EVERYTHING EVERGREENS (FOX SPORTS WAUSAU-WSAU) I've often said that doing D.C. Everest play-by-play is the most enjoyable part-time job I've ever had. It's fun. But it's also work. And my place of business is the press box.
Many, many people forget this.
It rained during one of last year's football games. Suddenly there were a dozen extra people crowded behind me in the press box. They were talking, cheering, jeering at what they thought were bad breaks in a close game... and, while they meant no harm, they are a tremendous distraction. When the weather turns foul, every assistant coach's brother-in-law thinks he has the privilege of seeking shelter.
Last year, restricting the broadcast area to 'working press only' was an ongoing problem at home and on the road. Teams that did their own videotaping sometimes sent three or four JV players up to film. It's a job that takes one person, and doesn't involve companionship for conversation or moral support. On the road I've head people at the scorers bench use language that isn't appropriate -- with a live radio broadcast going on a few feet away. At one football venue, a booster club parent slammed the press box door ever every perceived bad call, only to return a few minutes later to repeat the process. At one hockey venue, the already-too-small press box was filled with five or six people who were friends-of-friends, leaving no room for the visiting team's radio station. During the baseball season, one school's press box was used as a hospitality suite with food and drink for another team.
Access to the press box, scorers table, and broadcast areas need to be limited to the people who are directly involved in the game. Everyone else needs to be in the stands. You wouldn't want me showing up at your job while you're trying to work, would you?
PS - This is game week for the start of high school football. Wausau East opens at Thom Field against Wisconsin Rapids on Thursday night. That game will be live on Fox Sports AM-1390 FM-93.9 at 6:30pm. D.C Everest opens Friday night at home against SPASH. Because of Packers and Brewers conflicts, the Everest opener will be on tape delay around 9:30pm on air. We'll post the podcast earlier than that -- around 8:15pm -- at EverythingEvergreens.com.