Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ya Gotta Know a Little Bit About Football

I took journalism my freshman year in high school. I had big dreams of being a reporter - notebook and pencil in hand, I would go to the scene of breaking news, collect information, and craft a well-written hard hitting piece. With my name on it of course.

One of my classmates was writing articles for our local give-away newspaper. The paper needed someone to cover high-school football games. My friend recommended me for the job.

There was a hitch. I didn't really know anything about football.

I knew that one side tried to move the ball by either running it or throwing it. The other side tried to stop them. A touchdown was worth 6 points and a field goal was 3 points. The finer points of the game were lost on me. I didn't know what the positions were other than the quarterback. I couldn't tell a linebacker from defensive back. I wasn't off to a good start.

I told my dad I was going to be writing about a football game. He replied, "You don't know anything about football." This time, he was right.

I looked up "football" in my handy encyclopedia. I might as well have been reading Latin.

My first game as a sportswriter was away for a non-league showdown. I rode to the game on the bus with the players. Our coach was an old-school son of New Mexico coal miners. The players wore their helmets in the bus.

Anyway, during the game I tried to take as many notes as possible. I just wrote down player numbers in the hope I would be able to match them to a name later. After the game (a loss for our team) I went home and wrote up the game. When I called the editor at the paper and read the article to him, he was underwhelmed.

Not surprisingly, he found someone else to cover the next game.

I still don't know much about football.


dean said...

Don't fret. I watch it a lot with Brandon and still miss most of the fine points.
Now if you are talking about what the rest of the world calls Footbal I think that you do know a good bit. I wish we had started you sooner.I was too busy playing my own games.

.escamilla. said...

i felt the same when i started covering the hockey games. i did SO much research and listened to commentators to help educate myself. my first article sucked, my last one was pretty snazzy i think.

too bad you got cut, i would've encouraged you to go again and get better.

TimB said...

Micah, when I was 14 it was easier to give up than to get better. I actually have very little interest in covering sports. I think the Fntasy Football geeks are a little... well geeky. I love your sports photos by the way.

If you think about it, I actually am kind of a reporter know (except with more accountability to what I write).

Pop, I don't blame you anymore for not starting me earlier in soccer. If I wanted to be a great soccer player I would have practiced more.

dean said...

Thanks for letting me off the hook.