Friday night football

What exactly do we do on Friday nights to get everything in the newspaper the next day? Well, I am going to take you through a typical Friday night for me.

I work out of the Daily Review office in Hayward. I will usually get into the office in the early afternoon to setup files on the computer for all of the game stories that will be coming in that night. I then get my clipboard and rosters for the game I will be going out to cover. Pretty easy going afternoon.

 But once game time hits, things begin to get crazy. First thing I am thinking before kickoff is: `I hope this game starts on time.’

A lot of the time us prep sports writers will be rooting for the clock. When a team is up more than a touchdown in the fourth quarter, we aren’t happy campers when coaches call a passing play. Don’t get me wrong, we love watching the games and of course coaches have the right to call anything they want, but it doesn’t help us meet our deadline any when the clock is stopped.

As the game moves along, we phone in our scores at the end of each quarter to someone on the copy desk. That person then updates the score on our website. That is how we have the live scoreboard updates Friday night.

That is pretty much it throughout game time. Once the game is over, I take a quick glance at my watch to see how much time I have to grab some quotes from players and coaches.  Usually a game ends around 9:30 p.m. if we are lucky. Depending how far I am from the office, that usually gives me about 10 minutes to make my way around to the players. That, of course, only if the speech the coach gives to his team doesn’t run too long.

 Once the notebook is filled, I hit the road. On the drive back to the office, I am running a ton of different ideas through my head on how to write the game story. Hopefully, I have one by the time I am back inside the office.

Once I am in the office, it becomes game time for me. I usually have about 20-25 minutes (If I am lucky) to write the story and get the boxscore done. It is a huge adrenaline rush and I love every second of it.

After my story, I edit other stories written from the night games and send everything to the copy desk. That’s where the magic happens. The copy desk edits over the stories again and smacks a headline on them (Many people think us writers write the headline. Not true. A copy editor writes headlines and captions).

And there it is, another Friday night in the books. That’s when I go home and turn on the 1 a.m. High School Sports Focus show. For those that seen it last week, yours truly previewed three games to watch this week.

–Michael Bower