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‘Made me look outward:’ Marquette alum turned national sportswriter pays visit to alma mater

Steve Rushin

MILWAUKEE -- If you are an athlete or a musician, an actor or a writer, your true personality becomes more evident the larger the sample size. One notable Marquette University alum continues to reveal himself and his upbringing through his works.

To his four children, Steve Rushin is just "dad."

"My 13-year-old daughter, I asked her a couple of years ago what she wanted to be when she grew up and she said, 'I don't want to be anything,' and I said 'well, you have to be something. We're all something when we grow up,' and she said, 'yeah but Dad, you're not anything and I want to be like you.' I kind of see, I sit alone in my room on my laptop writing stories and it doesn't look like I'm doing anything," said Rushin.

Looks can obviously be deceiving. Rushin has Sports Illustrated on his resume -- and Time Magazine and Golf Digest. He's a former national Sportswriter of the Year and a four-time finalist for the National Magazine Award -- and he likes writing books best of all.

FOX6's Tim Van Vooren: "Do you still get writer's block? Does that happen Steve?"

"It's a myth. Writer's block to me is a myth. Only writers could come up with writer's block. I've never called a plumber and asked them to come unclog my sink and have the guy say, 'I can't do it today. I've got plumber's block.' So whoever came up with writer's block, hey, God bless them. It's a good excuse, but no. If you want to write -- and particularly if you want to write for money or for a career -- you've got to sit down and write," said Rushin.

Steve Rushin

Consumption of the written word has changed a lot since Rushin first found an audience for his efforts with his mother's bridge club.

"The best compliment you can get is when somebody has read, whether it is an 800-word column or an 80,000-word book, is that it has moved them in some way or enlightened them or even enraged them in some way. The beauty of social media and sports writing these days is you can definitely see when you've moved somebody happily and probably more importantly to rage," said Rushin.

Rushin offers his perspective to those who hope to be a part of whatever shape media takes moving forward. He spent a full February day back at his alma mater, Marquette University. He's been involved with the school's mentoring program for years. He recalled his formative years in Milwaukee.

"In terms of being educated by the Jesuits and the social justice aspect of it, being in a city where you saw a lot of poverty and a different, less-sheltered existence than I had growing up, it made me look outward toward doing things for others," Rushin said.

Rushin said he was very fortunate to attend school at Marquette. The fit was terrific -- especially since it was the only college that he applied for.

Thirty years and countless stories later, Steve Rushin continues to connect with readers by sharing his writing gift -- and his family does know he is really something.