Once in a lifetime will you get a perfect opportunity to make a headline out of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” lyrics. You’re stinking right I took advantage of mine.
(Oh, did I mention that I took a job on The Dallas Morning News’ sports desk last summer? No? Awkward.)
The events that led to this headline reaching hundreds of thousands were about the biggest streak of professional luck I’ve experienced.
We’ll have to skip over the luckiest part in which I land this new gig in the first place. There’s no way to tell the story of how I ended up in Dallas without burning some bridges. Nothing to do with former employers, just a newsroom that backed out of an agreement to employ me.
I got incredibly lucky on the night Tim Cowlishaw wrote this column that’s come to describe my own NFL relationship. He wrote in a way that brought Queen immediately to mind.
It was the first story I read on the night, so I had plenty of time to mull over the headline. I usually have a tough time coming up with headlines for columnists, but the lyrics were the first thing that came to mind on my initial read. I couldn’t get the song out of my head, and I had no plans on suffering alone.
Another strike of luck was having an editor in charge who appreciated the headline enough to bend our design rules. Typically, the DMN wouldn’t run a five-line headline (let alone one with a three-line deck), but my editor gave into my annoying salesmanship about how the headline was special and awesome enough to accommodate.
With the headline written, I worked on the deck. I tried to continue the song’s rhythm as best as I could. I somehow found a way to interrupt the song’s flow for only one line of text. I managed to sneak in an extra bit of the song while pretty well summing up Cowlishaw’s column. I think that’s worth celebrating
And I had some people agree with me.
— Mark Schnyder (@MarkSchnyder) August 7, 2014
My direct boss even emailed me over vacation to compliment the headline. That felt great.
Unfortunately, I checked with HR and they said one kickass headline isn’t enough to automatically qualify me for early retirement.