Leading off today:
Pardon the interruption, but I'll start off your Wednesday with two thoughts near and dear to the hearts of sportswriters across the country. Regular blogging will resume tonight as I catch up on some of Tuesday's high school sports action plus other developments.
Election night's a disgrace: There was a brutally accurate column on SportsMediaGuy.com a year ago that captures the sentiment of 102 percent of
all newspaper sports reporters and editors.
(If 102 percent seems implausible, then you should watch a news reporter attempt to calculate the percentage increase in a school or town government budget.)
In short, election night requires long hours and extra work by the news staff, which races to get the results of the day's voting into the paper. Management feels obligated to serve some semblance of food -- partly to reward the hard-working staff, partly to keep anyone from heading out for an hour-long lunch at a crucial time.
The tradition is complete and total BS, of course, and the column should help civilians (and maybe one or two editors or publishers) understand why.
Here's an excerpt:
"We in the sports department generally hate Election Night. We roll our eyes at the cityside reporters who talk about working late into the night, who have to deal with fast-breaking news, taking results over the phone, juggling numbers, getting quotes and writing fast stories on tight deadlines.
"And we hate the pizza.
"We hate the fact that citysiders working late get food provided for them. Election Night Pizza is a bonafide thing, it's part of the allure of working the night for citysiders, and it's the thing we in sports hate the most.
"We hate it because the work citysiders do on Election Night is the same work we in sports do every ... damn ... night. Working late into the night, having to deal with fast-breaking news, taking results over the phone, juggling numbers, getting quotes and writing fast stories on tight deadlines. We do this literally every night.
"And we never got pizza. We never had food provided for us in the newsroom. We never celebrated or bragged about the food provided for us. We did our jobs. Every night. Without pizza."
Sure, the view probably seems a bit biased and exaggerated to the average outsider.
It also happens to be true.
Every. Single. Word.
Technology, circa 1985: Not surprisingly, a lot of the people I'm connected to on Facebook come from the journalism world. When I posted the link to a recent Gizmodo.com story regarding a technological marvel from midway through the Reagan Administration, I heard from several of those friends both on Facebook and via email.
Everyone has stories of triumphs and everyone has stories of disasters related to the TRS-80, TRS-100 and TRS-200 laptop computers that were standard equipment for every reporter filing a story from outside the office back then.
They operated on four AA batteries, had no appreciable