You build up hope, but failures all you've known.
Remember all the sadness and frustration
And let it go.
Let it go.
It's two days until the next football game that I'll broadcast and I'm definitely restless. I hate waiting a week for the next game. I know what I did wrong last week. I know how I need to improve my skills. I want to work on it now; not in a few days. I hate waiting for the next game.
What I love most about baseball is also what I hate most. I love that it's daily. I hate that it's daily. Few people understand just how exhausting a season is -- both mentally and physically -- when you play so many games in so few days. But that daily schedule is something I cherish, as a fan and a broadcaster. There's always another day for your team, or for yourself, to gain some redemption, to improve, to re-prove it wasn't a fluke. Yet at the same time, it can be torture on your body, and it wreaks havoc on your social life. Working in baseball, you work every day -- Saturdays, Sundays, holidays -- during the summer months at a time when most people take vacations. The rare days off are usually on Mondays.
When I left college 11 years ago and had my original play-by-play aspirations, I actually felt baseball was my worst sport as an announcer. I thought basketball was my best and football was my second best. But I love baseball most, I understand its history best, and it's just easier for me to talk about it.
When I decided to leave newspapers and try this play by play thing in March, I knew the best path was through minor league baseball. It's not that I necessarily only want to do baseball in my life. Doing football once a week, or basketball 2-4 days a week, seems like a cakewalk compared to seven baseball games a week. But I knew that what I needed most was repetitions. That's the only way to get better. No sport provides repetitions like baseball.
Last week, I was talking to my program director about this topic. He mentioned how there's so many more baseball jobs in the minors than any other sport. The first reason is obvious -- there's so many more minor league baseball teams.
The second reason is less obvious. My theory is that baseball weeds out the weak. A lot of college graduates might think they want to be a baseball broadcaster. But after 100 games, little pay, lack of sleep, constant travel, and the grind of a season, the job can lose its luster. Many don't feel it's worth it, especially after a few years. That's why the lower levels of minor leagues have so much turnover. If you reach the majors, or even Triple-A, you know the drill. You get it. You like it, or you know how to cope with it.
Meanwhile, very few football or basketball announcers (especially college basketball with a season just over 30 games) leave their jobs. Why would you? It's a great gig. The work load isn't that hard. You can still see your family and have a normal life.
I'll broadcast 10 football games over the next 10 weeks. During baseball season, I did approximately 65 games in the same number of weeks. The number of reps is priceless. The progress I made was enormous.
I just hope all those baseball reps help me do football. I remember what I was like after 10 baseball games. I was still very raw, very green, and very much a work-in progress.