Friday, March 17, 2006

Glamour and Glory?

Friday March 17th

Oh, the glamour of covering the NCAA tournament. Sixteenth seed holding their own against the renowned No. 1 seed. A buzzer beating shot sending the game into overtime. And of course the upsets. How did Oklahhoma lose to UW Milwaukee? My wife's a Sooner, my oldest daughter is an Okie, and I've spent half my life in Oklahoma so by default, I'm an Okie too. I graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. I was accepted at OU, but they wanted me to repeat a bunch of courses I had already taken. I'd spent enough money on higher ed. UCO class of 90 rocks. By the way, I was born in Wisconsin. Go Panthers or Badgers or Packers. See what happens to a young man when he's ripped from his home state at 6 months old.

So a B.A. in Broadcasting and 15 years later, I'm shoulder to shoulder with about 50 other photographers and millions of dollars in equipment to help bring you the glamour and glory. What they don't tell you in journalism school is you will be sitting on folding chairs in a flourescent lit room rolling on a feed of the game and you are not allowed on the floor during the game.

The good news, it's all the popcorn, soda, Milkyway bars and ice cream you can eat. Now that's what I'm talking about. The NCAA does provide a daily meal, but they could sure take a few tips from the ACC. I'm hear to tell ya, the desserts alone at the ACC tournament are to die for. I've never seen such a variety of cheesecake, and I was born in Wisconsin.

So if I'm just rolling on a feed, how do I justify the expense of sending me here? It all comes down to the locker-room. That's where the combat begins. Everyone is jockeying for position. It's like a ballet, but chaotic. Sometimes the only shot of a player's face comes between a press pass dangling from a reporter's neck and a MP3 player in the clutches of a hand still greasy from the free popcorn. God forbid if you turn on your camera light before a player finishes a question. That quickly gets you into the sportcaster's Hall of Shame.

The funniest thing to watch is the press core corralled around an empty chair hoping JJ Redick will grace us with his presense. He didn't after the Duke Southern game. After waiting on Sheldon Williams to slowly get dressed and with only four minutes left in the locker-room, we finally got the sound we needed for our story. It was put to bed at 2am. I went to bed at 4am.

Oh the glamour and glory.


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