Hi, I'm Patrick and It's Nice to Meet You

By Patrick Maks on July 14, 2014 at 8:30a

Unsure of myself and who I wanted to be, I started my journey in journalism three years ago because I liked writing and the notion of sitting behind a desk the rest of my life made me sick to my stomach.  

So I emailed one of my favorite writers, ESPN’s Wright Thompson, for advice. I asked him to show me a path, a road to take me where I so desperately wanted to go.

This was his response: 

“There is no path. If you have the combination of talent and churning work ethic, the pay will open up in front of you. It's a cliche, because it's true: cream rises. Of course, so does hot air. That's where that talent and drive come in. The talent is a question you'll have to answer for yourself, and with the help of people you trust. There's no denying that a certain amount of what it takes to make it is something you're born with. You'll need to be honest with yourself about that. (That said, don't ever let anyone kill your dream. Only you know when it's time to find a new one.) There are things you can do to improve: read. read a lot. read the great magazine stories, and read the best practitioners of sports journalism today, read a lot of fiction, and find the person you'd like to be like and then read them. Then ... work. Work your ass off. If the person next to you is working harder, they will make it and you wont.”

The first thing about this is, even through email, Wright Thompson is a better writer than I ever will be. The second thing is understanding how those words became a pillar to lean on in the very up-and-down world of being a sports journalist. I have them printed out on my desk at my apartment. 

Three years ago, without a map of where I wanted to go, without a plan, without really any idea of where this whole writing thing would take me, I’m honored and excited to call myself the basketball beat writer for Eleven Warriors.

I really don’t like talking/writing about myself, but I suppose a formal introduction is in order.

So here’s a little about me: I’m 23 years old and about 14 of those years have been spent in Central Ohio. I was born in Seattle before moving around to Chicago and Indianapolis. In 2000, my dad’s job brought my family to Columbus and I fall in love with this city more each day.

For me, becoming a reporter started at Ohio State’s student newspaper, The Lantern. The first team I ever covered was Tom Ryan’s wrestling squad in 2012 — the same year Logan Stieber won his first national championship. Next was the men’s lacrosse team. Next was spring football and the infancy of the Urban Meyer era. A few months later, I was hired as the paper’s assistant sports editor. After that, I took over as the sports editor. Last year, I worked as the beat writer covering the Buckeyes for the Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports network.

Here’s some more about me: I’m extremely passionate about journalism. It’s why I do what I do. I grew up around sports and I like sports, but they aren’t what motivate me — being a good journalist does. It’s why I’ve made it my goal to write truth, or at least do my best to write truth. Sometimes truth is good, sometimes truth is bad. Sometimes truth is a story about the relationship between Joshua Perry and a little boy who he’s never met. Sometimes it’s about stuff that’ll make you uncomfortable. I like writing both kinds of stories. That's journalism. 

I'll be covering football, basketball and recruiting, but my focus will be on hoops.

Eleven Warriors is an amazing website and an amazing platform that keeps getting bigger and better. I am sincerely thrilled to be a part of this. Feel free to email me at patrick@elevenwarriors.com or follow me on Twitter. Thanks for hearing me out. 


Comments Show All Comments

mr.green's picture

Welcome, journalist. 

+8 HS
AndyVance's picture

Welcome aboard Patrick; your contributions have already made the site a little bit better, and I'm glad to see we'll have a reporter on the team with an even sharper focus on roundball. (And on a personal level, as someone who's been in the profession for a few years, you're off to a great start!)

+4 HS
rosycheeks's picture

How dare you like ESPN and Wright Thompson!


+4 HS
Doc's picture

Welcome to the fray Patrick.  Good luck and Go Bucks!

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

+1 HS
Knarcisi's picture

Patrick, welcome to 11W.  You've joined a group of some of the best writers and journalists out there, period.  I've lived and breathed Ohio State football since birth.  This is virtually the only place I go, and need to go, for all my Ohio State news and staying current.  I don't do Twitter or Facebook, but I do 11W.  My wife says I'm addicted.  I respond to her stating that there is now a place with 24/7 Ohio State discussion, and good, educated discussion at that.  I'm certain my fellow members come here for some of the same reasons.

I'm pleased to see at an early stage in your career that you embrace your responsibility as a journalist.  At the center of that is truth.  There are so many writers today that play this very loosely, borderline hacks.  You keep that through your career, and you'll be gold.  And I like that you embrace the balance of the positive stories.  Whether it's world news, or Ohio State news, there is never enough of this.  There are so many good stories out there that never get told.

I look forward to reading your work, and discussing with you and my fellow Warriors.  Again, welcome, Patrick.  Pay Forward and Go Bucks !!!

+9 HS
NuttyBuckeye's picture

What he said goes ditto for me.  Welcome Patrick!  I look forward to reading your posts and commenting.  This could be the start of a great career for you!

What's round on the ends and high in the middle? Tell me if you know!

Squirrel Master's picture

Welcome and be ready. You are coming in what could be a golden age of Buckeye basketball.

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

+4 HS
1MechEng's picture

Looking forward to seeing your growth and development as a writer! Welcome, P.M.!

+1 HS
ibuck's picture

Agreed, 1mech.  Patrick, keep growing, reading and writing, developing the heart and, who knows, you might actually grow to be better than Wright Thompson. And this statement is true:

Eleven Warriors is an amazing website and an amazing platform that keeps getting bigger and better.

We are rooting for you, and for better hoops coverage. Go Buckeyes! And Go 11W!

Our honor defend, so we'll fight to the end !

If you can't win your conference, just quietly accept your non-playoff bowl game.

+1 HS
Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

Looking forward to reading your work.  Welcome.

Read my entire screen name....

sb97's picture

Hi there.  Pleasedtameetcha!  I am looking forward to more basketball coverage.  Its going to make a great site even better.  I have long thought the Ohio State fans do not give the basketball teams the support they deserve.  Hopefully 11w can help rectify that :)

So you spent time working with the Rivals.com/Yahoo! Sports network...  Did you ever get to work with Forde, Wetzel, Robinson and the rest? 

+1 HS
nm_buck's picture

That Perry story really put things into perspective.  

Welcome aboard Patrick.

"The future is bright at Ohio State."  - Urban Meyer 1/1/15

Baroclinicity's picture

Welcome aboard Patrick!

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

+1 HS
unknownmusketeer's picture

Coach Thad Matta sure is an excellent recruiter. Welcome aboard Patrick.

+2 HS
hodge's picture

That's one righteous introduction, mate.  Welcome to the party -- you're going to fit right in.

BullCityBuckeye's picture

Welcome!  Glad to have you, Patrick!  Go Bucks!

Shangheyed's picture

Indeed welcome to the Eleven Warriors Family!  Can't wait to read what you got!

BuckeyeinToledo's picture

Welcome aboard Patrick! Looking forward to hoops season already. 

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

-Woody Hayes

+14 HS
zacisone's picture

Welcome Patrick,

Be honest with your readers and true to yourself and we will get along great. I am Tom, born in 1947 and a Buckeye since '58.

Go Bucks!


+2 HS
Barnsey69's picture

Welcome to 11W. I look forward to reading your updates involving Buckeye Basketball...and I will probably blame you if they falter, just so you know.


Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+3 HS
UFest57's picture

Welcome to the show...

+1 HS
BucksFan2000's picture

Keep working hard.  You need to do a good job covering Thad's first National Championship.  The second one will be easier.

+2 HS
buckeyestu's picture

Welcome to 11w. I am looking forward to more basketball coverage.

Young_Turk's picture

Welcome Patrick.  Congratulations on an exciting early career assignment.  Journalism isn't dead, but these are certainly interesting times.  That, and this...

Work your ass off. If the person next to you is working harder, they will make it and you wont.

Wright Thompson sounds a little bit like Woody with that quote. 


+2 HS
oregonianbuckeye's picture

Welcome, Patrick. Quick question, have you been involved as a member or causal reader of 11W, or is this a new forum for you. Since you're already hired, you will not be judged for your response ;)

+2 HS
Patrick Maks's picture

Actually read the site as a kid, have been working part-time as a contributor since late May.  

mr.green's picture

As a kid! Ouch. 

+5 HS
Bucknut-in-the-South's picture

Double Ouch! As a kid all I had to read were Superman comic books, Hardy boys mysteries, and the women's underwear section of the Sears catalog. Welcome to the fold, Patrick. I think the best college football site on the internet just got a bit better!

+4 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Damn. Has this site really been around that long?



+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

It's been around a while, but mostly - we're just old!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
nfischer's picture

I discovered 11W several years ago...since that time, my son (just turned 16) and I seemingly read every published word (according to my wife).  All that to say, how long has 11W been around?  My assumption was that it was only around for a couple years prior to my discovery. And even though Patrick is a young buck, it sounds like 11W may have been around lover than I suspected.  

+1 HS
Hovenaut's picture

Look forward to your contributions, Patrick. Welcome aboard!

bucndc's picture

Maybe you can become an investigative reporter. We could use at least one reporter that actually asks a follow up question to the corruption surrounding our federal government. Being a shill is NOT journalism.

-4 HS
Killer nuts's picture

Welcome aboard. Hopefully we win a title in your first year with us just like Stieber did in your first year covering him

+1 HS
FitzBuck's picture

Fitzbuck | Toledo - Ohio's right armpit | "A troll by any other name is still a troll".

+7 HS
SpielmanForPres's picture

Welcome. As long as you don't have any 50/50 predictions you'll do just grand here. 

Buckeye.383's picture

Welcome to the 'family' Patrick! I look forward to reading your future stories and the discussion they bring.

Born, raised, educated, and will die a Buckeye ~ BuckeyeNation

Boxley's picture

Glad to have you on board the good ship 11Warriors. I hope the journey is what you are looking for. Great people, great writers/journalists. There's even a guy named Ramzy, that seems able to put a string of words together that ends up being some pretty good sentences at the end. (Has something to do with bourbon consumption?).

Look forward to your viewpoints on anything tOSU.

"...the man who really counts in the world is the doer, not the mere critic-the man who actually does the work, even if roughly and imperfectly, not the man who only talks or writes about how it ought to be done." President T. Roosevelt

+1 HS
Buckeye in Illini country's picture

I'm looking forward to your take on truthiness.


Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours.  "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!"

+2 HS
Denny's picture

Have you ever eaten horse meat


+6 HS
Paulillo's picture

One of my favorite comments in quite some time.

Curt Heinrichs's picture


I'll support anyone who brought wrestling coverage to the Lantern!

+1 HS
Poison nuts's picture

That Joshua Perry story made me cry...how dare you make me cry!!!


"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

+1 HS
BroJim's picture

A real life bildungsroman! My only advice, dont go to grad school. . . Right now it's hell. May 15' cant come fast enough.

I season my simple food with hunger

Buckeyeneer's picture


"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

+1 HS

Welcome Patrick! The advice given to you sounded like something Morpheus would've said, only for journalists and without the non-existent spoon. Looking forward to reading your work on here.

"Sherman ran an option play right through the south" - Greatest Civil War analogy EVER.

Sebastian's picture

You sound intelligent, what are you doing here?

QBYBuckeye's picture

Ahhhh, but you haven't met us.  You have only introduced yourself to us.  Just wait until you write your first piece in which you offer an opinion that is not universally held by 11W readers.  That is when you will MEET us.

Welcome aboard.

New York Buckeye

+2 HS
Angry Panda's picture

Well Done and Welcome. Look forward to reading your articles and and following the Bucks through your stories.

Go Bucks!

tussey's picture

Welcome Patrick.  My name is Ryan and this was the first thing that popped into my head...

+1 HS
Horvath22's picture

Bienvenidos, Patrick. Looking forward to your hoops coverage. Please, as a favor to this OF (translation: Old Fart) ,could you not use the pretentious phrase, "SCORE the basketball", that so many have adopted. After all, we are talking about basketball, and a player either can either score or he cannot score, and he is not scoring the football, baseball, soccer ball, etc. By the way, I think it should be "WHOM he's never met."

bucndc's picture

Welcome Patrick,

I'll try not to say anything intelligent on here. I can't afford the down votes.

ATT2121's picture

Welcome, Patrick! Looking forward to your contributions to the site. Truth is a funny thing. It's something everyone demands until it's an uncomfortable truth about something or someone they care about. Being fair and truthful is a rare commodity in journalism, as it is in life. Good luck and Godspeed


"It all goes so fast, and character makes the difference when it's close."
Jesse Owens

BeijingBucks's picture

No snark? No alcohol? No obscure references to has-been rock bands?  No ebonicisms? No gratuitous references scantily clad in too little... Grammar?

who are you and what are you doing on my blog?!!

i think we should have a 'meet the author' segment where we get to quiz (hazing sounds so puerile) the incoming vict... erm... Content providers. 

What is the best/most obscure/original reference you can come up with/have heard in reference to village of idiots up north who we sadly have to call our rivals?

old fashioned or straight up?

Hard ethical facts or compassionate reality?

ginger or Marianne 

... I guess we'll find out soon enough how far down the rabbit hole you are with the rest of us!  It'll be great, the water's warm. Just don't ask how

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

ArizonaBuckeye's picture

Welcome to the jungle! Go Buckeyes!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you." -Woody Hayes-

OvalBeachBum's picture

"Well, thats just like, your opinion, man."  -The Dude

Rob Reese's picture

Looking forward to reading your material.  

The Ohio State University class of 2009
Disciplina in civitatem
Kingbuck12's picture

Well Patrick we hate you already, just kidding welcome aboard. 


Jeremy Birmingham's picture

I've said it in emails, but officially and formally: glad to have you on our site and our side, Pat.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Look forward to reading your pieces Patrick.  My niece graduated from OU a few years ago with a degree in journalism.  She interned at the Dispatch for a while and had some front page stories.  She is now living in Phoenix doing mainly political expose journalism for their big paper there (a lot of online stuff also).  A combination of talent and hard work got her to where she is today, best wishes for the same for you.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

+1 HS
buckeyeradar's picture

Welcome Patrick.  My advice is play nice, be nice and most of us will do the same.

I may not be the sharpest crayon in the box but I'm one of the most colorful.

cajunbuckeye's picture

Entertain me, Pat. It's part of your new job description. Welcome aboard!

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

+1 HS
ScarletNGrey01's picture

Here we are now, entertain us.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes


Good to have you in the fold P.Maks - here's to doing what you love!

"I don't apologize for anything.  When I make a mistake, I take the blame and go on from there." - Woody Hayes

BuckeyeDale's picture

Welcome aboard; and good luck.  One thing you'll know for sure, what your fellow Buckeye-lovers think of your opinions in articles.  You can bet no one will be shy in expressing their view of what is right or wrong in tOSU territory. 


whiskeyjuice's picture

Welcome and judging from your post, I will be looking forward to your future posts!!

"Championships are not won on Saturdays in November. Championships are won on Tuesdays in August." -- Kerry Combs

-2 HS
Groveport Heisman's picture

So...What was your screen name on here before the big hire? If you say it was TheBadOwl we might have some issues to discuss.=) Welcome and please do not bring any sugar coating to our BBall Bucks scoops.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

Joe Beale's picture

Welcome to the team.

-- from the ivy-covered halls of The 11W Alumni Association