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First night of high school football

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by HejiraHenry, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    It started on Friday for us in Mississippi.

    At 10:30 p.m., I would have told you it might be 12:30 a.m. before we could close, but we missed the 11:45 deadline by about five minutes.

    Six staff-written stories, three 150-word quick hits from our weekly writers, three staff-shot games and a fourth from a trusted freelancer and 23 box scores all packaged in 3 1/2 pages.

    Not a bad start. Last year, Week 1 went so well it sorta frightened me. This was more chaotic, with with more obvious points to improve.

    I'd like 15 more minutes for "quality control," but that's just about every night I guess.
  2. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    11:45 deadline? Oh, how I envy you
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Our first night included a tripleheader that started at 3:30 p.m., when the temperature was about 97 and the heat index was close to 110. They added an extra heat timeout to each quarter, so the second game started 30 minutes late. The third one started around 9 and ended at midnight, and featured a team with a pass-heavy offense. We had a 1 a.m. deadline and still were a few minutes late.
    At least no one died or was seriously hurt, which was a concern given the weather. One of stringer photographers also got wiped out on the sideline right next to me. He avoided the quarterback getting tackled out of bounds, then the QB's leg swung around in a perfect Mortal Kombat style leg whip and took him out. Didn't appear to be hurt, thank goodness.
  4. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    We had 13 games and we missed by about 10 minutes -- had to track down two fringe schools and we had a newbie correspondent who came in and wrote for the first time. This week will be more telling with 20 games.
  5. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I know how chaotic the first week of the season typically is. You guys do a fabulous job and the fact you're reasonably close to deadline while striving to be comprehensive in your coverage earns you a tip of the hat that the average reader won't ever fathom.

    On the other hand....... starting the season this early, especially in the south where the temperatures are dangerously hot, is just insane!!!
  6. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Weird thing is, until this week it had been pretty mild compared to most years. Then we hit the first game day and get our first real stretch of 95-plus temperatures the entire summer.
    Go figure.
  7. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    How many regular season games are they playing now? 10? 11? 12?

    I know Alaska starts early, because by October the weather can potentially make games unplayable, so they need to get the schedule in before winter arrives. Montana pushed its start up one week in order to play a full 10 regular season and get the three weeks of playoffs done before Thanksgiving.

    Other than late-season weather issues, I can't imagine a good reason to start before Labor Day weekend.
  8. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    I do think the large, heavily populated states with tons of schools like Texas, California, Ohio, etc., need to come up with a workable system that doesn't require 5-6 weeks of playoffs after a 10 or 11-week regular season. To expect guys to play every single week from August through Christmas is awfully demanding of teenagers. Even the pros have a bye week mixed in.
  9. 2underpar

    2underpar Active Member

    Tennessee has had the option of playing a Week 0 game for a few years now. Alabama just provided that option this year. Teams have 11 weeks to play 10 games. The first week can be a jamboree or a real game. Teams that played a real game last Friday will have an open week at some point.
  10. ColdCat

    ColdCat Well-Known Member

    Missouri started this week, one week earlier than in year past. Previously it was a nine game regular season followed by playoffs that used a Friday-Wednesday-Monday-Friday format for the first four rounds in order to get it in by Thanksgiving weekend.
    We had 95 degree temps so most games got pushed back an hour. Some folks complained about playing so early, but I'd rather take chances with a warm game in August than play four games in three weeks in November.
  11. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    A number of places where I've worked the playoffs extended into early December. I don't have a huge problem with that if the weather and/or stadiums make it possible. I think going into Christmas break is too long, but the first or second week of December with only the finalists left is doable.

    I also like the idea of allowing teams a bye week during the regular season.

    What I've noticed is the scheduling problems seem to stem from taking too many teams to the playoffs. I suppose the right number varies by state and population. But a 3-7 team should not be playing in post-season.
  12. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Yes, we could tell from the long-range forecast that it was going to heat up right into our opening night. Not quite as bad at the initial forecast of a high of 100-plus on Friday, but hot enough.
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