There was nothing to lose; nothing to win.
At least that’s what Ben Malcolmson thought at the start of USC football walk-on tryouts in March of 2006. He was there to write a column for the Daily Trojan, the school’s newspaper, to run around for a few hours while a bunch of former high school stars jockeyed to make the team, to, more than anything, embarrass himself.
“This is going to be the best thing I’ve ever written,” Malcolmson thought, his knees covered in grass stains and his head filled with self-deprecating humor, when he sat to write that night.
He had no idea.
Two days later, Malcolmson got a call saying he had...