Reporting on a College Football Game Way More Than
Just Watching the Action
By William Lawrence Long, II, Class of 2021
I suppose I could write a story about a football game I attended on a one-day media credential obtained for me by this newspaper (Thanks, Jackson Times-Voice). The University of Louisville won a back and forth, up-tempo, offensive affair, 41-39.
There were 1,227 yards of total offensive output in the game. Neither team’s defense could do very much to stop the other. What more do you need to know?
So, in exchange for the media credential and my absolutely wrecking the press-box buffet, I have decided to make my promised article about the other side of sports reporting. This article is dedicated to the men and women who comprise the working media.
What impressed me as much, or maybe even more, than the offensive fireworks shot-off by both football teams, and the tender roast beef au jus I was decimating on the provided buffet, was the hard work turned in by the working press corp.
There were two rows of reporters representing everything from radio stations in the Louisville coverage area, to newspapers, to different digital media sites intently watching and recording the action. Most of the reporters were continuously updating the in-game action on either Twitter, Facebook, or Snap-chat and many of the newspaper reporters were writing their stories for print which were started long before the game’s outcome was decided.
These men and women were working very hard. I didn’t try to “shoot the breeze” with any of them. I know I am young, and I may have misread this, but it appeared pretty clear to me any effort to chat-up these men and women would have been futile, anyway. They were too busy for me. I did get to both eat lunch, chat-up, and then get a photograph with Hall of Famer, Lloyd “Pinky” Gardner, former HC of Fairdale High School basketball and a guy who won several State HS Sweet Sixteens over the course of his career (Pictured).
From the time we sat down until the time we had to leave (as my Dad had a prior, work-related, engagement to get to in Hazard, Kentucky which prevented us from staying until the final horn), these men and women worked furiously. It was literally a whirlwind of clicking keyboards.
“How many plays was the scoring drive?” “How much time came off the clock?” Rapid fire questions shot up and down each of the rows of working press throughout the game. The time we were there flew off the clock.
I came away impressed. I came away a little awe-struck. I came away imbued with a new sense of admiration for people who report on sporting events. There appears to be way more to it than getting free admission to a big-time ball game coupled with an opportunity to eat on a University’s dime.
It was quite an experience and I don’t believe I will ever play or watch a sporting event in the future quite the same way as I once did. Listen, take it from me, those media members taking pictures along the sideline and noting the game from the press-box are working off their collective back-sides. I have a new respect and appreciation for them and I hope this article gives you one too.
Thanks Jackson Times-Voice and a special thank-you to Mr. Kenny Klein, SID at the University of Louisville, for giving me this opportunity to see things from a different perspective.