Monday, March 12, 2007

Me and DP in Cow Town

I worked another NBA remote this past weekend. This time in Sacramento as the Kings played the visiting Denver Nuggets. Last week in Phoenix I hung back and tried to stay out of the way and get to know people and let them get to know me. This week, familiarity led to comfort and some of the principles I was supporting were glad to see me again.

On game day, I was walking into the arena trailing almost all of our on-air talent including Dan Patrick. (For those who do not watch ESPN, my wife included, DP is one of our biggest and brightest talents.) Everyone had their credentials out except Dan as we approached the security guard. Dan starts to dig into his bag for it when asked by security, and I am shocked that the guard does not recognize him. Half in jest and half serious I say that I will vouch for Dan. The guard looks at my credential and says, "OK, Randy, I'll remember you if anything happens." Classic! DP then tells me that last week in Phoenix he had similar issues getting onto the floor to do the pregame even though he was all miked up and holding a script. Don't these people know who we are? We are ESPN, kneel at our feet infidels. Sorry I had a 300 moment there. Great movie by the way.

Now that I had a rapport with DP, during downtime he and Michael Wilbon had more direct conversations with me unlike last week when I was the proverbial fly on the wall trying to laugh at all the appropriate times and shut up the rest of the time. For the uninformed, to talk basketball and sports with these two, plus a former NBA player, Jon Barry, it really doesn't get any better than this when you are a sports fan. Talk about job satisfaction, setup computers. Watch NBA game. Talk to sportcasters about the game. Get paid.

By the way, this is a low maintenance gig. One to two hours of setup, one hour of tear down and maybe one hour of actual fixing or supporting things if it is busy. The rest of the time is being on hand in case it breaks. This week to keep busy I was enlisted/volunteered to help the grips and camera folks with the Chinese fire drill where we roll out 3 cameras, lights, monitors, desk, chairs and signage onto the floor for the pregame, halftime report and if needed, post game fill. Because it is live TV you need to haul ass. It's fun, fast and furious, and of course once you are out there you stay out there until the segment is completed. Then you do it all in reverse. All the while you are at half court on an NBA floor watching players warm up and stretch not 10 feet away. You stand BS-ing with the other crew members, checking out the fans in the stands and watching these athletes get ready to play. And these are some large people out there. Talk about feeling small. I am 6'7" 260lbs and I felt little. Finally the best part, as we came back on the air for the post game wrap up, I made it on TV with Dan Patrick. It's a little fuzzy on the picture so I labelled who I am in it.

Me Sacto
That's ME with my hands in my pocket.