Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bada Bing...We're in Jersey

Howdy from the frozen tundra of East Rutherford, New Jersey home of the Sopranos, Bon Jovi and at the moment a lot of melting snow. Actually I can't really complain about the weather because surprisingly it is expected to reach 62 degrees tomorrow, an unseasonably warm day here. I'm going to use this blog this weekend to give you a little insight into our days and also maybe a little behind the scenes stories from the Tar Heels. (by "we" I mean, myself and photographer Maurice Griffin)

So we hit the road today, flying up to Newark from Charlotte...Maurice was nice enough to fly over from Raleigh and then continue on up to Jersey with me. We landed around 2:30, got the luggage and picked up the rental car...and we're off to the Sheraton Meadowlands. Now this is where it got a little interesting, if you ever driven in the New York area, you probably know what I'm talking about, but it is probably only 5 miles from the Newark airport to the Meadowlands but none of the highways are a straight shot, so you spend most of your time wrapping around in circles trying to find the right exit. A little confusing, but managed to make it here to the Sheraton which I must say is a pretty nice spot.

After getting settled in we headed over to the Continental Airlines Arena (where UNC will play Friday night) and tried to get inside to shoot a standup, unfortunately security said we couldn't get in today because they were setting up the floor. Spent some time talking to the guys in there and they showed us there security camera shots of the arena. It was actually pretty cool because they had a joystick that let them control the cameras and zoom in on areas of the floor. One of the crew from the CAA told us they had brought in the floor just for the NCAA regionals and didn't use Seton Hall's usual floor or the one the New Jersey Nets usually use. It's interesting that Seton Hall isn't the host even though they play their games here, this week it's Rutgers who will be welcoming in the teams for the East Regional.

Anyway, without access to the arena we were forced to head out to the parking lots to shoot a couple quick standups to essentially let you, the viewers, know we were here and ready to cover the weekend. It was pretty cool to stand up on the top level of the parking deck looking in one direction at Giants stadium and the other at New York City.

So then we headed back to the hotel to edit the short stories and send them via the internet back to the station in Raleigh. I am still amazed by the technology and how we can send broadcast quality video over the internet for tonight's Sports Night. Anyway, here's a picture of Maurice editing (the camera phone let me down on this one).
So we are off and running...the busy time doesn't get underway til tomorrow with open practices and press conferences with the teams. I'm looking forward to it and I'll try to bring you interesting stories that don't quite make the air on Sports Night or elsewhere. Can't wait for the 60 degree weather to hit tomorrow...until then...good night.
-Tim Baier

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