Friday’s McAlester-Booker T. Washington football game drew some attention from the big city. A crew from a Tulsa television station showed up several hours early, interviewing everyone from players to cheerleaders to tailgaters, and a Tulsa World reporter drove down to write up the game as well.
I’d met this reporter last year, when he came down for McAlester-Bishop Kelley. With not much else to do and an hour until kickoff, I went up to the press box to talk to him.
It turns out we disagree on many aspects of our job. While I see features as a time-saver that balances out the workload against three-hour football games, he said gamers are far quicker to write, and they tend to be less “over-written” (not sure what he meant by that).
He also spent the entire game in the press box (something I do for baseball games but not other sports), while I was down on the field shooting video. When I explained my reasons, he kind of dismissed me, saying, “What do I know? I’ve only been doing this for about 50 years.”
Granted, staying in the press box allowed him to simultaneously keep a play-by-play log and a stat sheet, while my strategy demands an additional hour of work post-game to figure out the stats. That also allowed him to do more updating of the paper’s website at halftime, whereas I basically posted a photo to Facebook.
But I read the story he wrote, and while it was a bit tighter than mine, it contained a major factual error: On the Buffs’ final play of the game, quarterback Dalton Wood targeted a played in the end zone different from the one this reporter indicated.
As of Monday night, that error is still there.
Messing up the recipient of a 5-yard pass in the middle of the second quarter. But this play was without question one of the five most important plays of the game. And because I was much closer to the action and active in my coverage, I got the play right, and the other guy got it wrong.
And for that, I feel pretty good.
Here’s what I wrote last week.