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It took me all of 30 seconds this morning to realize that I wasn’t in Southern California anymore. A snow storm will have that sort of effect on you.

When I heard about a job in Idaho at the Times-News and the chance to cover Boise State, CSI and preps, I quickly jumped on the opportunity. As a California kid with all of his roots in the Greater Los Angeles area, I was aware that moving would be difficult. I had a job at the Orange County Register, was near my friends from USC and Redlands, and, most importantly, was near family. I love the sun. I love the ocean. I love wearing shorts and flip-flops. It also didn’t help that I couldn’t point out Idaho on a map at the time.

But life is all about taking risks and following your dreams. So I left everything I know behind and made the 12-hour trek to Southern Idaho, knowing only that sportswriting is my passion and I had to pursue it. In my two weeks here, I’ve had snow, wind, fog and rain. That’s more weather than I saw in my 26 years in California combined. It’s been an adjustment, to say the least.

During my short tenure in Twin Falls, however, I have learned an important lesson: people care about their sports. I know it’s what my coworker Max McCombs said in his blog blurb, but I can’t emphasize it enough. Whether it’s people at the grocery store wearing Bronco blue and orange, standing in a packed arena watching the Golden Eagles play basketball or traveling 40 miles to a high school gym where it’s standing room only, I quickly got the picture that sports really do matter. My passion is telling stories, and sports is the best vehicle out there. There are so many tales waiting to be told here, and I know there is a crowd here that wants to read them.

I’m not always going to write a happy-go-lucky story of triumph. In fact, I may ruffle a few feathers and create points of contention. But I know that people in Southern Idaho are reading and reacting to whatever it is I may write. And to me, that’s what really matters.

I’m slowly coming to grips with the fact my flip-flops aren’t coming out anytime soon and that my shorts are going to collect a lot of dust over the next few months. But when you get to do what you love and are surrounded people who share the same passions, it’s worth it, no matter where you are.

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