Mike Kovak

Column Mike Kovak

Mike Kovak is assistant night editor at the Observer-Reporter.

A few things I don’t understand

A few things I do not understand

June 25, 2013

I wish it would just sink in already.

Following pretty much every athletic achievement I’ve ever covered, a reporter – and I’m guilty of this, too – will ask the same, horrific question: “Has ______ sunk in yet?”

No, he or she will answer.

Said person doesn’t know if it ever will.

One day the Earth is going to be upside out, inside down, and we’re going to realize it’s all of these athletic achievements finally sinking in.

That would be strange.

So, too, is the rest of my list of head-scratchers that you come across while covering high school sports.

The others:

Can I see some ID?

After explaining to those working the gate at various high school sporting events that I’m a reporter with the Observer-Reporter, a claim usually supported by the computer I’m lugging or the recorder and clipboard I’m carrying, I’m often asked for identification.

As if using this equipment to skirt the gate fees at high school sporting events – five bucks! – was some sort of grand scheme.

Yes, I know it’d be easier if we issued press passes. We don’t. At least not lanyards.

I carry a card inside my wallet, which I’m forced to show more times than I would expect.

“Let me talk to my team”

Hey coach. Good to see you. Congrats. Talk to you for a minute?

Then the bomb drops.

“Let me talk to my team.”

Are teams going to come apart at the seams, players running in circles, screaming and squirting each other with Super Soakers, if coaches handle media obligations before the postgame talk?

Coaches, nightly deadlines.

Nightly deadlines, coaches.

And what in the name of Vince Lombardi do we think high school kids who just won a game in front of their friends and family are really retaining from this conversation?

No score please

Note to high school public-address announcers: Pretty much 99 percent of the free world has what’s called DVR, including those of us who like to watch sports AND work at night.

Oh, and don’t forget about those nifty things called smart phones.

There might be, believe it or not, a few of us who taped the Penguins game and do not want the score announced.

Those who do – just a guess here – might be able to find it using that Internet thing.

Press boxes

Please change the name of these things.

They are not for press, which last I checked is a term used to describe for those who write things that eventually get printed on a press.

Kids, that’s where your newspapers come from; has nothing to do with an iPad. Or baking.

Maybe call them Parent Boxes?

Or Radio Broadcaster Boxes?

Or the School Administrator Hangout Center.

Rare are the press boxes that allocate space to press.

You’re better than that

Winning teams celebrate – wondering, of course, when everything will sink in.

Before that? They have to “come together as a team,” the most hideous cliché any athlete can offer.

It’s also the most popular among high school kids, hands down.

How has this 12-game winning streak been possible, you might ask? Well, we’ve really come together as a team.

Yes, better than as an individual. And clearly better than a circus, a labor union or a small business.

Please stop this.

You take insanely hard classes and polish them off with AP exams. You make speeches, win awards and get into great schools.

I know there’s more going on in your heads than this.

Ring, ring … ring

Last one. And this one seems popular, though I honestly can’t figure out why.

Call a coach, call a player, no answer, leave a message.

If I can’t answer the return call, it seems the culture today dictates not a message left in return but instead back-to-back return calls.

Why is this? Is this done with the assumption that this is an office phone? I’m curious.

Apparently, old age has finally started to sink in.

Jason Mackey can be reached at jmackey@observer-reporter.com.



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