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Prep reporters, chime in please

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Norman Stansfield, Sep 9, 2006.

  1. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    It's been quite a while since I stalked the sidelines on a Friday night for a prep game.

    To tell the truth, I miss it quite a bit.

    Here's my question: do you prefer to walk the sidelines or watch the game from the pressbox?

    Take weather out of the equation; I assume most everyone would prefer to be under cover when it's raining/snowing.

    What's the best on a crisp, clear fall evening?

    I personally walked. It was sometimes hard to see plays develop, especially when jockeying for position with players on the sideline in between the 20s. But I always thought it gave me a better sense of how the game was going in general by hearing the pads popping, the coaches yelling and so on up close.
  2. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Press box. I'm too much of a stats perfectionist to chance missing something.
  3. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I've spent most of my career in the press box, but as press boxes have gotten more and more crowded and people have become more uptight about whom they let into the press box, I've come to prefer the sideline.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I wasn't a sideline guy at first but soon got hooked. The details you get down there are just too good, not to mention more concrete stuff like injury news. For stats and stuff, you can lean on the team. Can't tell who recovered the fumble in the pile? Someone on the recovering side will be happy to find out for you. I also liked being close the refs and getting explanations for calls. Enjoy that kind of stuff while you can before moving up to colleges or pros.

    Of course, pay attention too. A female photographer at an old shop of mine took her eye off the ball once for just a moment and got steamrolled. She ended up with a bum ankle but it was amazing she didn't completely blow out her leg.
  5. Terd Ferguson

    Terd Ferguson Member

    Press box if for no other reason than watching plays develop.
    From the sidelines it just looks like 22 people haphazardly crashing into each other. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. From up above it looks like art.
    It's also imperative that I have a place to write during the game. Deadline is typically 15-20 minutes after most of my games are over, so stalking the sidelines isn't an option.
  6. Rosie

    Rosie Active Member

    Sidelines. Without a doubt.

    I like getting the chance to verify calls from the refs, brief comments from the coaches and even sometimes the players. I find I pay more attention to the game on the sidelines as well.

    It's a personal preference thing -- neither way is the "right" way.
  7. rgd

    rgd Guest

    Sidelines. I find it easier to get a feel for the game and I'm able to keep accurrate, running stats. I recently moved from an area where I'd see most reporters walking the sidelines to one where I'm the only one doing it. I asked a new co-worker why so few people seem to stalk the sidelines, and he looked at me like I was nuts for not sitting in the press box. To each his or her own, I guess.

    As a sidenote, I covered a game tonight that had the worst P.A. announcer I've ever heard. He was constantly giving the wrong line and down and distance. It would be third-and-2 and he'd say it was first-and-10, or a team would decline a penalty but he'd announce as though it accepted.
  8. Trey Beamon

    Trey Beamon Active Member

    Sidelines...no contest.

    There, you're able to get some more insight about injuries, game-planning and the emotions that go along with the game. If someone breaks down crying or flings a helmet 15 yards (like tonight) because they sprained an ankle, I see it up close.
  9. Crimson Tide

    Crimson Tide Member


    Too many "self-important" people trying to get in on the action in the pressbox. I did it the first time I covered a game here and couldn't concentrate for all the bullshit being talked. The coaches keep the sidelines free of people who don't need to be there, like obsessive parents.

    Also, the PA/scoreboard guy is really off on yardage.

    I can also usually chat to find out how long until someone comes back from injury, etc.

    But I'm extremely careful. I've already had one knee surgery and have to walk with a cane. I certainly don't need another.
  10. pallister

    pallister Guest

    Like TF, I always preferred the press box to get the persepctive of seeing everyone on the field. I just feel like I might be missing something on every play if I'm at field level.

    Although, from having to stand on the sidelines a few times, you do get good insight into what people are thinking. The chatter that goes on between the players, the players and coaches, coaches and refs can be insightful and lead to questions you'd never think to ask being so far away.
  11. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    Ditto. My stats must be right.
  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Double ditto. Always afraid I'd miss something if I was on the sidelines (don't cover FB now). Never felt comfortable with "seeing" the game well unless I could see the whole game.

    And with the way my then-shop covered preps, I think I more than made up for "insider" info on game night with the details I garnered for previews, features and folos (and incorporating those angles into the gamer, too.)
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