Journalist spectates Bulldog players, learns valuable lessons
This past weekend I was given the opportunity to experience what the media world is like at a college basketball game. This opened my eyes to a new world of covering sports. As a kid, my dream was to do any sort of coverage for sports, whether it was commentating or becoming a reporter. Being able to sit at the media table court side at the Save Mart Center watching the (16-5) Fresno State Bulldogs take on (9-12) New Mexico Lobos with a back and forth first half was mind blowing. I was a rookie in an area full of pros.
The game itself was a very back and forth match. As Paul Loeffler, the voice of the Bulldogs, portrayed it on the broadcast, it was a “twelve round boxing match.” At the end of the first half the Bulldogs were up by two over the Lobos, 35-33.
The dogs came out of the half with momentum behind them and were ready to finish it off with a bang. Halfway through the second, it was still a close game. It seemed as if every time the Bulldogs had an answer the Lobos responded right back. Anthony Mathis of New Mexico lead the Lobos with nineteen points but it fell short as the Bulldogs were lead by Braxton Huggins and Deshon Taylor with a combined forty-two points.
Using my credential to get into rooms that only certain people are allowed made me feel professional. The entire night I was thinking of questions to ask in the post game press conference. A big rookie mistake was that I did not get up to leave for the press conference till the game ended, which meant I had to run past and weave through hundreds of people leaving the arena.
Once I was able to get to the elevator I realized that since it was my first time, it might better to just observe and take everything in. Walking into the media room, I was in awe of everything. It seems funny, but as a kid these are the things I only saw on television.
My dreams were turning into reality. Soaking in everything, I could recognize individuals from the local news and professionals from multiple news stations setting up their camera equipment. Paul Loeffler finished off the radio broadcast for Fresno State. Braxton Huggins, Nate Grimes and Coach Hutson entered into the room and were ready for the questions to be asked.
Being my first time, I had butterflies in my stomach. I felt so blessed to be in the position I was in. The post conference did not last longer than fifteen minutes. I had to ask one of the reporters if it was over since I had no idea.
Once the reporters started to pack up their equipment, I walked out of the media room making my way to the elevator. I had a small conversation up the elevator with a reporter regarding the media business. I explained to him that I am a junior in high school with The Feather Online and he was very shocked as we continued to talk about the events of the evening.
The advice he imparted to me will forever stick with me as I progress further into my sport journalism job.
“Stay humble kid,” he said. “Don’t ever get big headed. You can be confident and humble at the same time. You just have to stay hungry and just know the next guy wants the job just as much as you do, but that’s when you work harder and put your everything into whatever you’re doing.”
Another one in the WIN column ☑️
— Fresno State Men’s Basketball (@FresnoStateMBB) February 3, 2019
To think that this could be my job one day is insane. I learned to not be afraid and ask the questions you need to, and to not overthink. Being composed is a key piece I learned once I got the post game conference.
If students want to listen to the full post game press conference, check out The Feather Online’s SoundCloud feed. Cortez has interviewed a host of Eagle student athletes as well.
I would like to give Paul Loeffler a huge thank you for this experience as it was very humbling.
For more of Cortez’s interviews check out Richie Cortez discusses Bekah Micu’s return from injury and Richie Cortez discusses FC soccer with senior Jacob Scully.@thefeather, Instagram @thefeatheronline and Facebook @thefeatheronline.
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