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Covering HS football: from the press box or sidelines?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by wisportswriter, Nov 9, 2009.

?

When covering a HS football game, do you sit ...

Poll closed Nov 14, 2009.
  1. in the press box.

    22 vote(s)
    36.1%
  2. on the sidelines.

    39 vote(s)
    63.9%
  1. I'm guessing this has been covered here before, but the other HS football press boxes thread got me to thinking.

    I am always in the press box. In fact, it amazes me that guys - like 2 of my colleagues - do it from the sidelines.
    The game of football is won and lost at the line of scrimmage, and you can't see any of what's going on in there from the sideline.
     
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Where does the head coach stand?
     
  3. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    Illogical, and I prefer to be on the sideline.
    Head coach needs to talk to players during the game. He needs to work the officials. You do not need to do either of those things.
     
  4. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    Press box.

    I used to do sidelines, but it's damned hard to live blog, call in score-by-score updates and still keep accurate stats while trying to get a good view between a bunch of sophomore and junior reserves between the 30s. If this were 1999 instead of 2009, I'd be down there.
     
  5. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    It all depends upon the adequacy of the press box facilities. If they've got ample room set aside for the media, I'll stay upstairs.

    But if you've got to cram your way in between the PA guy, the clock operator and the principal's wife and kids, I'll stick to the sideline. Sometimes it just depends on the size of the school.

    One drawback of the sideline is if there's a blocked kick or turnover across the field and the ball is advanced for a TD or big gain, it's hard to tell where a ball was recovered. And there's always the possibility of getting waylaid on an out-of-bounds play.

    But sometimes it pays to be down there. You get to listen in on the coaches' and players' conversations, such as when they're wavering whether or not to kick or go for it. That kind of stuff can help you in post-game interviews.
     
  6. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    Where do the play callers sit with headphones on in order to relay info to the head coach?
     
  7. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    One other benefit of being on the sideline that I didn't mention ...

    You get to hear the referee's explanations for penalties or controversial rulings. They'll come over to the coaches and explain them. As much as high school fans bitch about the referees, knowing the reasoning behind a particular ruling can really help.
     
  8. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    That last graph, plus your point on refs, was the difference for me in being a sideline guy as much as possible. Sure, you can see plays develop, etc., from the box better, but it's high school. The emotion factor is a bigger deal, imo, and better for the writing, and you can't get a handle on the emotional flow from the press box.

    But yeah, keep your eyes peeled. A photographer friend of mine had her knee blown out once when she turned away from the ball for just a few seconds.
     
  9. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    My vote is the visiting team's sideline. Besides the reasons mentioned above regarding coach, player and officials' conversations, you can also ask around when the mysterious No. 33, who is not listed on the roster, scores a touchdown for the visitors.

    If the visiting team loses and you're not able to track the coach down later, it's always fun to put "No. 33" in the box score.

    I've also enjoyed the jokes and commentary of the chain gang over the years.
     
  10. Bubbler

    Bubbler Active Member

    Exactly. Sideliners are going to be an increasingly dying breed because of it.
     
  11. Scouter

    Scouter Member

    Unless the weather is nasty, I'm on the sideline. It's a pretty easy decision for me because I cover small-school football and the press boxes usually aren't very big. I'd much rather walk the sidelines on a nice night than sit for a couple hours in a crowded box on a crappy seat.
     
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    I love being on the sideline with a notebook and a camera.
     
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