Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Nine Years in The Making

Almost 4 years ago to the day I pulled all my press passes off my living room wall and started organizing them in a picture frame. I love looking at it, it was a reminder to me of what I had done in those first 5 years. Today I sat down and put together a new press pass picture frame. I left the center unfinished, at first I tried to get them so there wasn't any empty space, then I thought of something, I'll leave gaps in the middle, to remind me I did not leave the news world on my terms. I would have at least wanted to have been in the business for 10 years, a decade, but I came up short by a year, 9 years of a career. I did a lot and I just want to list some of the things I was able to do. If it was not for my position as a photographer, I'd probably never get to do most of these things (In complete random order).

  • 2003-2005 Ohio football championship games

  • 2004-2006 Boys and Girls state championships- I love football more, but every year these games were played on my birthday. What a way to spend that day, working a 13 hour day in the Schottenstein Center with a bunch of other media people.

  • 2003 MAC Basketball Tournament- I was in West Virginia and the number two guy became ill and I had to do this tournament by myself. I learned how to manage my time.

  • Jessica Lynch Homecoming Parade- Saw my video on the Daily Show

  • 2002 MAC Football Championship- Toledo beat Marshall in Toledo.

  • Marshall at Troy- The first time I ever had to deal with 90 degree weather in October.

  • 7 Presidential visits- I only have four badges, I gave a few away. A great privilege, to see the President, but a pain in the ass to deal with. The Secret Service just had to have all media at these events 4 hours early.

  • Went to an event with Governor Bush.

  • Bowling Green at Ohio State- Took Shorty along and BG lost by 7. I took a lot of great pictures at this game.

  • 2005 Fiesta Bowl- My favorite Ohio News Network moments, too bad I had a sinus infection or this would have been the greatest moment. Funny side story, the bomb squad dog thought my camera was explosives; security loved that.

  • 3 Obama events- I even got to ride around with the traveling media, that's where I learned a lot of those guys at pretentious bastards. No offense, but to tell me to sit in the back of the bus was uncalled for. Still, I was 50 feet from our President-elect.

  • 2005 & 2006 Ohio Wrestling championships- This will sound strange but The Wife loved covering the wrestling championships with me. She would log everything and we spent the whole day together. It would kill my back, but quality time on the clock with The Wife is always great.

  • 2003-2005 Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds- It felt like every time I went to either park something strange or ridiculous would happen. Example 1: At the Indians I was dizzy and needed sugar and my battery in my wireless went out. I scurried over to the wireless and my sports director asked what I was doing. I said; "I'm out of juice." Some sports writer thought I said something about Jews. I almost got banned from Jacobs Field because I slipped back into my southern Ohio accent. Example 2, Chud and I were hungry and did not want to pay for the food the Red had for the media (I think it was chicken or maybe fish... couldn't tell) We ask the media info guy who was maybe a few months shy of 100; "You go up the stairs... rumnamnana then you humramanana. We turn and and say thank you and any time someone needed directions we would state; "Go up the stairs rumamahadana."

  • 2004-2006 Indianapolis 500- I loved going to the 500, well going the weeks before the actual race. It's impressive how large that track is and how fast these cars move. Favorite moment, asking Helio Castroneves for an interview, he gives us the sign for 1 minute, turns, and goes into the bathroom. He comes back out and give a great interview. I always wondered if he washed his hands. Favorite phrase: There's a window over Terra Haute. I said it once and almost got DJL to spit out his salad.

  • 2003 Motor City Bowl- GO BG!

  • 2006 & 2007 NCAA Basketball tournament- I covered UNC as they choked in the elite 8 and then the Final Four. The first year I had to cover the first two rounds by myself and mind you I had never shot a game or interview about UNC that year, big learning curve about the team for me. Favorite moment; yelling at Dan Dakich.

  • 2003 Memorial Golf Tournament- Most memorable thing was on the final day, I sat at 1 till the leaders past, ran to hole 2. Mind you I was carrying a 40 pound two piece camera, a 20 pound tripod, 20 pound back pack with water and tapes. I get the leaders and sit and bake in the sun on number 8. Then run up hill to number 9. I had an intern and she started caring the back pack and I was out of water. I run over to 11 and finally head back to 18. By the walk up hill on 18, the intern too the tripod as well. The sports director Moose thought I was going to die. I found out later he had the interns watch me and had them keep giving me Gatorade and water. I finished off 5 20 ounce Gatorade and 6 bottle of 24 ounces.

  • Virginia Tech Shootings- The only time I started to break down on a story.

  • 2005 MLB Home Run Derby- I saw Big Papi crank balls out of the park and into the river. The balls were literally flying in front of my face and I was in the upper upper left field.

  • 2006 Cleveland Cavalier playoffs- LeBron looked like he was older than me (he's 7 years younger) and I almost had flames burn my eyebrows off.

I also covered events like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a sniper running around West Virginia and then another on in Columbus. A hurricane off the Carolina coast and much much more. I had 9 eventful years and even though I did not go out on the terms I wanted, I still have all the great memories and they can never take those from me.

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