Press box blues

Watching a Jets’ game from the press box and then interviewing players afterwards in the locker room isn’t as easy as it looks.

As part of my News Radio Course at Red River College I was given the assignment of covering this weeks’ game between the Jets and the Oilers.

In the days leading up to the game I was very excited. As a student journalist and fan of hockey I wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get this opportunity again. I wanted to take Paul Maurice’s advice and ‘enjoy every minute of it’.

I got to see many of the familiar faces from the Jets’ press core up close. Jets’ GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was also up and about.

With the Hockey Night in Canada crew broadcasting the game I got to see a few of their personnel walking through the press box.

I even shared an elevator with some of the players who were not dressed for the game.

I didn’t prepare any questions because I figured that I would be able to come up with some questions based on what I saw in the game. This was a big mistake.

When I got into the scrums in the locker room afterwards I had to observe the proper etiquette. This
meant that I had to wait as one reporter fired off all of their questions.

I had wanted to ask Trouba about how tricky Jordan Eberle was to defend and how he was able to check him on a break late in the game.

Before I got a chance it had been asked.

I had wanted to ask Scheifele about playing with Eric O’Dell, but once again I was beaten to the punch.

As a journalist I normally wouldn’t care if someone else had asked the questions I wanted answered.

Usually it’s enough just to get the answers you’re looking for.

I just wanted a chance to ask a few questions to some professional hockey players just so I could say that I did.

As the crowds thinned out around Trouba and Scheifele I stuck around for this very reason.

Then something else happened that doesn’t normally happen to me: I froze up.

For the first time since I was a nervous first year journalism student, out for my first streeter, unsure of what I was doing, I was rattled and had a hard time remembering what I wanted to say.

My best questions had been asked and I was left reeling, trying to think of something at least half intelligent, to ask these professional athletes.

I got in a few questions. I’m not too sure who intelligent they were.

At least I didn’t ask:
So, you like hockey?
Is the Hokey Pokey really what it’s all about?
Do these pants make me look fat?
What’s your favourite Taylor Swift song?

It was an awesome experience and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity. If I ever get the chance again I know I’ll do better because I don’t think it’s possible for me to have done any worse.

Go Jets.

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Long time Jets' fan. Went to my first game in 1982 when everyone was talking about Dale Hawerchuk. Still can't believe the team is back. Go Jets Go!!!