I have witnessed many games from the stands of Sanford Stadium but yesterday marked my first day as a member of the media in the press box, and it is an experience that I will not soon forget.
30 minutes before kick-off commences, the first thing that catches my eyes is how massive and loud the student section truly is and how it is packed to the brim. This is something that I believed to have had a grasp of in my mind but for the first time, I could see how full and loud this section of the stadium was even though kick-off was still a half hour away.
However, The vibe in the press box is completely different. The press box is not filled with cheering fans and cries for the Bulldogs, but rather it’s a business type setting, where every reporter is analyzing the team and breaking down the teams every move and mistake.
This sort of deep analyzation occurs best in a setting like the press because although you can hear the fans cheers, they do not completely encompass you and they have less of an effect than if you are out with the fans.
The view from the press box adds to this setting in that it is one of the best seats in the house because it gives a clear view of everything happening on the field from the 22 players, who are actually playing, to the coaches and staff, who are directing them. This view gives members of the press the best opportunity for make analyzations throughout the game
A game like yesterday’s game showed me the highs and lows that a fan base goes through over the course of a game and how each and every play can bring a different wave of emotions over everyone in the stands.
However, It also showed me how the press never has a huge reaction to any play and how all the members of the press often stay calm, cool and collected.
The main thing I learned in my first experience in the press box was that no matter who you are or where you’re from, you are not there to react but rather analyze. If you react in some substantial way, then you are acting as a fan and when you are in the press box you have no team and you are no fan in any way, shape or form.
It is vital as a member of the press to look at each and every play with the mindset of trying to learn something from each team that you may not have known before because it is your job to make examinations and to try to make sense of plays and calls that the average fan may not understand.
A few members of the media helped expand my thinking on this in that they taught me how to look at certain formations and motions within the offense to have a better idea of what is to come on the next play.
Overall, this experience is one of the greatest learning experiences I have ever had in my young journalism career and I hope to have the opportunity to be in the press box in future games.
Taking the spot of journalistic legend Murray Poole for one weekend was a huge honor and truly an unforgettable experience