Friday, March 17, 2006

The Life of a Photog at the NCAA's

Up until know you have heard the sportscasters point of view(no disrespect to Jim or Terry). When your responsible for getting all that happens at your tournament site back North Carolina for viewers to watch you have a little different perspective so let me allow you to step into my world.

After the selection show I found out I was traveling to Dayton with the Tarheels. I had traveled before but with traveling sometimes that is your first time going to that place so you are a little nervous because you have never been there before and don't know what to expect. I previously was a resident of Dayton so I had a little more comfort since I kind of knew the area. Now it gets interesting, Terry and I are taking a Satellite truck (which means driving). For the next two days I'm making sure the Satellite truck is serviced and getting everythingwe need plus the "just in case" supplies as well. The plan is simple The Tarheels play on Friday (and Sunday if the win Friday) we travel up Wednesday, set up and do a couple of stories on fans and practice Thursday,cover the games and reaction the rest of the weekend.

We are off to Dayton from Raleigh, oh yeah it's about nine and a half hours of driving. Here's the fun part you have to drive through the hills of Virginia and West Virginia with a very large and bulky Satellite truck. If that was not enough it's very windy. You have a lot time to think about you plan of action for the weekend. This was first trip to the NCAA tournament but from Terry's and others at the station the setup would be easy. The NCAA set everything up so all we have to do is plug our equipment into there's and they will do the rest. So after developing a plan in my mind I still had eight and a half hours left to drive. I play a little game with myself to make the drive a little less brutal. I break it down in segments, this is how my segments went, make it to Virginia (stop and have lunch), then through the tunnels to West Virginia, then over the toll road, then to Ohio and we are there.
News Fans:
No matter where you go if you are driving a large vehicle with large writing on the sides you are bound to run into a news fan or two and this trip is no exception. In Virginia at lunch we met Libby, Libby was an attendant at the Travel America truckstop, she met me and Terry at the gas pump asking us the usually question, where are you from, where you going, and why are you going there? After a five minute conversation with her Terry and I went inside for some lunch. About half way through our lunch we see Libby walking towards us she grabs a chair from the next table and sits down near us and starts a converation. Terry and I just looked at each and went with the flow, it was a little awkward but she was harmless (I think she was a little sweet on Terry).
The rest of trip went fine I did have a pleasant surprise when we stopped for gas in Ohio. I notice that there was a McDonald's across the street, remembering that it was St. Patrick season I have always loved Shamrock shakesfrom my childhood. The McDonald's in the south don't sell them so I had to go in and grab one,they even had them in three different sizes. Terry was laughing at me because I probably looked like a giant kid enjoying my Shamrock shake, truth be told I was a little kid for at least 10 minutes. Two hours later we are in our hotel room getting some rest because Thursday will be a long day, which you can read in my next blog.


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