Attending a sporting event sure feels weird when you are used to covering the contests

Posted: 03/03/2016 in college basketball
Tags: , , ,
Taco.Bell.Arena

It definitely felt different not to be sitting in the front row.

 

I did something out of the ordinary on Wednesday night and attended a sporting event as a spectator.

That meant the laptop stayed at home, I wasn’t staring at stats and sifting through play-by-play and I sure wasn’t sitting in the front row.

I did have a pretty good vantage point as you can see from the image above. Boise State’s Taco Bell Arena isn’t like one of those cavernous facilities you find throughout the NBA.

At halftime, a co-worker of one of my brothers asked me an interesting question:

“Does it feel weird for you to be sitting up here and not covering the game from down there?”

He pointed down to where he has seen me sit dozens of times since I moved to Boise. “Down there” being courtside where a player could come diving into my head and the cheerleaders dance and shake just feet from my seat.

Yeah, it did feel weird. I’ve covered somewhere around 350 to 400 college basketball games in my career so I’m accustomed to writing during a game.

That’s all types of games: Blowouts. Overtime affairs. Games decided on last-second shots. NCAA tournament games. Comebacks. Even one NIT game.

Lots of different places: The United Center in Chicago. The Pit in Albuquerque. The Pepsi Center in Denver. The McKale Center in Tucson. The Huntsman Center in Salt Lake City. United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Don Haskins Center in El Paso, etc. And smaller venues like the one-of-a-kind Thunderdome in Santa Barbara and The Pyramid in Long Beach to name a few.

Games at San Diego State where the person next to me couldn’t hear a word I said. Or my first year in Boise where you could hear everything yelled on the other side of the court.

So yeah, it did feel weird.

Kind of makes me appreciate the frequent “cleanest copy I’ve seen in a while” compliments that come from the copy editors.

But I’m guessing my poor carpal tunnels were happy not to be pounding on the keyboard.

Anyway, the follow-up question was how come I wasn’t covering the games this season and that answer only required one word: Money.

On a Saturday, I can make more than three times the money – and sometimes four – by working from home than I would make by covering a game.

Heck, this past Tuesday I made more than four times what a game assignment would pay. Let that sink in – a Tuesday.

Ask an NFL owner if they would rather make $5 million on a Sunday or $20 million. I bet you know what they would say.

Works the same way with me – of course, on a much lower financial scale.

As for the game, Boise State rolled to a 76-57 victory over Nevada. Senior Anthony Drmic had 22 points and 11 rebounds in perhaps his final home game and moved into third place on the school’s all-time scoring list.

In other words, an easy angle and terrific storyline for a deadline sportswriter to spin.

Instead, I was learning that parking structure etiquette in Boise is pretty poor. But eventually I got dropped off at home well before I’d typically leave the arena.

Somehow that didn’t feel weird at all. Not a bit.

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