Saturday, August 30, 2008

Choke Job (aka Dropping The Ball)

I'm in a decent mood right now, based largely on the fact that I've taken the dog for a walk and I'm guzzling fresh coffee. That always seems to boost my spirits, no matter how down I get. Boy, was I down last night.

Last night was my debut as a sideline reporter for KDWN's high school football game of the week. We'll be broadcasting a game every Friday through December. Well, maybe I won't, but the station will. I was awful last night. Horrible. Want another? OK. How about abysmal? That works, too. I can't remember an assignment or a job that went as poorly for me as my "reporter" job went last night.

Part of the blame goes to technical problems: There was a slight delay in my headphones, meaning that when I spoke, I heard myself a second later. If you've ever experienced this, you know how distracting it can be. For me, it leads to a thing called "mushmouth". I have a hard time getting words out. I always plan ahead what I want to say, and all those thoughts were colliding at once, leading to indecipherable gibberish. Still, after I realized the delay would be with me all game through, I wasn't able to adjust to it. I felt like a rookie, out of place and in way over his head.

At game's end there was the typical round of "good game, fellas", "nice job, Mitch". That kind of thing. The guys I work with aren't the types to get in your face to tell you how much you sucked. I can't imagine them saying in private that I did anywhere close to a respectable job. What bugs me the most is that they were genuinely excited to have me as part of the broadcast team, and I came up empty. I'm still a little down on myself this morning, but you can't fix what's already broken....wait. Sure you can. That's why there are repairmen. Bad analogy. I can't change what happened. That's better. I've gotta shake it off.

Still, leaving the stadium last night, my first instinct was to drive right off the beltway, but I passed. I had a dog to walk this morning.

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