During his stint as summer sports editor in 2020, Brandon Pride introduced the "15 Questions" series to The DP, allowing athletes to share small tidbits about their lives both inside and outside of sports.
In lieu of a traditional senior column, the DP sat down with the former sports editor and asked him 15 questions about his time at The Daily Pennsylvanian, his experience at Penn, and life overall. Here's what the graduating senior had to say.
- Introduce yourself.
I'm Brandon Pride and I'm a senior studying finance and management from San Jose, California originally. At The DP I've been in the sports department for all four years and have served in a variety of roles.
2. How did you decide to join the DP Sports department?
Well, it was pretty simple actually. My high school didn't have a newspaper and I've always been really into sports and writing, so when I got to Penn I kind of just saw it as a perfect opportunity, and it was a great fit from the start.
3. What’s your favorite memory from the DP?
This fall we did a road trip up to Dartmouth [for the football Ivy opener], which was the first time the department had traveled there in almost 10 years. It was a nearly 20-hour round trip driving, but it ended up being a really cool experience to tour the school and report on a really thrilling game to start the season.
And because it was Parents Weekend at Dartmouth and [Hanover’s] already such a limited town in terms of lodging, we had to stay at this communal house in the middle of the forest that was like an hour outside of the school, and it had no electricity or plumbing or cell reception. Which obviously that kind of sounds less than ideal but it ended up being really fun and memorable and now it’s kind of a laughable thing to look back at.
4. What is something in Philadelphia that every Penn student should do before they graduate?
Well, Philadelphia is a great city, and there are a lot of things you can do, but I've really enjoyed running on the Schuylkill trail. If you make it to the end, there are a ton of cool old statues and scenic views you get to see, and it’s a great way to get some exercise that is a little more entertaining than just running on a treadmill.
5. What's the most underrated restaurant on or around campus?
In terms of underrated, I think obviously Smokes' as a bar isn't underrated, but their food is actually pretty good, I would say. A lot of people don’t even know that you can even get food there, but I think they probably have the best pizza on campus.
6. What has been the best class you’ve taken at Penn?
There have been a lot of really good ones. “Negotiations” with Professor Taheripour was definitely impactful when I took it; you learn a lot about yourself by taking that class. I got the chance to TA it this semester too, so getting to essentially almost take it two times made it even more memorable.
7. What’s on your TV show Mount Rushmore?
Breaking Bad would definitely be number one, and I think you'd have to put The Sopranos on there as well. Nathan for You would definitely also make the list. Then I'll say Black Mirror, so I’m really looking forward to the new season next month.
8. What do you think is the most eclectic thing about you?
So whenever I start and end years at Penn, I usually try to drive my car across the country back to California or to Pennsylvania with my dad, and that's always been a lot of fun even though it's a crazy long trip. You get to see a lot of different parts of the country and get exposed to different kinds of stuff. So that’s definitely pretty unusual, but I always recommend it to anyone who has the chance.
9. What is at the top of your bucket list?
I've always kind of had this goal to be able to dunk a basketball. Whether or not that will ever come to fruition remains to be seen. In terms of things that are more tangible, I've been wanting to set foot in all 50 states and am getting pretty close. The road trips help with that one.
10. What’s been your favorite moment as a Bay Area sports fan?
There are definitely lots to choose from. I've been pretty blessed in my lifetime with sports success back home even if my favorite team, the 49ers, haven't ever been able to finish it off in my lifetime. But I would say probably the 2014 San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory where Madison Bumgarner kind of just went insane and got us the win in relief in game seven. I’ll never forget that.
11. Who are your favorite and least favorite athletes?
My favorite athlete is probably Michael Phelps because his eight gold medal performance at the 2008 Olympics was really what got me into sports. Then reading his book No Limits inspired me to try to adopt his work ethic, not only towards sports but towards other parts of life as well.
My least favorite athlete — I know he's really good — might be Chris Paul. I’ve always found him to be kind of annoying to be honest, especially as a Warriors fan.
12. What were your most and least favorite parts of being a sports editor?
I’d say the most challenging part was having to always be on call for breaking news because you never know when things could happen. And the best part was probably helping teach new writers the ropes and watching them learn, and also maybe coming up with the weekly icebreakers for meetings.
13. What’s your favorite story you’ve written here?
I think two come to mind initially. Both were ones I wrote during 2020. The first was a partner story I wrote with Joey Piatt, which was about why Penn students don't go to basketball games even though we have a lot of people here who are into sports, and that just ended up being a really relevant story, still relevant today. It was talked about a decent amount on campus, so it was cool to kind of have that impact and talk about something that we felt mattered.
And the other one — I know I'm cheating by giving two — was a profile I did on Ryan Glover, who was formerly the quarterback here at Penn. In doing some research on him, it turned out his mom had been married to Usher for several years. So I kind of did a story looking at Ryan's background from a sports and life angle. It's obviously unique to have that kind of an upbringing, so it was really cool to just talk to him and his mom and a lot of other people in his life, to eventually paint a picture of him and show that he was more than just an athlete.
14. How do you want to be remembered within DPOSTM [The DP’s Only Section That Matters]?
I think, first of all, I’d like to be remembered as someone that was really passionate about being in the department. Even after my term as an editor ended, I stayed involved and was writing stories from as soon as I could start to my very last week as a student at Penn. And then also someone who was always trying to make it a welcoming community for all the people that wanted to join and advance in the department.
On top of that, I think helping us get through COVID[-19] and also placing a big emphasis on taking road trips. I got the chance to go to cover games at all eight Ivies, so hopefully that tradition can be continued after I graduate.
15. What are your plans for after graduation?
I'm going to be starting a role with Walmart as a financial analyst in August. I interned at their headquarters in Northwest Arkansas this most recent summer and had an amazing time, so I'm really looking forward to going back there and getting to work.