It's Shawn again...
Most sports anchors will tell you they have at least one re-occurring nightmare... not making it to the set on time. In the nine years I've been working in television, I've literally had that dream, in some variation, dozens of times. It nearly came to fruition Saturday night.
First, a little background information. Forget what you've seen in "Anchorman" and other movies about broadcast news. Most sports anchors in markets like Des Moines are responsible for writing, producing, and editing the video in our sportscasts. It's a lot of multi-tasking. And with games often ending seconds before we go on the air, it's not uncommon for us to get to the set 5 seconds before we "pop up" on camera.
Cut to Saturday night... The 4A state championship game between Ames and SE Polk wraps up about 9:55. Chris Hassel is over at Wells Fargo Arena busting his butt to get the highlights/celebration shot, edited, and "fed" via internet to the station right up to the last minute. It can be a somewhat lengthy process. On Saturday, I put the highlights in our computer server to play on the air about 20 seconds before sports started. Unfortunately, it's a 30 second trip from the computer in the sports office to our set. About the time the last commercial before sports ended, I was hurdling Brett McIntyre in the weather lab. We were in "black" for a few seconds as I struggled to sit down, straighten my tie, and put my mic on. And of course at this point, I'm completely out of breath. Dave Price clued the viewers into what had just happened, as I struggled to not hyper-ventilate. So if I looked and sounded a little off Saturday night, that's why.
I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining. One of the things I love about my job is the rush it provides on an almost daily basis. It's been my experience that viewers sometimes enjoy hearing stories about what happens behind the scenes at Channel 13, so I thought I would share.
And the next time I'm late to the set, I hope I wake up in my bed.