Tell lies and relive the good ole days with former teammate Mark Higgs or join the cameras and storm the podium? That was my conundrum at Monday’s Governor’s Cup luncheon and press conference. In a room that was divided between those with a recording device and large humans with giant rings on their finger, I was smack dab in the middle of an identity crisis. With a body of work that entails all of seven published posts, I was again a rookie. I hate being a rookie.
Press conference purgatory was uncomfortable. Was I going to eat my third hamburger or ask a hard hitting question that ignite keyboards? I choked, I didn’t come close to asking a question and after the first coach’s inquiry, I fell so far behind that I doodled on twitter about my culinary choices and failed attempt at concocting an Arnold Palmer. Reality hit me in the face, I was closer to winning the Heisman than I ever will be to hoisting the Pulitzer.
However, I did study and observe. Lessons learned were substantial as an occupation I formerly assumed wouldn’t be difficult turned into an impossibility. With one hand, journalists were recording video on one phone, tweeting with the other hand all the while formulating their next question all before Stoops finished his initial remarks. After the first question and answer session, another side interview broke out in another room where I was still trying to tweet comments of Mark’s initial question. During that moment, Mark Stoops looked at me embedded with the media and had an expression that screamed, “What the heck are you doing here?” I’ve met Coach several times, he may or may not know who I am. But at that moment, I was asking myself the same question, “what in the heck was I doing there?” The further I fell behind the more I realized that I have to step up my game. I’m consulting with a typing coach in California where I’ve heard sleep deprived participants are asked to type with sandy keyboards with no Thesaurus support.
As a journalist, I’m not quite there yet as was clearly evident by yesterday’s sub-par performance and exhibition of fundamental imperfections. However, I will strive to improve. In my prior life as a football player, staring into cameras with blinding lights, I often wondered, “Just how hard could their jobs be?” Yesterday I learned. Respect.
As we move to September 5th, my minuscule media role will be focused on objectively analyzing games, providing insight, and translating coach speak into fan language. Question and answer sessions are not yet my cup of tea and lemonade.