The nerves of covering a home opener

I had been in the BC Place press box many times before, but never have I dealt with the pressures of covering a home/season opener of a professional sports team. Well, as part of my internship with Metro News in March of 2015, I was tasked to do just that.

On March 7, 2015 I walked into the press box of BC Place about 40 minutes before the Vancouver Whitecaps were set to kickoff their season against star-studded Toronto FC, only to find press row to be packed with reporters. Along with all of the big media outlets that were present, media members from Toronto had made the trip out west for this one — Sportsnet and TSN were well represented. Who wanted to miss Sebastian Giovinco’s MLS debut?

I had never seen the press box this full before. Usually you’re able to recognize every reporter present as there’s only ever a handful of Vancouver media present — The Province, The Vancouver Sun, News 1130, Metro, Vancouver 24 hrs, TSN 1040 and Vancouver based Yahoo sports reporters.

With so many new faces in attendance, you’re just trying to look like you belong and know what you’re doing — especially as a young reporter.

Safe to say I was more than a bit nervous for this one.

As the game wore on I ferociously took notes on the important highlights of the match and began writing my recap. With Toronto FC holding on to a slim lead late in the game, I was just hoping that I wouldn’t have to do the dreaded sports reporter rewrite — when a team scores late to change the outcome. Yeah, those suck for a reporter on deadline.

When Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore scored on a penalty late in the dying minutes of the match, I knew I had my headline and lead. All I was missing were my quotes.

It took about an hour after the game to collect all of my audio from players and coaches and insert the quotes I wanted into my story. At this point, you’re really at the mercy of the players — will they speak to the media on time? will they even answer my questions fully?

There are so many things that are out of your control as a reporter, but I can’t deny that there is just something about a print reporter working to deadline.

Nothing matches that adrenaline rush.