Football fever’s begun to blaze redder than the imminent autumn leaves as SC
gears up for a new season on the turf. Last year’s NCAA controversy and
lukewarm record left us plenty of future triumph to work toward; as a deeply
enthusiastic Trojan if usually confused viewer of sports, this reporter set out
personally to ask the team about the pressure, their hopes, and the world’s
I arrived at the historic south campus practice field on a golden, fading
afternoon. The warm air was thick with determination, courage, and raw roars of
teamwork and camaraderie as I approached the enormous wall – standing like a
big, red fortress, protecting their work from unauthorized eyes.
I greeted the man at the doors with a friendly wave of my press pass, which he
returned with a friendly hand barring my way and informed me that I needed to
be on “the list” for entrance. Family and close friends only. I
stressed both the urgency of my report and its classic Trojan chin-up, will-do
spirit after explaining how much time I spent designing my press pass.
Pretending to comply with my eviction from the site, I strolled around the
field in search of another entry way or vantage point.
From where I was expertly hiding from the doorman behind some bushes, the air
still appeared to be thick with determination and raw roars of camaraderie, so
I hadn’t missed much. I heard a fair amount of grunting and what I recognized
to be football players hitting each other, as well as people yelling many of
what I assumed to be football terms (“hike” and “coach”
among them). Some whistle-blowing occurred repeatedly and was, in my opinion,
Unfortunately, I was so engrossed my friend the doorman had time to discover me
and insist again that I leave, citing “official policy” and the fact
that he looked very strong.
Just like that, my story was over.
But then I remembered something. I remembered that, according to the movies
I’ve seen, sports are about not giving up. They’re about working against
insurmountable odds, appearing to be beaten, but getting the girl and winning
in the end because of the heart and sacrifice you poured into the glory of the
I also remembered I knew which fences to climb to get to the other side of the
Not only did I make it to the side
blessedly opposite the discompassionate doorman, but it sounded like everybody
was gathered very close to where I stood! I took the opportunity to yell over
the fence and start up a very fortunate action interview.
Campus Basement: Hello? Matt Barkley?
Possibly Matt Barkley: …Did anyone else hear that?
CB: Lane Kiffin?
PMB: Who’s out there?
CB: I am blanking on the other football names.
PMB: What do you think you’re doing?
CB: Myself and my readers are wondering about the pressure, the ex-
PMB: You should probably leave, you’re not supposed to be over there.
CB: …I just noticed it sounds like you are a woman. Are you Matt Barkley’s
PMBM: Get away from the fence.
CB: Do you have anything you’d like to say to our readers about your hopes –
Having gathered what I needed, I quickly wrapped up.
Upon reflection, I must admit my
inaugural Preseason Action Report left me with more questions than answers.
What is the team’s plan moving forward? Whose mom was that? And why is football
journalism so much harder than just writing jokes about drinking? The answers,
and more, can probably be found with a legitimate reporter.