NCAA Final Four Day 1-Early Observations
I get to the work room where a handful of media members are gathered. This is a large room filled with tables, power strips, TV monitors, lunchroom, bathrooms, WiFi (so far all passwords are Prince related), and snacks. You must stay fed you know. Not going to say no to free coffee and popcorn.
One thing you have to get used to right away is people staring at your stomach. Why? They are reading your credential to see where you are from. Interesting. It’s almost like a sizing up of who is here. Another quick observation is that it is easy to pick out who is television media and who is radio/print media. The television media are ready for the camera and the rest of us…not so much.
We have had no access to teams yet, but that will change in a little while. The media will go from a room full of people that are spread out to a scrum trying to get interviews, sound, and the perfect shot. Bring it on.
Is that Jim Gray?
By: Mike Resendez
Getting into the stadium was a normal process. Security line and bag check. Got lost in the back hallways and finally found the correct elevator to take me to the basement of the People’s Stadium. The NCAA has fully taken over the place. New signage, more people milling about, and access to different areas that I haven’t been allowed in before.
As I followed new signs to the media workroom, I came across my first “I can’t believe that I am here.”, moment. A slew of Virginia fans lined up to get their access to the team practice coming up later today. As I turned the corner, I was met with the Auburn team walking from their locker room to the court for their closed practice. Was that Bruce Pearl? Yes, yes it was. Is this real life?
So far the experience of the 2019 NCAA Final Four in Minneapolis has been a surreal experience. It started off as a normal press coverage event me. Grab a coffee at the gas station, find a parking spot on a side street, hop on the Green Line and get off at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The first indication that this was like no other event I have covered was the separate media credential trailer across the street from the stadium. Usually, for a Minnesota State High School League State Tournament I would be able to walk into the stadium and pick up my credential. Right away I was greeted by local media, team media, national media, and international media. But, like I was told at Brown Institute many years ago, walk in confident even if you have no idea where to be and no one will be able tell the difference.
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