A play-by-play of an editor’s conscious thought as he covers his first basketball game
Editor in Chief
So this is it. The Bob. Never been before. Thoroughly lost. Ask that guy where to go. Why’s he smirking. He’s smirking at me. No, he’s just smiling. Just a nice guy, not smirking. Ok. Got my media credentials. Ask another guy — this one isn’t smirking he just seems pissed — where press row is. I can’t hear anything. Ask again. Still can’t hear. This crowd is smaller than basketball crowds at my high school and I still can’t hear. Maybe need to see an ear doctor. Third ask. He’s probably pissed now.
So that’s press row. Wow, right there. Plain sight. Really dumb of me. So close to the court. I don’t belong that close to the court, do I? Ok, ask another guy for good measure. Is he smirking or smiling. I don’t give a shit. Yes I do.
Finally found my seat. That was disastrous. Just put that entrance behind you, Caleb. Only like three people saw it. You can rebound. Ha, rebound. Whip out the notepad and laptop. So far so good. Who’s this guy to my left. He looks like he knows what he’s doing. Just focus on yourself, Caleb. He doesn’t matter. He’s a pro. You’re just pinch-hitting. Do I say hi? No, he’s busy. He’s a pro. He really knows what he’s doing. I don’t. At all. Bastard.
Ok. Laptop, notepad. Now what. I don’t know how to do this. I can interview politicians and administrators but how the hell do I cover basketball. Ignore it. Read the New York Times. No, you goddamn news junkie. You’re here to cover basketball. Fine, Washington Post. Stop. News Journal? Close the laptop. Eyes on the court. Look around. See what everyone else is doing. Act like them. For all they know you’re a pro, too. Just pretend.
Oh my god the game’s starting. I have no idea what I’m doing. Ok, notepad at the ready. Stop writing, Caleb. They’re not even playing yet. They’re just warming up. You know, that could’ve been me. That should have been me. I should be warming up. If that bastard coach in seventh grade hadn’t cut me from the basketball team. I was good, too. I was damn good. I should be running out of that tunnel.
No you shouldn’t, Caleb. You were garbage. That’s why you didn’t make the seventh grade basketball team.
They’re playing. This is a disaster. What do I write. I’ve forgotten how to write. This game is an incomprehensible blur. Why are they playing “Let it Rock” on the speakers. That song’s so old. So bad. But it used to get you really fired up, Caleb. Don’t deny it. You listened to that song. On repeat. It used to make your heart race. You wanted to play basketball to that song, Caleb. Then you got cut from the seventh grade basketball team.
I want popcorn.
What the hell’s going on. Text Brandon. He’ll know. Ok, try harder. Watch the damn game. You know how to do this, Caleb. No, the ball’s not going to hit your face. Stop flinching. These guys know what they’re doing. Stop flinching. The ball’s not going to hit your face. Seriously. Stop flinching.
Don’t buy popcorn, Caleb. There’s free food in the media room. But popcorn would be so delicious. No. Resist it. Look at these guys. Look at those muscles. So fit. You’re pathetic, Caleb. You can barely lift a basketball. Wow. I bet they don’t eat popcorn. I just want to play NBA 2K. So much safer and easier. I always used to play on easy and annihilate the enemy by 100 points.
Ok, Caleb, you’re gonna have to write something. Pay attention. How the hell do I write. Wait, it’s starting to come back to me. The NBA 2K knowledge is resurfacing. That’s a pick. There’s a fadeaway. He just “drained one from deep.” You might not have made the seventh grade team but dammit Caleb you can write about basketball unlike those semi-literate washed up jocques who made the seventh grade basketball team that you don’t care about but who haunt you every day yes they do Caleb you still want to be them.
Ow. Just jerked my head in excitement. Why’d you do that. Because the game is heating up. No. Remember, Caleb, you don’t care about this. You’re not supposed to. That’d be so not what you’re supposed to be. You make fun of this shit. Delaware is not first, investment in sports is bad. That’s what you always say. Your head just jerked again, Caleb. Stop it.
This is strange. Something stirring inside me. Am I a, fan? Screw it. I can’t help it.
I still hate YouDee.
Wow, really starting to like this. Haven’t thought about politics for like 1.5 hours. This is nice. Read a thing recently about how sports replaced religion. So true. This is better than church. Maybe I’ll stop reading and writing about politics and news stuff forever. Maybe I’ll just start watching ESPN. Maybe I’ll drop out of school and try playing basketball again.
Is that Tom Carper. Why, Tom Carper, why are you in the bleachers. Just as I was stopping thinking about politics. Kerri Harris wouldn’t be here. She wouldn’t have ruined this for me. I still like you, Tom. I’m not even from Delaware. I didn’t vote for you because I couldn’t. Not sure if I would have. But you’re a good guy, Tom Carper. I’d go on a jog with you. But why’d you have to come to this game.
What the hell, they’re blowing the lead. Pathetic. Inexcusable. I’ll make you regret it. I’ll make you pay with my pen. No I won’t. You can’t editorialize, Caleb. That’s what you tell everyone else on staff. But I’m in charge. I’m the boss. I can editorialize. No I can’t I have principles.
Blue Hens won. Makes for a better headline. I’m happy. Now for the press conference. Where’s that at. I’m lost. Three wrong turns. Do I smell popcorn.
Missed the press conference. Dammit. I have to bike home. It’s cold. Oh well.
I oughta give those guys over in the sports section more credit.