Friday, June 20, 2008

College World Series Recap

I've been in Omaha for more than a week now, and I've discovered how hard it is to write every day.  Between the games themselves and going out with my co-workers, I've had little time to sleep, much less write.  Thus, I'm forced to provide a brief recap of the week at the College World Series.  

Sunday, June 15
Carolina wins its first game, an opening-round, 8-4 victory over the LSU Tigers.  I worked the second machine on that one, meaning I was on the Viz that provides full screens such as brackets and anything with a large headshot.  Building graphics on that machine isn't as intense as on the first machine because there's not as much to build in-game.  So I was able to watch and enjoy how strong the Heels looked.

After the game, I went back to the hotel to have drinks in the lobby bar.  (This is a sad tradition of TV crews; if you're ever looking for a TV crew in a hotel, stop by the bar first.)  Anyway, while I was at the bar, I spotted a man wearing a UNC shirt, so of course, I had to say "hello" to him.  Turns out he's a 1989 graduate of North Carolina  - one year ahead of me - and was in town to run the AT&T booth at the College World Series Fan Fest at Rosenblatt Stadium.  His company brought in former baseball players to sit at the booth and sign autographs, which ultimately led the fans to purchase cell phones and plans from AT&T.  One of the former baseball players on hand was B.J. Surhoff, who happened to be standing behind us at the bar. He was talking to an unknown gentleman, locked in what appeared to be a serious conversation.  For that reason, my new friend and fellow Tar Heel didn't feel comfortable interrupting the former Carolina star and first round MLB draft pick to introduce me to him.  I was sad, but certainly understood.  I mean, what was I going to say to him, other than, "Hi, I went to Carolina, too"? 

After toasting our beloved fathers on this Father's Day, my co-worker Derek -  one of the other Viz operators -  and I walked to The Old Mattress Factory, a new bar a block away from the hotel.  Other than a handful of ESPN people, there weren't many people there.  We still ended up having a good time.  

Monday, June 16
I suppose the good time I had the previous night was too much of a good time.  I overslept.  I woke up ten minutes before I was supposed to be at the truck.  Fortunately, the guys who were waiting for me in the car downstairs didn't care, and I was running the second Viz for the first game, so I wasn't freaking out.  Mistakes were made during the Florida State/Miami game, but nothing that I would attribute to staying out late the previous night.  

During the game between Stanford and Georgia on Monday night, North Carolina head coach Mike Fox was interviewed by Erin Andrews.  He talked about the experience his team has and how you can't teach  experience, but only hope that it, combined with playing good baseball, will help Carolina win the national championship after two consecutive years of being the runner-up.  After his interview, he took out his camcorder and took a panoramic shot of the booth.  Our camera guy was still shooting Fox doing this, so our director put the shot on the air.  Mike Patrick, one of our announcers, wondered aloud if Mike Fox was enjoying his time here in Omaha.  He even asked Coach Fox if he wanted to run camera for our crew.  It was a nice moment.  

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There's much more to this recap, but I have to stop here and head to the stadium.  North Carolina and LSU resume their suspended game tonight.  (That's part of the recap!)

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