Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I am the least dignified member of the sports press corps ever -- and proud of it 

Yes, I'm the guy who still thinks having access to the field, press box and clubhouses at an NFL game is pretty amazing, and I have to hide the fact that I'm feeling like a kid in a candy store. I didn't pursue a full-time job in sports because I never wanted to be like those miserable, cynical beat reporter guys. If being down on the field for a game-winning Steeler drive ever became "work," I'd have to shoot myself. That's why I prefer doing it only a couple times a year.

But I digress. Quite the game. The Steelers made it more interesting than it had to be, but I must admit I secretly root for close finishes so that my down-on-the-field time is exciting. And that it was.

I was on the cellphone with Jason and -- as promised -- positioned myself shamelessly between the goalposts for Jeff Reed's winning kick. Jason said he saw me when it landed. I actually caught the ball after it hit the screen and bounced off the ground. That's when the NFL Ball Nazi behind me started yelling "Give it back!" I mean, the moment the ball touched my skin. These guys are madmen. For goodness sake, I have a field pass. What, I'm gonna take off and try to outrun security and get fired from my job for a game ball? I guess because most reporters are just too "professional" (insert Chris Farley quotation gesture here) to try to catch it, they always think I'm a bit suspect when I try to get my hands on one for a second.

Anyway, after the Steelers had stopped the Ravens on 4th down to seal the win, I swarmed to the middle of the field, even though my only goal was to take pictures for ye olde blog (my only actual responsibility is to get locker room interviews).

Messiah and Marc both phoned to say there was a very clear shot of me on ABC taking a picture of Hines Ward. Judging by the position of the network camera in the shot below, I'm gonna guess it was this one. Hey, how often do you capture a picture of the camera that was capturing you the very moment you were on national television? I have no idea. Maybe quite often.

Yeah, mostly I just ended up taking shots of ABC's Sam Ryan. Here's Sam's most intense interviewing face, with Ben:

And here is Hines, who's apparently nodded off because Sam's questions are so boring.

And then there is also the NFL Network's Solomon Wilcots. I don't find him quite as attractive as Sam. I think this is a strange picture, because from that angle it looks like Ben is hitting on Solomon, and that Solomon is looking at me for support. Come to think of it, I have no idea why he's looking in my direction at all. And the more I look at it, the weirder it seems. Perhaps it is time to get some sleep.

And finally Ben, looking a little drunk, heads down to the tunnel.

All in all, good times. I also saw Madden in the bathroom. Gave him the men's "what's up" nod. As you can probably tell on TV, he wears a shitload of makeup. So he's a very pink man. Quite large and very pink.

My Mom asked if I saw the MaddenCruiser, and the answer to that is no. I don't know where they park it, but I don't think it's at the stadium. And I also saw no sign of the horse trailer.

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