I've never been a fan of talking about myself, which makes writing this all the more challenging. But for the sake of becoming better acclimated with this fine community, allow me to introduce myself.

I've never been a fan of talking about myself, which makes writing this all the more challenging. But for the sake of becoming better acclimated with this fine community, allow me to introduce myself.
Hello there. My friends call me Joe.

First off, since I know I'm in UND hockey territory here, let me first say this.
Yes, I am a Gophers fan, and I have no problem talking about it. I also have no problem watching them challenge for national titles year after year. So to all you Sioux fans, I say this: Consider yourselves lucky that you won't have to play Minnesota this season. Think of it as going into the season knowing you'll have four fewer losses on your schedule.

Of course, I kid. I truly do. But I am a die hard sports fan without a doubt, and I defend and stand by my teams without hesitation, and with that comes an endless desire to bash their fiercest rivals. So, does that mean I like to talk a little smack now and then? Absolutely.
Now, I don't want to paint myself to be confrontational. My goal is never to offend others. Simply put, I just like talking to people, which helped me discover why I wanted to be a reporter.

I have a passion for communicating with others, listening to their stories, finding out the subtle details of a situation. My biggest interest is finding out what you're interested in, uncovering all the stories that lay underneath the bedrock of this neat little town. From what I hear, there are many that still need telling, and I plan to do just that.

I just graduated this past May with a Liberal Arts degree from St. John's University in Collegeville, MN, about 15 miles north of St. Cloud. My degree was in Communication, which turned me onto the prospect of a career in media. After working for my school's newspaper, The Record, as a volunteer reporter my sophomore and junior years, I joined the editorial staff my senior year as the sports editor. I also served as an intern for the St. Cloud Times sports department last fall.

My primary interest is sports. Without a doubt. I was born and raised in Minnesota, and that is where all of my sports allegiances will forever reside. If you ever get to know me, you'll find that I'm pretty adamant about that. My most hated team in the history of organized sports: the Green Bay Packers. But don't worry, the Sioux are pretty high up on that list too.
Again, I mean no offense, but it's the truth. Sorry Devils Lake sports fans. I prefer the maroon and gold.

Both my parents live in Bloomington, Minn., where I have lived most of my life up to this point, as have my two younger siblings, Aimee and Nick. I can honestly say that my family has had a most profoundly good impact on my life, and I know that I wouldn't be the person that I am today without their caring influence.

My mom, Barb, is a registered nurse in the emergency room at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minn. She and my dad, Ken, a food buyer for LSG Sky Chef, Inc., have been married now for the past 23 years.

Aimee, 20, will be a junior at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. this fall and is pursuing a Music Education major. She and her boyfriend, Brian, have been dating for just under two years now.

And then there's my little brother Nick, who is easily the most unique member of our family.

Nick, who just turned 18 a few weeks ago, is severely autistic. You'd never be able to tell that he was handicapped by looking at him, but it only takes about five minutes in person to realize that he is at the social level of a four-year-old. He loves Disney movies, he'll never turn down a cookie or a slice of pizza, and he even likes to dabble in his collection of Super Nintendo games. Super Mario Bros. is easily his favorite.

My girlfriend Briana and I have been together for three and a half years now, and for anyone familiar with College of St. Benedict and St. John's University marital traditions, the two of us seem destined to become yet another Johnnie/Bennie stereotype. But believe me, I'm not complaining. I know that I am beyond fortunate to have met such an amazing person.

I consider myself fortunate in most things, and for that, I am truly blessed. I have been gifted with an incredible upbringing, and I plan to make the absolute best of it while helping others along the way.

I also plan to give this town excellent coverage, and I always appreciate help in doing that. If you have any potential story leads, whether it be about sports or not, feel free to contact me at (612) 408-9843 or send me an email: jmellenbruch@devilslakejournal.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @Journal_Joe.
Joe Mellenbruch
Devils Lake Journal reporter
Saint John's University '13