Post-Article Press Conference – Week 1

 

PIllarspass

This was the best effort my snap-and-shoot camera could muster. Unfortunately, Pillars threw this pass incomplete while probably being blinded by my flash. (I apologized after the game).

Rock Falls snapped a 25-game losing streak (the longest in school history) by defeating Rockford Christian 20-13.

There are still a lot of things for the Rockets to work on. There are also a lot of things that I need to work on.

The first week of high school football has always been a hectic one for me. I’m usually 5 months removed from any real deadline pressure, and the long road games usually present a challenge when it comes to finding a reliable connection.

Because all I do for SVM is write, I get assigned to a lot of the far-away games, such as this particular one at Rockford Christian (who, by the way, extended its losing streak to 30 games). This saves someone else on our staff from having to make a long trip, and so that there are enough people at the office who know how to lay out a newspaper.

I absolutely do not mind the many miles that I travel. I consider it a challenge for me as a writer, needing to formulate stories much more quicker than I had a week ago. Unfortunately, this time around, I had part of the final buzzer concentrating on getting a good picture for the newspaper. That won’t happen again. Time to put the camera back in the desk drawer.

Here’s a look at where my mind is in after the 4th quarter:

Who gets the interview(s)?
Determine the questions.
BUZZER
Tweet the final score as fast as I can.
Get as much stats done before the team breaks from the huddle.
Corral my interview subjects over to me.
RUN LIKE HELL to my car.
Set course for the predetermined public WiFi place, Maximum Warp!
Drive all Fast and Furious.
Try not to run stop lights, and try not to kill anyone (or myself).
Find a table.
Bang out the box score.
SEND
Bang out the game article.
SEND
Go out in either a blaze of glory, or in burning flames.
Wait for the office to make sure my stuff is okay.
BREATHE

While all this is going on, I’m trying to outline a 350-word story.

Also, while all of this is going on, my phone is beeping and buzzing like crazy: all of the people retweeting me, liking my tweets, tagging me on Facebook, and that friend that wants to exchange texts (and worse, CALL) while KNOWING I’m busy covering a game. My phone usually has 20 notifications from point A to point B. People want to know information, ask my opinion, ask me if I know any other scores, whatever.

I’m sorry, but I don’t have time to monkey around when I’m on a virtual immediate deadline. As much as I would love to reply, it eats into story concentration and the time I have to please the guys back in the office.

Again, that first week back is challenging.

Now that I’m back in that mindset of things, the next time around won’t be as challenging. It won’t involve a photo camera this time. Perhaps I can include video interviews now that I have this system down.

I have things I need to work on, and now know what they need to be.

Normally I do not write as much as I did on this occasion, but this one is special. I will need to work on condensing things down, but still remain complete about it.

***

As for the here-and-now, the drive back was a pain in the butt. Thunderstorms.

I got back to town at about 1 a.m., and need to be at Casey’s at 5 a.m. — that is going to suck. While I’m driving down fighting this T-storm, I’m debating whether to take a nap or stay awake.

So I’m staying awake writing this blog entry until I have to get to Casey’s. I either had the choice to have Friday nights or entire Saturdays off, and had to pick between the two. Stuff like this is going to happen every 2 weeks, since I work every other weekend. I’m hoping I can get some relief after 8:30 or 9 this morning, but I don’t think anyone would be willing to make that work for me.