Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Opening Day at the Friendly Confines

Well yesterday was an interesting opening day to say the least. About a month ago my TV station applied for media credentials at the Friendly Confines since the Brew Crew was opening the season there. More than a month after applying we somehow got rejected (supposedly due to the influx of Japanese media covering Kosuke Fukudome's debut with the Cubs) just days before the opener leaving our plan in shambles. How do I cover opening day with exactly zero access to the game?

Well our new plan consisted of myself and a news reporter covering the pre-game festivities from 11:00-11:00, followed by us finding a sports bar or friend's apartment to watch the game at and then once the game ended we'd have to drive back to Wrigley and do our post-game recap. Keep in mind this plan was hatched late Sunday night with little regard for the weather forecast, parking or general maneuvering around Wrigleyville on Opening Day.

So we wake up Monday morning to light rain showers around 9:30am. We head down to the ballpark at 10:30, find ez out parking for $25 but we had to be out of the spot by noon, giving us a little more than an hour to cover the pre-game festivites. At about 11:30 a downpour hit so we're trying to cover people tailgating and heading to ballpark and there all rushing in to avoid the showers. At noon we wrapped up but had nowhere nearby to go, so we headed back to my Mom's place in Evanston to watch the game. Of the next five hours I spent 4hours 59minutes in this position watching the game (professional journalism at its best). Brewers go up 3-0 in the 9th so we try to beat traffic and head back to Wrigley. We heard the Fukudome jack and the go ahead sac fly on the radio and we got to Wrigley and parked at 6:00. Now I had to be on air at 6:07, and I had to find where the Milwaukee station was to poach off their satellite time. Luckily the first corner I turned I practically ran into them doing a live shot, hopped on right after they were done and got my re-cap on air with only 30 or so drunk Cubs fans behind me screaming obscenities.

I had never fully come to appreciate how obnoxious and intoxicated Cubs fans can be until I had to try and do a post-game recap outside of Wrigley (and I'm as die-hard a Cubs fan as there is). Literally every single intoxicated yahoo would walk by screaming Brewers suck or worse and try to either hug or push or somehow get on TV and the guys from Milwaukee had it about 10 times worse than I did. The report I did for the 10 o'clock news was not as aggravating to try and pull off since we nudged ourselves back from the sidewalk a bit, but I can say I'm just glad I don't have to do that on a daily basis.

Overall, two rain delays totaling 90 minutes along with a 4-3 thriller made for a heck of an opening day, but the real excitement was trying to cover the game with absolutely no access.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

still couldnt be as bad Chiefs fans