Behind The Mic: Road Follies, Part 1

I make no bones about it: I love my job.

In fact, it’s a Twitter hashtag I use when I post from various venues throughout the broadcast season (#lovemyjob). I’m fortunate to do what I do, and if I didn’t always appreciate that fact when I was younger I most certainly do now.

One benefit of experience (getting older?) is the ability to anticipate issues before they happen. Unlike the bigger schools in large conferences, our network doesn’t have an exclusive, on-site engineer to set up, test, and tear down the equipment. For better or worse, I am he.

UHaul? Self Haul

That’s why when we go on the road for a Furman football broadcast it looks like I’ve packed for a month-long trip overseas. I have a large, rolling suitcase; a computer bag; and a backpack. All stuffed to the very limits with enough equipment, wires, plugs and – yes – duct tape to handle nearly any problems that come up.

Though you might not guess by watching me lug all that stuff around, the fact that technology has advanced so much has actually streamlined things. For instance, I’m no longer carrying an actual land line-style telephone (kids, ask your parents), and 25-50 feet of telephone cord. And there are other bits and pieces of broadcast history that have found their way into the junk closet.

But I’m determined to be prepared. I always take more stuff than I need, and much to the chagrin of some of the broadcast crew, I insist on being on-site a full three hours prior to airtime. At least. Which is four-and-a-half hours prior to kickoff. We wake up a lot of parking lot security when we arrive at a venue.

Potential Book Deal?

Why all this, you ask?

I could tell you dozens of stories to answer that question. In fact, Tom Van Hoy and I have threatened to write a book about life on the road as a small-market broadcaster. Even have the title: I Spent A Month In Statesboro One Weekend. Subtitled – I Bet Bob Costas Never Had To Do This.

Next time, I’ll share one or two of those stories. Especially one night in Abbeville, SC.

Until next time…God Bless!