1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

the worst assignment

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by henryhenry, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    When I was 20, I was covering short-track auto racing for the summer ... and had to interview a driver who had intentionally rammed another driver into the wall ... except Driver B was killed after Driver A slammed him into the concrete barrier.

    Wasn't confirmed dead 'til after he was airlifted from the track, but everyone knew. Everyone also knew it was intentional because Driver B had spun out Driver A earlier in the race, and he had been gunning for him ever since he got back on the track.

    Boy, that wasn't the easiest interview, especially in the heat of the moment. Got surrounded by 8 of his crew members/posse in the infield when I was trying to talk to the other driver. They slapped my recorder out of my hand, threatened to sue me, threatened to assault me, almost did assault me ... THAT was an experience for this cub reporter, that's for sure.

    Can't imagine the emotions that guy lives with now, though. He's got it a lot worse than I do.
  2. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    My first newspaper job, I was the sports writer on a very small staff, and they sent me out to take pictures of a bridal tea. The hostess took forever to get her shit together and kept running into the kitchen to check on ... I don't know, spinach puffs or something ... and never would stand still long enough to take a picture. When I finally got the group together, she wouldn't stop rapid-firing questions and directions at me, so finally I said, "Shut up and smile," then shot the picture. I've had harder assignments, but that one is still the worst I've had. My career on the society pages died a quick, merciful death after that.
  3. Flash

    Flash Guest

    16-year-old drops dead of heart failure the morning after a lacrosse game. Had shared practice ice with the kid at a private facility. Never was without a smile on his face. Had previously interviewed him about being drafted first round to one of the top WHL teams. Called family and friends ... even had to break the news to a few people.

    There was the initial death story and then there was the funeral story. Still get weepy about it.
  4. KP

    KP Active Member

    What was your first question?
    Knowing Jim a little bit I only have the highest praises for him. Having been in a place where I could talk to him quite a bit about his "hatred" of the media. He said he didn't have a problem with them, he's just very skeptical of people he doesn't know.
  5. azom

    azom Member

    Last March, there was a head coach at the state basketball tournament who had lung cancer. I did the feature on him, and that was tough enough.

    In June, he died. I called several people the day after he died, including his widow, and that was tough.

    I also did a story on a soldier who was on a two-week vacation between tours in Iraq. It's the only time I've ever cried after doing an interview.
  6. "So, you're still not in the Hall of Fame. How does that make you feel?"
  7. Almost_Famous

    Almost_Famous Active Member

    henry, do you run sports media guide? I see you linking to it all the time. that site has some decent interviews. but my first question - who the heck is eli saslow?
  8. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Surprised they didn't just shrug and say, "That's racin'"
  9. swish

    swish New Member

    High school football player was at a party. Playing with a gun in front of friends, he joked about what it would be like to shoot himself in the head. Thinking the gun was unloaded, he carried out the motion. It wasn't. Shot himself in front of a ton of friends. I had to interview his mom, older brother and a few of his teammates and coaches. Had done my best to forget about it; this brought it all back.
  10. Slash

    Slash Member

    When I was interning I had to call the dad of a kid who had drowned while at Boys State the day before. He was obviously upset and was pissed that TV stations were talking about toxicology screenings — in his mind implying his son was drunk or high when he drowned.
  11. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    nope. just a dedicated reader.

    saslow is a revelation to me, too.
  12. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Saslow followed up with the losing school from WV in the game where that kid ran for like 500 yards or something. Most people here felt it was a hell of a story. The most recent one I remember followed a couple of kids in eastern Europe, where ever Peja is from. That too was pretty damn interesting. He's a hell of a writer. Don't know anything else about him except that I really like his work. He'll be doing some big time magazine shit later in life.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page