I won't forget the moment I informed my boss at CNN of my intention to leave sports journalism for a career in music.
"Remind me what the band's called again," he asked, eyebrows raised, probably wondering why I'd forsake a job in a competitive industry for pub stages in London.
"Sports Team," I replied through gritted teeth. The irony of the name was not lost.
The six of us had formed as a bunch of friends at university with few expectations and still less musical ability.
We had no issue with getting home from our respective jobs at 6 p.m., rehearsing until midnight then getting up at 7 a.m. to do it all again.
It had simply become untenable to claim yet another dentist appointment in order to get to soundcheck on time.
I'd already missed the band's first show on foreign shores to cover, of all things, the Judo World Championships in Paris. The offer of a five-week European support tour with Spanish band Hinds was the "now or never" moment that forced a decision.
Two years and over 200 shows later, with our debut album out this week on Island Records, there are no regrets.
Traveling around with your mates in an unreliable van, meeting all sorts of wonderful people, is the best thing in the world and something we're very lucky to be able to do.
I'd loved my time in the newsroom -- from the highs of interviewing Pele and Pep Guardiola to a feature about a race horse in a three-piece tweed suit -- but the opportunity to be in a full-time band wasn't going to come knocking again.
Having once considered Cambridge's Portland Arms to be the pinnacle of our live aspirations, it's slightly surreal to have played legendary festivals like Glastonbury and headline shows as far afield as Los Angeles.
That's not to say it's been a glamorous job switch -- as any touring musician whose diet has consisted chiefly of service station sandwiches for weeks at a time can attest.
No longer able to afford London rent, four of us spent the better part of 18 months sharing a room that also doubled up as our rehearsal space.
An ill-fated "commuter belt tour" memorably culminated in a gig in the small market town of Bishop's Stortford where there were more people on stage than in the audience.
Waking up with banging headaches the morning after supporting Two Door Cinema Club at the O2 Arena, we found our van had been broken into in broad daylight and all our equipment stolen.
And yet it's all worth it.
I know a lot of bands get jaded by life on the road, but there's really few things quite like the crackle of anticipation before a show -- whether on a festival main stage to 10,000 people or at your local pub to a few hundred kids.
To that end, the journey since packing in the day jobs is probably best illustrated by a series of increasingly ambitious London headlines, from the 800-capacity Scala in September 2018 (where we infamously had less Twitter followers than the venue's capacity but somehow sold it out) to the 2,300-capacity O2 Forum a year later.
Such gigs are what it's all about for us -- making the night an event worth booking the next day off work for -- and it's encouraging to note a decent contingent of former colleagues have attended not just the first out of duty but kept coming back. (And subsequently not made it into the office in the morning).
Plans for the next big one in 2021 were curtailed because apparently you can't simply ring up and book Wembley.
To this day, I'm still not sure why we settled on "Sports Team" -- all I know is that with "Comfort," "Lady Mandolin" and "Tony Blair Witch Project" among the suggested contenders, it could have been worse.
Still, despite no discernible sporting prowess for the most part, the band has lived up to its name on occasion.
In May 2019, we somehow ended up playing an intimate show for the England cricket team ahead of their victorious World Cup campaign -- much to the bemusement of the players who had no idea who we were.
A few months later, the six of us appeared in the football and culture magazine Gaffer dressed like a Renaissance five-a-side team, thanks to designer Sophie Hird.
And, appropriately enough, our live television debut was made on Soccer AM. Though the only one to emerge with a shred of credibility from the "John Arne Riise Arena" -- where guests aim to volley a ball into the top corner -- was our drummer, Al.
Lockdown has provided an all new set of challenges -- from the cancellation of an entire summer of festivals to the delay of our debut album, originally scheduled for an April release.
As I write this, we should be halfway through a five-week tour of the US, Canada and Mexico with Bombay Bicycle Club. Instead I am back home with my mum.
Live shows are the lifeblood of almost all bands in 2020; without them, we find ourselves in the shoes of the sports journalist without any sport to cover.
Virtual concerts can only bridge the gap so far, just as World Cup reruns and the latest "alternative sport" to go viral on Twitter can't hold your attention forever.
Meanwhile, as many as 80% of the UK's small to mid-sized music venues face the threat of permanent closure -- something that puts the debate about whether to finish the Premier League season in perspective.
We've been left with no recourse but to announce the postponement of already postponed shows and begin working on the second record before the first is even out.
The six of us rent a house together now in Camberwell -- a situation not dissimilar to getting home from work to find your colleagues sitting around the dinner table. It can be hectic at times, but in truth just having our own rooms again feels like a luxury.
We've also set up our own record label, Holm Front, putting on a series of madcap events (including an annual bus trip for fans to Margate), while releasing great new bands like Walt Disco, Ugly and Personal Trainer. It's something we want to continue to build as our own platform grows.
Perhaps I'll even tempt my old boss to pick up a guitar.