Tales From the Road 2010: Broadcasting Outside In Columbus

Columbus, OH–In this modern sports era of get-as-much-money-as-you-can-and-give-the-media-the-shaft, the Columbus Clippers have come up with a novel idea.  They decided to not put the press box behind homeplate at Huntington Park.  They split it into two boxes, one down the first base line and the other down the third base line.  However, someone must have come in right at the end and said:  “Hey, what about your radio broadcasters?  Will they be able to see the game?” 

The answer of course, was:  “Who cares?”  However, they did decide to come up with something that they thought would work out just fine.  In Columbus, we broadcast outside from the bar.  That’s right in Columbus; you can get a beer, get drunk, get loud and bother the radio broadcasters.  They are sitting right next to you. 

Before I go further, I need to say that we have option to work inside in the box down the third base line instead of outside with the patrons.  In 2009, I decided to stay inside.  This season, I made the decision to go outside.

Big mistake.

Game one in Columbus was just fine.  As a matter of fact, the ambience was great.  Good crowd noise, exciting game.  But game two and three were different.  To my immediate left is a place for two or three people to sit and enjoy the game.  There is also a ledge for fans to sit their drinks and food on.  They can also bang on that ledge if they wish.  And they usually do.  It is made of cast iron and it makes a heck of a sound.  It also is horrible for broadcasters, like me, who try to use a stick mic on a stand instead of a headset.

Sunday night in Columbus, Grandma and Grandpa Jones decided to come to the game with their two grandchildren.  The little boy, let’s call him Johnny, apparently had tourette’s.  He banged on the ledge all night.  I should have said something, but I didn’t.  My mistake. 

Not as big as a mistake as I made by broadcasting from that location.  The next time in Columbus I will go back inside.  The location from the bar, although good in theory, and a great vantage point, is a horrible idea.  Let them drink the beer and baby sit the kids without me.  I am going to the press box.

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