Ward: Journalism? More like athleticism
Jimmy Ward | Monday, November 25, 2019
Journalism should definitely be considered a sport.
Saturday night, I had the privilege of covering Notre Dame’s last home game. As the only reporter from The Observer present at the game, I pulled off some superhuman athletic feats that all mankind should be proud of. The press box is equipped with some nice food, a soda fountain and plenty of Dasani water bottles.
When I arrived at the game I made my first mistake. I grabbed some spicy trail mix, lemonade and a bottle of water. The trail mix was far too hot for my mouth, so I washed it down immediately with my lemonade. But my mouth was still too hot. I refilled my lemonade, and it was empty a few minutes later. My mouth still thirsty, so I downed my bottle of water.
This was a big mistake; as the only reporter covering the game, I had no one to cover my post if I left for a bathroom break. I held it until halftime, but my mouth was still parched from the spicy trail mix. I grabbed another water bottle, much to my bladder’s dismay. In the second half, I discovered I had simply put too many fluids into my body. I found myself rushing to the bathroom during the short media timeouts, and when need be after touchdowns. I ran like an Olympic track star — in a collared shirt and dress shoes — to the bathrooms about three or four more times before heading down to the field for the press conference with five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
In the elevator down to the field, I followed the game via my fellow journalists’ Twitter accounts, not wanting to miss a big play despite the game clearly being a blowout and not mattering much at this point. Standing on the sidelines, I was able to avoid the woes my photographer friends like Allison Thornton face every game. This year, in fact, she was nearly run over by 6’4”, 229 lb wide receiver Chase Claypool.
But as I made my trek down to the field, I pulled off an incredible balancing act —my dress shoes, with virtually no traction, nearly failed me on the wet stadium steps, but I was able to catch myself, saving my dignity.
The press conference was held in a format different than it normally is. They typically bring in a player who had a big game to the podium first, usually Ian Book, and then have other players scattered throughout the room following their interview. But on Senior Day, they brought in a wide range of seniors at once. I performed my most athletic feat of the night during this time.
I was interviewing senior defensive lineman Adetokunbo Ogundeji when they brought in Book. When it was announced that Book was entering the room, two guys — one holding a camera and another holding a microphone connected to the camera — whipped around to try to get as close to Book as possible. The cord to the mic dropped to the ground, and the guys needed to get around me quickly. I was faced with a split-second decision: Do I go over the cord risking tripping over it and wiping out, or attempt to go under and risk messing up the intricacies of their expensive equipment? At the last second the man holding the mic picked up the cord and I shrunk down so they could sweep past me. This whole exchange happened in a split second.
Surely only a truly athletic journalist like myself could pull off such a smooth maneuver, in dress clothes and my press badge dangling around my neck no less. I didn’t miss a beat, and I got the rest of the quotes for my feature on Ogundeji.
What an athlete. They should let me work out at the gym in the Gug.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.