May 14—Like a football loose on the turf, Jack Crosby's career in sports journalism, which started with a dream, has taken a few crazy bounces.
Now, the 38-year-old Riverside High School grad and former football player for the Vikings has scored a touchdown in his profession, continuing his ascent through the ranks as the recently named senior editor for college football with CBSsports.com. The promotion came after five years with the Paramount subsidiary.
"It really is a dream come true," said Crosby, a diehard Yankees fan who still lives in the area with his wife, Alyson, and their 1-year-old daughter, Penelope. "I still don't understand why I'm here, but I'm blessed."
He's been persistent, too, making the most out of a passion that started, thanks to his grandfather, before he reached elementary school.
"I love college football. Since I was a little boy," Crosby said. "As far back as I can remember, watching football, but not like everyone around here. We would watch everything. Auburn, LSU, and my grandfather would tell me the history of Auburn, LSU, the history of those rivalries. It became an obsession in my life."
Maybe that's why Crosby never quite found his fit in college life, moving on to a career in retail management but always keeping that passion alive.
Finally, one of his friends asked why he didn't pursue it.
"Can I make money?" Crosby asked. His friend told him it could bring in a few extra bucks.
How few, Crosby didn't know, until he got that first paycheck from now-defunct RantSports.
"My first paycheck, for a month, and I forget how many articles I churned out, it was $27," Crosby recounted.
It did teach him valuable lessons, among which was that he was pretty good at blogging
"I had nobody with any sort of competence in the industry to tell me that," Crosby said.
Opportunity knocked again when FanSided.com came into his life, offering a job after reading some of his work.
"I started running an Auburn team site. I ran a Florida State blog, and the people at FanSided said, 'Okay, you're pretty good. We're going to bring you on here and you're going to do all kinds of things,'" Crosby said. "That was where I got my first taste of, 'I might be able to do this as a job.'"
FanSided was owned by Time Inc., which also published Sports Illustrated, and offered him a professional pipeline.
"They started to take notice of what I was doing at FanSided and asked if I could write articles on breaking news in the NFL," Crosby said. "I would start learning everything I could from Sports Illustrated and soak it all up. I really started to feel this might be my niche."
Late in 2017, he learned CBS was looking for someone to write for their website, and knew of Crosby's work. Several interviews later, he got the Christmas gift he'd waited a lifetime to receive.
"It's been a whirlwind ever since," Crosby said. "I've gotten to do so many things I've always dreamt of. "
Including a pair of Army-Navy games.
"I'm not going to lie, the first tune they called and asked if I want to go cover Army-Navy, I said, 'Are you serious?' I started tearing up and my wife asked what was wrong. I said they want me to go to Army-Navy.
"As far as college football, this is on the bucket list."
Versatility helped his career grow. Besides football, Crosby is well versed in everything but ice hockey, and has been ringside at Madison Square Garden for UFC 244, and for Showtime boxing productions, too.
These days, field trips like that are rare. On Saturdays in the fall, you can find him in the basement of his Pittston home, glued to one of his three TVs.
"I have to keep my eye on everything," Crosby said. "Because at the end of the day, I'm an editor, not a writer. I oversee pretty much all of the editorial content on CBSsports.com for college football."
That means planning and executing a game plan that will make sure there will be traffic growth to the website, and oversee a staff of eight writers.
"We're giving people the stories they want to read," Crosby said. "On a daily basis, I have to keep the news cycle going, too. In today's world that we live in, the transfer portal owns my life with these kids going back and forth, now that they can go as freely as they can."
Some days, that whirlwind is more like a hurricane, not that Crosby would trade any part of it.
"I've gotten to do so many things I've always dreamt of," Crosby said.
Hall makes a call
Congratulations to former Abington Heights football and baseball standout Steve Crounse, who was inducted into the Maryland Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in ceremonies at the University of Maryland spring game on April 29.
The 1988 Abington Heights High School grad has a 152-65 career record, winning seven Southern Maryland Athletic Conference titles at Patuxent High School, as well as three regional titles and a state championship in 2015.
Friends of Scappy
The annual fund drive for the Friends of Scappy scholarship is underway, an effort to honor the memory of longtime Dunmore High School mathematics teacher and sports official Joe "Scappy" Mecca.
The annual $500 scholarship alternates between senior baseball and softball players, and is presented to the athlete who has the highest mathematics score and plans to pursue post-secondary education.
The award is presented at high school's annual awards night, this year scheduled for May 25. Anyone interested in supporting the scholarship through a donation can send it to Friends of Scappy, c/o Bill Schoen, 8 Overbrook Circle, Scranton, PA 18504.
MARTY MYERS is a Times-Tribune sports writer. His Around Town column appears on Sundays. To contact him, email email@example.com, call 570-348-9100, ext. 5437 or follow him on Twitter @mmyersTT.