When I interviewed Drew Baker and dove into his life, I came out blazing hot and ready to whip this story out and share my experiences as soon as we said our goodbyes. The window of time we had to even organize our little conversation in person was very slim, due to our schedules, so I had to make every moment count. I needed to pop onto my blog and wring out all the information I could into a post while details were still piping hot within my memory.
It was almost like I withheld what questions I was asking him for the reader and let them discover where the discussion went on it’s own path. Now that I have given the interview time to cool off and the dust has settled, I am returning to my blog and will go into further detail about the interview.
First off, my lead was simply just an introduction: what his significance will be during the interview (an ex high school football star) and an allude to his rise and fall. It was intentionally right at the start of the interview because the two of us are already comfortable. This might sound like a personal question saved for after some warm up (doesn’t it sound like something you don’t dive into? along the lines of “why did you stop following your dreams” perhaps?) but I know Drew well, and to him it was more of “let me get to know you better”.
Afterwards, my hook wasn’t necessarily a strong grabbing item, but rather more or less gradual questions that lead into each other. My soft hook was “He played only for his freshman year”, which raises questions such as “why did he quit?” and to some more experienced football savants, you would know that being on THE school football team during your first year is quite and accomplishment that you wouldn’t really just throw aside. What caused him to not want to play, or perhaps what MADE him unable to play?
Overall, my thesis was more or less when I asked “what stopped Drew from playing” because it implies this is going to be a story about Drew, Drew’s experiences, and what Drew felt about high school football. Stopping playing already explains the outcome, but perhaps his journey do that decision was full of unique moments regardless, and maybe his decision wasn’t as black and white as “I want to quit”, but more of a mixture of feelings that made him decide quitting was the best option.
Questions I asked him were things such as: Why did you quit football? How long did you play? What drove you to get back in there and keep playing despite your injuries? Was there anyone in particular that pushed you? [regarding that last question] and what did that person think when they knew you couldn’t play? Did you always like football? What were you going to do now that you can’t play? What do you think of the high school football scene? Do you think that football puts kids on a pedestal and is somewhat glamorized in a bad way? How did other kids treat you as a football player?
Overall it was more or less an enjoyable conversation with a friend rather than a suit and tie interview. You have more fun with it that way.