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For one brief, shining moment, I had my own cheering section

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by pressboxer, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    While not exactly a highlight of my career (or even my week), what happened tonight while covering a high school volleyball match was almost too funny to believe.

    Roughly 30 or so football players from the home school sat right at midcourt and would do the FIRST-name LAST-name (clap, clap, clapclapclap) for the girls that got a kill. The match was turning into something of a blowout and during a timeout called by the visitors I strolled around the end of the court to chase down an assistant coach and get scores of the subvarsity matches played in the auxiliary gym.

    Apparently at loose ends for the moment, not being able to fixate on teenage girls in tight clothes jumping up and down, the football players start chanting PRE-ess BOX-er. It surprised me that so many of them knew me by name, but I guess that at least means they're reading the paper. I was almost able to totally ignore it, but a careless glance in the general direction seemed acknowledgement enough for that bunch.

    The fun was spoiled when the principal went racing over to the stands to discuss such impolite behavior with the boys. So, on the way back to my spot behind the benches, the chant was changed to MIS-ter BOX-er.

    I expected -- and got -- more than a little ribbing from the faculty members in the area, but the charm was somewhat diminished when the guys started chanting other names, including the principal's. They started off calling him MIS-ter.
     
  2. budcrew08

    budcrew08 Active Member

    That's pretty awesome. Especially if you work/live/play in that small town.
     
  3. schiezainc

    schiezainc Well-Known Member

    Over/under on how long it takes someone to come on here and say you're being a homer?

    Oh, and don't wear open-toe sandals. That's unprofessional. :)
     
  4. JackReacher

    JackReacher Well-Known Member

    That's pretty damn funny.
     
  5. Sleeper

    Sleeper Member

    Much better than hearing "NO-one READS-you" or "LOU-sy COL-umns."
     
  6. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    "You're getting laid off."

    Clap, clap, clap clap clap.
     
  7. expendable

    expendable Well-Known Member

    Fixed
     
  8. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    'Read it online.' Clap, clap, clapclapclap.
     
  9. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    I had something like that years ago in one of the small towns I worked for. I was covering local hoops team's game, which meant writing and shooting. My paper liked to do photo pages, so in addition to shooting the game, I would shoot the cheerleaders, fans, timekeepers, etc.

    So one time, I put in a shot of the student section. Next game, they start chanting my name. I thought it was pretty cool, until they indicated they wanted me to take their picture again. Yeah, I did it.

    Third game, they do it again, but this time, I declined. They booed.

    On another funny note, I was covering the school's girls hoops team. One of the seniors, apparently, had some sort of crush on me (I was in my mid-20s and engaged at the time). During a pause in the game, the girl says hi and asks how I'm doing.

    Someone in the student section yells out, for everyone to hear: "Hey (girl's name), quit flirting with Baron!" Girl's face turned three shades of red.
     
  10. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    I'm always impressed when an athlete I cover actually remembers me, especially when he's or she's one of the better-known players on the team.

    One of D.C. United's then-starting defenders/midfielders introduced me to his infant son by name. That was interesting.
     
  11. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

    That's a funny story, pressboxer.

    * * *

    I had a pretty strong relationship with a school up in Vermont a few years ago; I covered 6 schools and covered them intensely. By the second winter up there, I ballooned to 285 and looked pretty gross. One night I stroll into the gym for a hoops game, walk past the student section that was curiously packed at halftime of the JV game thanks to most of the varsity footballers. One of the seniors who always joked around with me says loudly, "Congratulations, Songbird!" I say, "Thanks. For what?" He said, "On the twins you're carrying." Entire student section gets a big kick out of that one. I laugh with it. The next morning is when I started shedding the 60 or so pounds I had gained in two years.

    About 3 years earlier at a paper in southern Vermont, covering another quirky little school, I'm shooting a hoops game under the basket. I'm in the perfect position to capture a high-low backdoor zinger of a pass, only the cutter missed the ball, and it exploded straight into my lower abdomen. I didn't have time to react because the camera was against my eye, and I didn't see where the ball was heading. Packed gym collectively laughs. Good times.
     
  12. DisembodiedOwlHead

    DisembodiedOwlHead Active Member

    My first year out of college covering preps, I was going around to locker rooms in August at the start of football practice. Twice, I was offered helmets by equipment guys who genuinely thought I was on the team. I don't know how I was going to block with a pen and notebook in my hands, but it was a flattering gesture.
     
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