Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How I spent my summer vacation

It's funny to think about all the misconceptions about the sports information profession - or any job in the sports media realm.

When I was a sports reporter/editor at a newspaper, I cracked up every time when someone said to me, "Man, it must be great getting paid to watch sports." Like that was the only thing I did. To be honest, going to and/or watching a game was not even half of my job. Probably less than 10 percent of my time was spent at a game with the rest of my time being ate up by either writing, editing, laying out the section, developing film (yes, I had to that back in the day) and driving to and from the office, games and/or interviews.

Along the same lines of that myth is the one that SIDs have little to do during the summer. "There aren't any games going on, right???" is the argument.

While there aren't any games going on during the summer months, there is more than enough work to keep a SID busy. B-E-L-I-E-V-E M-E!!!

Summertime is used to tie up loose ends from the previous sports year (update record books, finalize stats, etc., etc.) and to gear up for the upcoming sports year (update player and coaching bios, compile the new schedules and rosters, ramp up work on the new media guides, etc., etc.). In addition to that, there are other little projects that tweaking and adding some new bells and whistles to the website.

I also tend my 'pet' projects. I have a lot of things I want to do but time does not generally allow me to work on them during the sports year (which by the way runs from mid-August through the end of May for me). And there is no way I can ever get to them all during one summer, so I aim to tackle one, sometimes two during the summer. For example, this year I compiled a Top 10 list for all the season individual records for our baseball program.

The only difference about life for a SID during the summer months is that working late is a rarity. Oh, and one does not feel as rushed to get things done summer - like you do during the sports year. Life is much more relaxed.

NOT SURE WHY, BUT THIS BUGS ME ...

I guess it's a hazard of my job, but grammatical errors bug me. Not just in stories and release, but even in social-media settings like Twitter, Facebook and the like. It kills me to see 'your' used in place of 'you're'. And you've got to love the confusion that the words 'there', 'their' and 'they're' brings.

Now, I realize that in social media one needs to be a little relaxed on spelling at times and abbreviations are used for words due to space constraints (only 140 characters allowed on Twitters and that includes spaces) and because people are in hurry and can't type tons in a short about time (I know I'd much rather type 'LOL' or 'LMBO' than say 'that was so funny, I can't stop laughing at that').

Still, the grammatical errors drive me nuts. I know I hate my typos and all, and I even edit myself when chatting online - provided I catch myself for hitting "Enter".

I guess this is in part of my love for the written word. I love to read, so much so that even after spending much of my day writing and looking at other people's writings, I enjoy picking up a good book (especially a baseball historical book, a biography or a good suspenseful, fiction thriller).

All I know is when I see a grammatical gaffe it brings out my inner professor and my desire for red ink.

Oh, and before anyone gets the notion that I believe I'm perfect in regards of being grammatically correct, let me assure that I detest finding mistakes in my work. When it comes to writing, I'm a perfectionist and my worst critic. (I have proofed this blog 10 times already and will likely proof it 10 more times before posting. LOL) But then again, who isn't their worst critic?

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