I’m looking back at the 90+ drafts I have here on my blog. Here’s one I started last November. I originally titled it “Football From Where I Sit.” When I finished it tonight, I took a different direction. The new title is a quote from Sophocles.
Two years ago, one of the assistant football coaches brought a contraption down to my classroom and said, “I thought you and your journalism staff might be interested in this. You can use this website called High School Cube and broadcast games.”
The wheels in my mind took off. I researched the product and the website and thought we just might be able to make it work. A rabid sports fan myself, I’d been trying to build more sports coverage into the journalism program. That season, we just ran video for football. No audio. We taped up the mic as best we could and stayed absolutely silent in the booth. By basketball season, we added one microphone, shared by two commentators. By spring, we purchased an amp, soundboard, and headset mics.
So I (along with Stueve) spent several Friday nights last season in the press box at our school’s football stadium, teaching student journalists on the fly how to call a football game. We don’t have an official broadcast class, instead we have an ad hoc curriculum comprised of our journalism training, decades of watching sports, and the sports knowledge of the students covering the games. Most of the time, this does not feel like work.
From the height of the press box, I get a panoramic view of the players, the trainers, the coaches, the cheerleaders, the band, the crowd, and in the midst of it all–a wee horde of journalists.
I rarely sit during these games, too hopped up on adrenaline, hoping everything goes okay during the live broadcast, fixing things when they don’t. Yet my feet don’t hurt (until I am sitting in my car) and I don’t feel tired (until I get home). It’s hard work, broadcasting these games, but it’s work the kids enjoy.
Like many public schools, we keep doing more with less in our journalism department, but I’m okay with that. I hope that in addition to the journalism skills our students learn every year, that they learn the value of hard work. As our program grows, so does our follower, viewer, and reader audience. We prosper, because we labor. And if that means a handful of late Friday nights, then it’s worth it.