Obviously, the Minnehaha-DeLaSalle game didn't work out. The DeLaSalle coaches wouldn't give the green light. That makes two games we were turned away (although one was out of everyone's control) that would have made for great television. Calling games and streaming them online has turned into an experiment on human behavior. Given that I study behavioral patterns of people all the time, this is turning into a big learning experience.
Speaking of behavior, the cynicism I'm dealing with from my co-workers isn't helping my morale or interest in continuing high school broadcasts after this season. I spoke with Heinz about a game plan for the upcoming Central-South Twin Cities game (the fifth straight time the two teams will play each other and the eighth overall since 2005). Talk of the controversy about Tayler Hill's scoring record came up and I recited everything that was reported in local media outlets (every newspaper and TV station in the metro area). His response was that it was all made up.
I understand the need to obtain information, but when you're not available to get it, I don't feel that everyone else is making up quotes and other information that isn't correct, although the South A.D. did tell me the Pioneer Press made an error about the attendance of last night's South-Roosevelt game. TV stations get their ideas from newspapers frequently and vice-versa. It was accurate reporting (and lack of hometown bias) that busted the U of M men's basketball team years ago for academic fraud. Unfortunately, there are the Janet Cooks and Jayson Blairs that tarnish the reputation of the profession, but not everyone thinks of journalism as making it up. If we're talking cynicism, who's to say I'm not fabricating every detail I recite. I don't, but this is a potential danger of cynicism: you don't trust anyone. As such, he claims that I would be the first to reveal information about Tayler Hill's college selection process or the scoring record controversy (that will likely end in a few games). Sorry to burst your bubble, but I'm not.
Heinz has also commented on my reporting and interviewing style. While he has admitted that he does this sometimes to rile me up, I wonder if I have the right approach in the wrong field. Sports, by default, is designed to be entertaining. However, as I said in my last post, asking people what their favorite pizza topping is won't get you anywhere. I try to have fun with these people, but I always ask serious questions designed to make people think about themselves as players and as students. I have a limited amount of opportunities and don't want to give these people free passes. As such, I emphasize what's happening in the game since that's the most relevant piece of information. It's old by the time we televise, but if we were looking for pure entertainment, I'd be doing another type of show.
My naïvete or Heinz's lack of journalistic training could be altering both our perspectives, but I don't know if it's worth continuing to call games if the cycle of cynicism and obsession with entertainment versus breaking the story continues. When you're on the same beat as other reporters who have a bigger budget and resources available, the goal is to find a way to stand out from the others, which is what I've attempted once I became comfortable with doing play-by-play. However, you can't always get everything and have to trust the work of others when that happens. Everyone's looking for that break, but there is some team play that goes on in journalism and I feel I'm the only one who understands this.
Then again, given what's happened with some teams this year, perhaps there are few who actually care about how good reporters like me cover the field. Perhaps I'm stuck on an old-school model. Sometimes I wish I knew the answers without having to second-guess myself.
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15