Yes, I too came to Syracuse University to work in sports. Although 2020 has been an unprecedented year for the world, college sports have been impacted massively. You do not see people in the stands in the photograph above, and that is not because the game has not started yet. It is because no fans are allowed in the Carrier Dome during games. Fortunately for me, the media is.
I was able to attend Syracuse’s second game in the dome on Oct. 10 vs Duke. In an ideal situation, I would have a videographer with me, I would be able to go down on to the field, get a feel for the game, watch the warmups, etc, etc. However, this year has been anything but ideal. The mere fact that I was able to get in the game had me geeked.
This was a ‘never-have-I-ever’ sort of experience for me. I wanted to take complete advantage of the position I was in. Even though I did not have a professional camera with me or a videographer, I took it upon myself to get ‘my reps’ in. I purchased a tripod for my iPhone (not necessary, but it helped with stabilizing my phone) and as soon as I got to the Carrier Dome, I started shooting stand-ups. I even uploaded one on my Instagram story. It is not ideal, but if I did not do anything, I might as well have watched the game from home.
One more thing I tried to do while in the press box was introduced myself to the people sitting around me (reporters and columnists from Syracuse). I was not able to talk to as many as I would have liked, mainly due to social distancing and the COVID-19 dynamic that we must all deal with, I still introduced myself to as many people as a ‘student reporter at Newhouse’ and was able to make some contacts.
Even if it’s not the perfect situation (when does that happen, anyway?), as a young person who is trying to learn the business of working in sports, doing everything you possibly can on your own is more important than anything else. You have to shoot, write, think on your feet (on your bum, in this case), attend a press conference right after the game, write your best story, and publish it.
COVID-19 or not, chances like this do not come by often. Everyone in that press box was there because their jobs allowed them access, I was there as a student at Newhouse, doing exactly what those professionals were doing. This experience was unmatched, and to think I get to do it all over again during basketball season, and much more often, gives me the chills, honestly.