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Behind the Scenes of a Producer, Not a Sports Reporter

First of all, I’m not a sports reporter. I am a producer for The Matt Townsend Show- a show about self-help and relationships. That means I’ve read countless articles and books on how to communicate with your spouse, how to find your soul mate, how to find inner contentment. You can ask me a question about your crazy uncle or your dreaded high school reunion and I could probably rattle off something I read online or heard on the air- but ask me about a no-hitter game and I’ve got no clue.

So The Matt Townsend Team decided to send me out to my first college baseball game to do a little radio segment on it. Sounded fun, but… how would I even begin? Where should I go to find out who BYU was playing against? My boss introduced me to the university’s sports website. Well, a first time for everything. I called up the media guy and the next thing I knew he was getting me an interview with the coach. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Remember- I’m not a sports reporter. I just wanted to get a few quotes from the fans and figure out what college baseball was all about.

“Well, there’s a national reporter that’s coming and wants to speak with the coach, but we’ll get you your own interview first- as long as it doesn’t take too long,” the PR guy said.

What? I didn’t ask to speak with the coach- I don’t even know what I’d say.

“Oh, that’s ok, really, let that reporter go first,” I quickly replied.

“No, no, you called in first. Don’t worry- we’ll get you your interview.” Uhhh… riiight that interview I didn’t ask for. So then I had to figure out what to ask the coach.

I got to the baseball game and flashed my spiffy media badge and they let me right in. The baseball atmosphere was exciting. Everyone was happy, music beat on the speakers overhead, and sometimes the stadium fell to a hush and all you could hear was the distant clink of the bat hitting the ball. I watched for a minute…. And then another minute ticked by… the baseball players were still standing around. Man, this was going to be a long night if it kept on like this. I had to get up and talk to some fans.

Interviews are my favorite part; I love getting to know people’s opinions and experiences. Some people quickly looked away when they saw me coming with my microphone, others tried throwing their friends under the bus and pushed them towards me. Some people got so caught up in the game they forgot they were in the middle of an interview. Their jaw just dropped mid-sentence as they watched the ball soar through the air.

After a few interviews I returned to my seat. One of the interviewees behind me said he was glad I came back.

“I thought you’d left and I thought you were crazy! This is a no-hitter! You’re lucky you got to come to this game!”

Oh yeah, the game. I’d forgotten to watch it. No-hitter? What does that even mean? Remember- I’m not a sports reporter. Sounded like it would be an awfully boring game to me- isn’t the point to hit the ball? Huh. Well I took his word for it and just cheered along with him like I knew exactly what I was doing.

The game was coming to a close and I got a text from the PR guy.

Meet me after the game in the box.

The box? Oh dear, what is that? I was picturing some random guy standing in a cardboard box somewhere. Sounded like quite a sight so I kept looking around. Nooo cardboard boxes…. I looked around for anything that looked boxish and large enough for two people to meet in… nothing. Finally, I sheepishly turned around to the interviewee behind me.

“Excuse me…. Do you know where the ‘box’ is?” He looked at me for a moment.

“The media box?” He turned and pointed to the top of the bleachers. Literally like the whole top floor of the bleachers was a big room… kind of hard to miss. Dang it. Cover blown. In my defense… it didn’t look very boxish to me. Whatever.  They had offered me seats there for the game- but I thought- who wants to sit in a box to watch a game?? Sounded horribly constricting.

“If you couldn’t tell… I’m not a sports reporter,” I told him. I’m sure the clarification wasn’t necessary. The interview with the coach went great. He’s a nice guy. And his office is pristine and kind of smells like new car. I’d like to think things went smoothly for the most part after that, except that I had announced the game was at the football stadium instead of the baseball field… whoops… thought they had the same name. Teehee.

Later I recorded a voice over, edited the interviews, aired it, and went back to booking guests and reading up on crazy uncles and dreaded high school reunions. That’s what I love about my job. Here on The Matt Townsend Show you can become anything you want- a voice-overer, an editor, a booker, a random-article-reader … and, I guess, even a sports reporter.

Listen to the segment here

Written by: Liana Tan, Student Producer for The Matt Townsend Show

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