McMicken College of Arts & SciencesUniversity of Cincinnati

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UC Alum (Finally) Gets His One Great Season

English alumnus John P. Wise spent the 2009 college football season traveling the country for his website, One Great Season.

Date: 7/1/2010
By: Kim Burdett
Phone: (513) 556-8577
When John P. Wise lost his job last summer, he didn’t update his resume or send out feelers for a new position. Instead, he thought, it was time to pursue his dreams.

UC Bearcats take on Louisville in the 2009 homecoming game.
Wise covered UC's homecoming game against Louisville during the 2009 football season. (Photo credit: John P. Wise)

After graduating from the University of Cincinnati (BA, ’95) as an English major in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, Wise promised himself that if he couldn’t find a job by the end of the summer, he’d travel the country and cover college football. But a job opportunity made him put his promise on the backburner.

Fast-forward to 2009. With the help of an open schedule and the possibilities of the Internet, One Great Season (www.onegreatseason.com) was born.

John P. Wise.
Wise dreamt up the concept of One Great Season as an undergrad at UC.

“It was 15 years in the making,” Wise says. “I had no idea how I’d pull it off, but one thing was certain: I was going to do it.

“So I mapped out a schedule of the best games—two or three or four a weekend—and I submitted media credential requests. Where I got approved played a factor into where I ended up.”

The end result was an entire season on the road, beginning at the Oklahoma State/Georgia game in September and ending when Navy played Army in December. With sideline access, Wise took photos and blogged about the experience.

Funding for the experience came from readers’ donations (coined “30 Thousand Helpers” on the website) and Wise’s credit card.

“It was definitely a gamble, but it was the project of a lifetime,” Wise says. “I’ve grown up a sports fan. College football has always been my passion. I started writing sports as a student at the News Record.”

One Great Season website.
One Great Season is a sports website that was originally created to cover the 2009 college football season.

Wise covered two UC games during his travels: the homecoming game against Louisville that brought him back to campus and a trip to Pittsburgh in December to see the battle of the Big East.

“The Pittsburgh game was the best game of the entire tour,” Wise says. “The weather was terrible—in the elements, just how football is supposed to be played. There was a lot at stake and it was just the perfect Saturday. It was great to enjoy the atmosphere of college football.”

When the season ended, One Great Season did not. Wise decided to continue on with the project, blogging from home about the college basketball season before moving onto other sports like the Kentucky Derby and, most recently, the World Cup. A group of writers volunteer to help create content for the site.

“The website is a full-time gig. I hope that eventually it becomes profitable, but my ultimate goal is to create an all-encompassing sports website,” he says.

Visit Wise online at One Great Season, John P. Wise Photography or Twitter.

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