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On the beat
May 6, 2008 - John Mehno
I don't know if readers think about or care about the process of sports reporting. You prop the paper up against the Cocoa Krispies box, you read our stuff, you mumble, "What a jerk," you rinse out the coffee cup and you go to work.
On the off chance that you have ever wondered about what our business is like. there's an entry linked above that you might find interesting. While the incident cited is probably an extreme experience, it is a weird world. We don't just invade their workspace or office, we're in their dressing room. That doesn't happen if you cover the U.S. Senate (OK, maybe it does with Ted Kennedy).
I got my first media pass to cover the Pirates when I was 19. I had no business being there because I didn't have the experience to know what I was doing. Beyond that, I was just two years removed from misrepresenting my age to buy the $1 youth general admission ticket. There I was, "covering" guys I'd been cheering for. The distance makes a difference. You get inside and realize quickly that Bob Robertson is sullen, Richie Hebner can't ask what time it is without injecting a few expletives and Al Oliver has a giant persecution complex. But you adjust and come to realize that players are regular people, flaws and all. Some good guys, some to avoid. Just like any other environment.
But it's strange at first, and this guy's blog entry drives the point home. (Caution for language content on the linked entry).