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Monthly Archives: January 2007

I missed out on WCRD softball play-by-play. Just the latest in a long line of failures for me – men’s basketball, anything of value in the fall schedule, CSL (five times in a row now), going all the way back to PNN for that matter.

I’m a glutton for punishment.

The irony of the whole situation is that the only job I can seem to earn – NewsWatch sports anchoring – is the one job I really don’t have any interest in doing at all beyond college. Figures.

A. Bob

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I’m original, so I’m going to steal Phil’s entry about hopes and dreams from senior year. Of course, mine haven’t changed so much since I’ve only been here three years, but they have been adjusted slightly.

When I was a senior, all I wanted to do was to be on TV news. My plan at the time was to go to IU, get a job as a sports anchor somewhere, and the rest was history.

Well, somewhere along the way, the plans changed. In October of my senior year, I visited Butler and liked it so much I decided to apply. It seemed like the ideal place for me – the school was almost exactly the size of my high school (2800 in the high school, about 4000 in the college), the dorms were close together, it was a small campus, it was 5-10 miles from downtown Indy…what could be better?

As it happened, I got in – sometimes I wonder if I took enough advantage of my 1340 SAT score and 3.35 GPA at one of the best high schools in the state, because if it could get me into Butler, what else could it have done? But, back to business.

In April, our PNN class went to Ball State for a day. I almost didn’t go, but I decided to. This may have been my all-time best decision. The campus didn’t bowl me over with homeliness the way Butler’s had, but even as an impressionable 17-year-old with no clue what he was doing, I could tell BSU’s facilities blew Butler’s off the charts. I’d already been accepted to BSU, having applied there as my fourth choice. Butler, IU, and of course ND were my other choices. ND rejected me – I thought my fairly high SAT scores along with my “legacy” status (my dad’s an alum) might make up for my less than stellar GPA, but it didn’t work out that way. Anyway, I abruptly reversed course (I’d even already applied for housing and gotten the name of my roommate – Patrick Cynkar – which my best friend and I still joke about on occasion) and went to Ball State. On top of everything else, my roommate situation was golden, as my friend and co-sports anchor Eric Ryan wanted to room with me.

Well, it just so happens that three years later, Butler basically has no TCOM program (a lot of their kids transferred here) and BSU’s just keeps getting better. However, some things have changed. For one thing, Eric’s not my roommate. He decided to room with a friend he made here his sophomore year, and then that friend decided on a house instead, leaving us both high and dry. Now I live with a friend I made freshman year, and next year I’ll be living with WCRD colleagues Levin and Chris, which should be exciting.

I no longer want anything to do with TV news, particularly with TV sports news, at least the local news model. This is where Ball State’s one major flaw originates – they think everything here revolves around TV news. No classes to my knowledge exist for a TCOM student that does not want to do TV news, but instead wants to do radio, or Webcasting, or something else. I’ve discovered that what I’m likely best at is radio sports play-by-play…ironic considering I’ve done one half of a high school football game in that role, but I felt very natural in the role. I also feel natural in the role of radio sports personality. My show with Eric was a thought-provoking and entertaining show last year, and it’s carried over to the Hour of Power this year.

Of course, Ball State emphasizes TV news even while telling anyone that wants to do sports that it’s a dead field – which is completely oxymoronic in my opinion…if you’re so sure it’s a dead field, create some sort of new curriculum that gets sports people in fields where they can be successful! But anyways…

Now that I’ve blazed through that little story, life’s alright, I guess. My first package for 426 (and the first package, after four years of experience on shows, that I’ll ever have done for air) looks like it just might be a success, as I have good B-roll of Micah Rollin (my subject) and great soundbites from him and coach Thompson at the press conference today. Sales class, well, not so much. I took it to gain experience because I know that for a time, Mike Perleberg (or maybe it was just someone he knew…anyway) was a sales rep during the weeks and a sports guy on weekends, so I figured I’d prepare myself for it. Well, turns out I got a crappy client list (two of my five do it corporately, so I won’t get anything from them, and I haven’t had any luck with the other three so far either), and I can’t forget that the two things I’m worst at – kissing ass and convincing people of things – are coming together in this instance. It isn’t good.

But it’s late and I need sleep (damn early classes).

A. Bob

The single best thing that has changed about me in the last year and a half or so is that I don’t take shit from people anymore. If someone’s screwing me over, I’m usually pretty good about calling them on it.

I just wish I didn’t have to take so much shit to prove that I won’t tolerate it.

I guess I’m pretty good at anchoring – I didn’t think I did very well in my return to NewsWatch Sports last night but everyone thought I was really good. Well, if true, then that’s great. It’s nice not to have to work my butt off to be good at something for once.

I’m going to be screwed in at least one activity. I can tell that I’m going to bomb 345 or 426, because I simply don’t have time to do well in both of them.

A. Bob

I think the world would benefit greatly if more people would be bluntly honest once in a while instead of beating around the bush or making up some stupid crap as an excuse.

This semester is simultaneously going to be the best and worst semester of my schooling life.

Best – because I finally have a car here, thereby saving me from any more ridiculous situations like the walks home from late-night meetings and Sunday-night radio shows. Since BSU stops caring if you have a parking pass after 5 pm, I can drive to my Monday and Wednesday night classes as well as any meetings that we have. On top of all this, my newfound transportation has resulted in Bobby and I finally resuming our basketball games that didn’t happen once in the entire fall semester due to my inability to get anywhere. Oh, and they don’t care about passes on weekends at all, which means I can drive to any weekend event.

Worst – because this semester is going to be the most work I’ve ever had in my life. Tcom 426 includes a weekly news show on Wednesday nights. That means it’s likely that just about every week, I’m either going to have to do a package, help someone else do a package, or produce. Tcom 345 requires you to be a member of the WCRD sales staff, which means I have to sell. I’ve never been good at sucking up, kissing ass, or whatever you want to call it, and I’m definitely not great at convincing people of things, so this could be a complete disaster. The only silver lining is that if I do manage to figure it out, I’ll get a commission – ten percent – on whatever I sell. In addition to all of this, I have to do graphic design in J103, read things until they come out my ears in Pols 290 and SpSt 200, and keep up with the news for Tcom 288. And as if all of this wasn’t enough, I have to do the two stories for News 202 last semester that no one else was able to do either. And finally, I’m probably going to have my busiest extracurricular semester ever – I’m still co-hosting the Hour of Power, I’ll probably be broadcasting softball in some capacity (play by play or color, nobody knows yet due to a management shakeup in the sports department that has everyone confused), I’m still going to CSL shows every Thursday just to make myself useful, and, in a last-ditch realization that I’m in dire need of airtime for the sake of a job, I rejoined NewsWatch Sports after a two-semester hiatus and will be anchoring that every other Thursday.

Whew.

In other news, I was rejected by yet another girl (Elizabeth, the freshman I went out with way back in November and never had a chance to ask out again due to school obligations, gave me the complete BS “friends” line, which I saw coming anyway so I could laugh at it), I went to a men’s volleyball match for the first time ever (we lost to Penn State 3 games to 0), Chris, his roommate Nate, Levin and I signed the lease to live together at Windermere Place next year (4 BR, 4 BA, a big-screen in the front room, and furniture all for 350 a month – not bad), and I’m currently in the process of once again trying to get over an ill-conceived crush on a good friend (being helped along a tad by the fact that it’s becoming increasingly obvious that no matter how close of friends we become, I’m still miles behind just about every other guy at BSU on her dating list).

It’s been quite a first week, huh?

I once again got the giant financial aid refund check that will help me get through this semester, and once again have started to blow through it immediately on textbooks, dues fees for extracurriculars, and my cell phone bill. We’ll see what the status is after I get done with that.

Anyways, just wanted to let everyone know I am alive and breathing as usual.

A. Bob

So, as it turned out, the actual Sugar Bowl was a disappointment – no surprises there. I’ve now been present for the worst two losses of the Weis Era – Michigan and LSU this year – as well as the most hard-to-get-over loss of the Weis Era – USC last year. I’m still not over that. They’re 2-3 in the Weis Era with me there, 17-3 without me. Maybe I should go to fewer games…

But, the trip went well.

We drove down New Year’s evening – 15 hours. Didn’t seem that long even though I couldn’t sleep, partly because of anticipation and partly because I knew I needed to sleep (when I know I need sleep, I can’t sleep). By the time we got there it was about 10 in the morning on the 2nd. After my dad listened to some lady talk for about 10 years about what to do in New Orleans at a visitor center, we went to the city and checked in to the hotel, where a cool bellhop kept telling us he hated LSU even though he’d grown up in Louisiana. Dunno why he thought we were ND fans – maybe it was Connor’s Brady Quinn Sugar Bowl jersey, maybe it was my Brady Quinn green jersey, maybe it was my backwards ND hat, and maybe it was Megan wearing “The Shirt”. One of the four, I’m sure.

We chilled for a while, then went out to see what the city had to offer, which in this case meant Jackson Square and Cafe DuMonde’s wonderful beignets (beignets are basically elephant donuts that taste like elephant ears with powdered sugar on them – yes, they’re as good as they sound). We went through a cathedral, then walked down Bourbon Street, which in midafternoon was relatively tame. Eventually, we ended up at the Mississippi River dock, where we stumbled across a Sugar Bowl fanfest (literally, we didn’t know where it was till we got there). So we tried the passing game of hitting the receivers through the little holes. Me and Connor each hit the 1st guy perfect, but couldn’t come close on the last two. My dad whiffed all three. Then we kicked a PAT. We all missed, and I didn’t even get the ball off the ground. Then we went to the FG challenge. If you made a 25-yarder, you could have a chance to kick the field goal at halftime like the guy did on TV. We all missed, with me again failing to get the ball airborne and my dad nearly booting it into the Mississippi River about 40 yards to the right of the right upright.

At 4 was a pep rally for fans which was kind of lame because no one knew what the chants were or what the hand motions to do during particular songs were, plus the speakers (Michael Stonebreaker and Frank Stams from the 1988 championship team, and Tim Brown) made lame jokes. Stams’s was that if your colors are purple and yellow, you can’t be called the Tigers, only the Fairies. Har, har, har. The best part was leading up to the rally, when we followed the ND marching band down Canal Street singing the Victory March. Now THAT’s what a bowl should be like.

We headed out to Bourbon again afterwards, and it got dark pretty quickly, which meant the fun began. Let me tell you from experience that the Bourbon Street life is exactly as weird as you’d pictured it. I didn’t see any nudity (at least live nudity – there are pictures plastered on the outside walls of clubs and such that’ll make you blush), but it was loud, there was jazz playing, and the debauchery was in full force. My dad even let me and Connor have some gumbo – and we both liked it so much that my brother was obsessed with it the rest of the trip. On the way out of that restaurant, I happened to run into Kelsey Doll, who I was in PNN with my junior year and now attends LSU (talk about the height of randomness). My dad was off and walking again, so we only got to exchange good luck wishes before I had to keep walking. Then we went back to the hotel, watched some of the Orange Bowl, and immediately went to sleep. We were exhausted from the ride down.

On the 3rd, we headed over to the island of Algiers, where there’s this place – Mardi Gras World – that has floats and such. My dad and sister wanted to check it out, so we hopped a boat over there and took a tour. It was alright, I guess, with a couple of cool floats and whatnot, including a Reggie Bush one. Then we went back across to the city and Jackson Square for lunch, where we nearly witnessed a full-blown street fight. A drunk redneck (drunk already?) stumbled into a group of jazz musicians playing on the sidewalk and, I guess, insulted them or something, causing one belligerent player to start yelling at him. Once surrounded by about four angry black men armed with trumpets, the guy decided he’d had enough and wandered off, which kept us from bearing witness to a beatdown.

Back on Bourbon Street, Connor started collecting beads (people were throwing them around at this point). One girl tried to get him to say “Go Tigers” in exchange for a particularly nice collection, but Connor refused like I knew he would. Later, a woman (I didn’t actually see this, so I dunno if she was an LSU fan or what) gave Connor a purple bead necklace that had a gold football at the end (who knows why). Connor being Connor, he ripped the gold football off the necklace and simply handed the purple beads back to a now-shocked woman.

Off to the Sugar Bowl Fan Jam outside the Superdome (it was about 5 by now). Booths abound. I happened upon a Taco Bell-sponsored taco-shaped Sugar Bowl hat and put it on for a while. There was a Cingular booth where a guy was asking random trivia questions of the fans – normally, to be fair, he’d stick with SEC questions for the Tiger faithful and Midwestern questions for the Irish fans, with occasional sprinkles of actual LSU or ND questions. I got a very simple question (who was ND’s QB in 1993? – Kevin McDougal) but also some more difficult ones. First to three won, and I won the first one my correctly guessing that Alabama had more bowl losses than any other team in history. I got a pocket radio that I’ll likely never use for my efforts. I lost trying to defend my title when the guy gave 2 points to a little kid who happened to guess that Georgia had won two SEC titles since divisional play began (I knew that answer). Connor got his face painted like a leprechaun’s beard (with his long red hair, no surprise).

Once inside, everything’s pretty much a blur. We couldn’t hear the band very well due to the ads and the PA announcer, and the fact that we were in the 600 levels. Seeing ND come out of their tunnel, even though instead of the Victory March we were treated to a stupid highlight reel of them on the Jumbotron, was amazing. Then, when we came back from down 14-0 early to tie it up at 14, the small little ND alcove of the Superdome (ginormous) had all the momentum and it looked like we might just be waking up the echoes.

Then JaMarcus simply threw it up in the air and watched his receiver go and get it for a big gain en route to a later TD. Why every team that’s played ND in the last two years hasn’t run that play repeatedly is beyond me, because thanks to Ty we have a terrible secondary, just awful. Things got ugly from there and I just stayed quiet the rest of the game.

The trip was great – I’m just annoyed it ended in a clunker.

Last night I had to drive my little brother back to IU before coming back to school and arriving just past midnight. I’m still exhausted and I’m having to go through all sorts of crap to get into classes and such on top of it. Plus I have a terrible Monday schedule with classes at 10, then 2, then 6.

A. Bob