This past Friday I covered the Madison County High School game. This was my second time to Tiger Stadium and since I’ve already reviewed their concession stand, there won’t be an in-depth review this week. I know, I know.
On this occasion, I only got a Diet Coke before the game, and then at half time I got a hot dog and a Diet Coke. Instead of the seven minutes and 20 seconds it took me last time, it took eight minutes and 54 seconds to get these two items. They obviously need more help at halftime. They also didn’t have some of the items people were ordering and those people had to wait on things to cook, which I’m sure was annoying for those people. They added a menu item this week – baked potatoes; which I thought was odd, but whatever. The butter and sour cream was sitting out in a large tub on the condiment table and I’m here to tell you I would not have used either of those if I had gotten a potato. I may have to down grade their grade.
I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you about some of the things I do like about covering games at Madison County because you see, sometimes it’s tough being a female reporter in a man’s world. Guys in the press box are not always keen about having a female around.
The number one thing I love about the press box at MCHS is that it’s large! Instead of a one deck press box, they have two. The press box is fairly new and the first deck is where the clock official sits along with the scoreboard operator, announcer, and other MCHS personnel. In the second deck, there are two small rooms to each side and a large opening in the middle. Each of the small rooms is for the assistant coaches, which is awesome because I don’t have them yelling in my ear and I don’t have to literally rub elbows with them while trying to type on my computer.
They have fans! In case ya’ll haven’t noticed, the weather is still hot right now. When I went to church last night, it was 98 degrees and I’m not talking about the boy bands from the 1990s. At MCHS they have box fans blowing which circulates the air and actually makes things a little cool, or at least cooler than anywhere else I’ve been this season. Without the fans the air would be hot and stagnant and sweltering and the experience would be less than enjoyable, but with the fans going, it is actually quite nice.
Chairs! I cannot even begin to tell you how much a chair means to me. With my feet hurting as they have been recently, I relish the thought of being able to sit at a game rather than stand for three plus hours. At MCHS, they have not only chairs, but comfortable, bar chairs so that you can actually see out of the press box window. I can sit the whole game and still see every play. A lot of schools don’t even have chairs at all. In fact, I’ve been known to carry my own bag chair to some schools, namely Hazel Green, because they have no chairs whatsoever in the press box. The schools that do have chairs have ones that are usually broken down and when you take a look at them you’re thankful your tetanus shot is up-to-date; not to mention the fact that they sit low to the ground and there’s no way on earth you could sit there and watch the game. When at MCHS, at the end of the night, my feet don’t hurt neither does my back! It’s the greatest!
The people at MCHS are also nice. A lot of times, assistant coaches will boot me from my spot – I once had this happen right at the kickoff, which means I missed some of the first plays of the game. It’s as though I am an inconvenience to them. Well, hey buddy, if you don’t want coverage in the newspaper, no problem, I’ve got plenty of other things I could be doing instead. There are a couple of guys who shoot video for MCHS who are always at the game and they are always nice when they talk to me and they leave me alone during the game – both of these are great. I’m not too eager to talk to someone during the game because I usually end up missing something and more often than not, it’s going to be something I shouldn’t have missed – that’s just the way my luck goes.
One of my most favorite things about games at MCHS is the train. There is a set of train tracks that run beside the football stadium and usually at each game two different trains pass by. I don’t know why, but I have always found that to be an interesting characteristic about this stadium and I always love it when the train rolls by. I find myself paying more attention to it than the game.
So, there you have it, some of the things I really enjoy about covering games at this particular school.
On a side note, here’s one thing I really hate about working high school athletics – rosters and newscasters. So far, this hasn’t happened to me this year, but almost every time I’ve covered a game the past two years this has happened and it drives me nuts. The newscasters will come to shoot the game so they will have some highlights for the 10:00 news then they will come up to the press box looking for rosters. More often than not, no one in the press box and I mean no one with the occasional exception of the announcer will have a roster for either school. Then someone will realize, hey this girl from the newspaper has both rosters and the newscaster will come over and shoot video of the rosters as I turn the pages. It’s annoying.
First of all, I guess this is the fault of each school. I mean, how hard is it to print off a few copies of a roster to hand over to the media. This is actually another great thing about MCHS because they always have extra copies of their own roster to hand out. Once I had to fork over a copy of the opponent’s roster to the announcer so that he would be able to announce the name of players. So, here is my (unheard) plea to the coaches and newscasters: Coaches – please bring a copy, preferably multiple copies of your roster to each game so that you can pass these out to the media should they need them. Newscasters – have you heard of the internet? It’s an amazing tool. In fact one web site, AHSAA, has the roster of every single school in the state, LOOK IT UP! Don’t depend on someone else to do your work for you.
Maybe this is also a guy/girl thing. Once when I was working a basketball game, the announcer made a comment that he was impressed I brought my own rosters and stats that no one else from the newspaper did that – hello, I’m the only female sports reporter at the newspaper, are you really that surprised that I’m also the only one not relying on someone else to spoon feed me information? Whatever the reason for the roster snafu, it really bothers me because it doesn’t take a genius to print out some rosters or look up information on the internet, I don’t know why I’m the only one that seems to do it.
Thank you and good day.