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Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Oct 16, 2006.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    The other night when I was covering a high school football game, I brought eight pens with me. I don't think anyone could accuse me of being under-prepared.
    But sure enough, it was a little on the cold side and three plays into the game every single pen I had, all eight of them, was bone-dry. What are the odds of that?
    I ended up borrowing a pencil from a trainer and was able to get through the game OK.
    Obviously, the moral of the story is to use pencils, not pens, but I don't remember having these kinds of problems before with pens. Are pens just not as well-made as they were in the past? Are there any kinds of pens that are more likely to work in cold weather? These were Bic ballpoints, the cheap kind.
  2. sportschick

    sportschick Active Member

    I always used mechanical pencils when it was cold. I'd have prefered a pen (easier to read), but at least I always had a working writing utensil.
  3. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Eight pens? Holy shit. I usually only carry three on me (though I usually have an open package of pens in my bag).

    Bics SUCK. I wouldn't use a Bic with a gun to my head. The pens always run dry quickly...and I cannot tell you how many pairs of jeans I ruined in high school because a Bic pen exploded in my back right pocket.

    I have been an ardent fan of PaperMate for as long as I can remember. They just re-designed the pens and the first pack I bought was pretty shitty, but I've had good luck since then.

    Taters, did you ever think of recording the PBP in your tape recorder? I did that during a particularly frigid football game because it was too goddamn cold to write and it worked out pretty well. I was so cold I didn't care if people were looking at me funny.
  4. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Not a bad idea, but I like to have the written record when I do stats.
  5. Smasher_Sloan

    Smasher_Sloan Active Member

    The new blue Papermates have a barrel that's the same shiny blue as the NY Giants helmets.

    Doesn't hurt to have a Flair or two loaded in your pen stash. They write through anything. If you really want to be prepared, get a fine point Sharpie. They'll work if you have to take notes on McDonald's wrappers.
  6. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    I used one of those Space Pens for years and loved it. Damn thing never froze up on me (although the metal could get a little warm in the summer).
    It was advertised as a pen that would even work under water. Problem was, I never found paper that did the same.
  7. Gutter

    Gutter Well-Known Member

    Try the fine-point Sharpies ... those will do you good in cold weather.
  8. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    And yet, I can picture you underwater, trying...
  9. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    I swear by the blue Papermate medium points and probably have eight in my bag. I hold the pen pretty tight and have snapped the odd one but I've never had one go on me and I work in some pretty cold rinks.
  10. imjustagirl2

    imjustagirl2 New Member

    I've never had a pen freeze on me. I'm glad, now. I never have pencils.

    I prefer fine point. At all times.
  11. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I buy one of those 24-pack fine-point Sharpie's things once a year and comp that bitch to the company. I use the shit out of Sharpie's.

    I use four different-colored pens per game. I color code by quarter to make the stats easier to decipher if I need to break them down by quarter for some reason. Helps with prep basketball gamers more than football, though I rarely do prep basketball anymore.

    I started using that color-code concept for baseball a year or two ago too. Dark color for no-out at-bats, medium color for one-out at-bats, light color for two-out at-bats (that sounds gayish anal, but if you mix that combination up, it doesn't work because a dark color would blot out a no-out light color).

    Amazing how much clearer that system makes your baseball scorebook, especially good for deadline gamers where you don't have a box score/play-by-play to consult.

    The only drawback? Sharpie's bleed through the paper. A lot of old-schoolers also use a color system, but use one of those four-color, four-ball-point mechanical pens.

    However, my gayness is so vast I can't limit myself to red, blue, black and green. I need to jazz it up! Light purple! Gold! Olive green! Tangerine!
  12. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    You can actually buy reporter's pads that are water-proof.
    A photog I know swears by them.
    Put one of those four-in-one pens in you stash. They can be hard to find, but they are outstanding, especially if you color-code. The upside is that even if one color runs out, you still have three more to choose from.
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