So, you think you want to be a reporter covering an NFL training camp? Well, with apologies to all of the reporters who might find their names appearing below let's veer off the path of talking about the New York Giants. Let's instead give you a little glimpse of what Tuesday looked like for reporters at Quest Diagnostics Training Center for Day 1 of Giants training camp.
There was Kim Jones of NFL Network sitting on the floor waiting for practice to begin, because there was nowhere else for her to chill in the media work room.
There was Jones again (sorry, Kim!!!) filing for NFL.com while sitting in a window sill (yes, a window sill) with her laptop perched on the edge of a table. And yes, go ahead and yell at me for not being a gentleman and offering my seat to Jones. I'm not listening. I drove two-and-one-half hours and got there early enough to get that seat. I wasn't giving it up unless someone like, oh, Jason Pierre-Paul came and hauled me out of it.
There was Ebenezer Samuel of the Daily News arriving in the media room only to find his assigned seat (yes, reporters who are there daily have assigned seats) occupied by someone he did not know. Eb simply tapped the name plate above the desk and shooed the intruder away.
There was Ralph Vacchiano, also of the Daily News, arriving to find out that his assigned seat no longer came with a chair. Ralph promptly went and retrieved the chair from the thief. How did Vacchiano know which chair was his? Well, I didn't ask.
There was the call for reporters to come to lunch at 10:45 a.m. Yes, it was free and yes it was good. But, shoot, 10:45? Has anybody really even digested their breakfast at 10:45?
There was the female reporter in several-inch heels walking gingerly through the rock-lined area many reporters were gathered in during practice.
There was Connor Hughes of Big Blue Interactive (and occasionally Big Blue View) begging for a pen when he got to the practice field. OK, that has nothing to do with anything other than me wanting to give the young BBI reporter grief for showing up unprepared.
There was yours truly asking Antrel Rolle to give me a few seconds to take a picture of his annual outlandish camp-opening haircut only to be blown off because Rolle had to hop into a cart and go do a different interview, likely with ESPN. I can't even describe Rolle's cut. That's what the picture would have been for. By the way, I'm not mad at Rolle, just bummed I didn't get the picture.
There were at least a dozen reporters and multiple cameras converging on pretty much every player who came out to talk to the assembled media. Throngs of media members three- and four-deep were normal for players like Victor Cruz or coach Tom Coughlin.
None of this amounts to anything, really. For me, there is nothing I would really rather do for work. The media madness will subside as camp rolls along, and it will be easier to get real work done. Just thought I'd give you a glimpse of what it's like from this side.