious, you're gonna be covering a lot of Olympics and other amazing sporting events in your career, whatever it is. Hakuna Matata