After 21 hours of being awake I am finally in Philly. And now that I’m here, it’s time for some exploration. Needless to say, I am not currently on speaking terms with my body.
First off, a little recap. The News Record asked me to sacrifice the tail end of my spring break (watching Star Trek on my Clifton apartment couch) to traverse across the nation (three states really) and capture the essence (a couple dunk shots, crowd cheers, and some tears) of the NCAA tournament in Philadelphia, PA.
I leaped from my couch, turned off my Trek, donned my photographer’s uniform, and departed at maximum warp!
Starting the trip at midnight in Clifton was an interesting challenge. But it was either that or wake up super early Friday morning to be able to make it to the 2:45 p.m. game. Armed with Red Bulls, 5-hour Energy bottles, and beef jerky, the sports editor Josh and I headed out.
We met very little resistance in the way of speed traps. Really I think midnight and into the morning might be the best time to travel. Not only are there very few cops out to grab you whilst travelling at high speeds, but there is also very little traffic to deal with. Plus when you do stop at those weird 24-hour places, you run into the most interesting of characters. Josh and I ran into a woman working at a Burger King who blamed a lot of things on cell phones. I couldn’t understand everything she said, but so long as I received my bacon, egg, and cheese croissantwich at 5:30 in the morning, I found her to be pleasant as a peach. Apparently fake IDs and computer lock-ups are in cahoots with cellular devices. Who knew?
After some driver-swapping and some nap-having, we made it to Philly around 9 a.m. Friday morning.
5 hours and 45 minutes until game start.
We were able to convince the parking attendants that we were “THE MEDIA” and attained a prime parking space. Hopefully our car will be there when we return.
Life in the press box is really interesting. After going through the casual bag check, we got our credentials, media packets, weird arm band, and headed to the press room to snag a spot to drop our gear and do some preliminary exploring. But first, more coffee.
The press room is an interesting place when in full-swing. Imagine a room full of journalists… cause that’s exactly what it is. Both photographers and writers are hanging out and talking about assignments, swapping stories, writing, editing, blogging, tweeting, getting free food (best perk of the job), and generally having a good time. It’s a gossiper’s dream. So much information is flying around, I had to put noise-cancelling headphones on just to think straight enough to write this.
Anyhoo, more on this later, I’m off to explore! With all this caffeine and no sleep, I’m getting a little antsy. Go ahead and check out my twitter feed (right side of the screen if you’re viewing the desktop version of my blog) @Pdidion for some little inbetweener nuggets (thoughts, pics, jokes, things). I’ll post some Basketball pics later too I think.