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Is there actually press-box etiquette?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by The_Equalizer, Sep 4, 2006.

  1. The_Equalizer

    The_Equalizer Member


    You arrive in the press box for a football game at a major Division I-A university 90 minutes before kickoff. But after locating your seat, you find an out-of-towner (from a major midwestern metro) has decided to make it his. He shows no concern (or even realization) that he is in violation of etiquette. He simply chose to move from the first row to the second row in order to better view the replay monitors and the heck with where you're supposed to sit.

    What would you do?

    Just like George Costanza would have, I suspect I stumbled on the correct response five or six hours later, as I leaving the stadium.

    Just curious how you guys would have handled it. I didn't make a scene, but I stewed for a good, long while. Yeah, I know I don't work for a major metro, but I would NEVER just arbitrarily plop myself in someone else's assigned seat in a press box. I might sit somewhere to BS with another writer for a moment or two, but then move along.

    I just thought it took a lot of gall to operate that way. Am I making too much of this?
  2. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    You didn't ask him to move?
  3. sportymcgee

    sportymcgee Member

    He would have, but like he said, it took him six hours to come up with a response.
  4. The_Equalizer

    The_Equalizer Member

    I said, "Hey, I think is my seat." That's pretty clear, I thought.

    He didn't really react, other than suggest - with a gesture - that I should just take the seat next to mine.

    At that point, I had to decide whether to create a scene or let it pass.

    Being much more non-confrontational than I was, say, 10 years ago, I chose to let it pass, but - like George Costanza - I now regret the decision.

    I guess I was just surprised in two ways:

    1. A professional would do that.

    2. When called on it, he acted like it was no big thing.

    These young people today ... ::)
  5. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    If the seats are assigned, just tell him nicely that he's mistakenly taken the wrong seat. Also, there may be a seating chart posted in the press box. Next time ask the fella if he's seen it, or would perhaps like to be shown a copy. Having done so, and getting no response, go to the flack in charge of the box and say "Mr. Major Midwestern Metro has erred in taking a seat not his. How do we rectify this awkward situation to the satisfaction of all parties involved?"

    The other thing to remember is that stuff like this happens everywhere all the time, and that unless the new seat is a material downgrade for you in your ability to do your job, you might as well not get upset about it.
  6. Ledbetter

    Ledbetter Active Member

    I'd have told the guy to get out of my seat. Or at least tell him to make a cash offer for it if he wants it that bad.

    At the SEC tournament I arrived at my seat to find former Mississippi State coach Richard Williams in it, chatting with Wimp and Sonny. He seemed a little surprised when I made him get up.
  7. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    Tell him to move. I don't care what paper he's from.

    At one of the conference basketball tournaments I was at last season, a radio station covering one of the teams set up in four seats when they only had two assigned. Then the beat writer covering the same team plunked down next to them _ with a big cup of Pepsi _ even though his seat was on the other end of the court.

    Beat writer then moves the two chairs between his seat and my seat into the aisle, and an usher comes over and snatches up the two chairs. So he spreads out even more, as do the radio guys.

    Of course, three minutes into the game a loose ball knocks the Pepsi not over the guy, but all over the two places next to mine.

    One of the conference SIDs, who I know pretty well, came over and asked me what was going on. He said he was going to tell the conference officials, but this was going on during his team's game, so he must not have had time.

    At the beginning of the next game, the two writers whose seats those were were not happy.
  8. Double J

    Double J Active Member

    That's why, before you leave for the game, you should always check to make sure you have all your gear:

    * notebook
    * pens and pencils
    * press pass
    * media guide and/or pertinent stats
    * recorder and fresh batteries
    * taser
  9. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    Do this FIRST THING, before you make your own attempts to move him. It's the SID's job; he assigned the seats. And it's not your place to make a scene in the press box; you're not the only one working in there.
  10. WSKY

    WSKY Member

    You should and went and got a soda, and as you're (for the second time) going to your seat, spill it on him. He'd think twice about it next time, considering he's in the wrong spot.

    Or you could have simply got the SID involved.
  11. Running Bear

    Running Bear Member

    I wouldn't even give it a second thought.

    Buddy, get your fat ass outta my seat.

    If he doesn't move, get the SID.

    If the SID won't move him, sit next to him and "accidentally" elbow him every chance you get.

    If he's got a problem, he's got a seat with his name on it waiting for him.
  12. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Active Member

    Might pay to start carrying a squirt gun and air horn in your bag. (Come to think of it, I might do that myself!)
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