Monday, January 28, 2013

Winnipeg Jets Intern

Myself and eight other classmates are currently Communications Interns with the Winnipeg Jets organization.

My first game was Sunday night and it was an amazing experience. First of all, the game was great. The pace was fast, there was a lot of scoring and the crowd was electric. Pretty much everything you need to have the supreme sports experience happened on Sunday evening.

It's an internship that you could only get from being in the CreComm program and it shows how deeply rooted CreComm is in Winnipeg.

As a journalist, it was also a little interesting interning on the PR side of things. My primary job before and during games is to hand out the lineup sheet to each teams television and radio broadcasts. I also hand out the lineup to every media member in the press box.

After the games, I got to go back to the journalist side of things and do scrums in the Jets lock room and then attend Claude Noel's post-game press conference.

Evander Kane scored the overtime game winner against the Isles, so naturally, everyone wanted to talk to him. As we waited, the media grew and grew and grew. It was one of the larger scrums that I've been apart of.

And finally Kane entered the locker room and it was a free for all to get in position to get their sound clip or video of the Jets star.

Luckily I was able to get a spot right next to Kane and once I got the clip I needed, I left for the Noel presser.

The press conference was pretty standard. I got my quotes and headed back up to the press box to translate everything and send it off.

So that was my first night as a Jets intern. I have six more games to go and I couldn't be more excited to get back inside the MTS Centre.

My next game is Feb 7 when my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs come to town.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Media and Lance Armstrong

Oh look, another Lance Armstrong post. Anyways, as you all know, Lance Armstrong was on Oprah and admitted that he used performance enhancing drugs during his cycling career.

Shocking...well, not really. And boy did the media eat this up. Besides the fact that we already knew Armstrong cheated, all that was left for him to do was come clean.

And when he did, CNN, Twitter and every sports journalist decided they would milk the story for the rest of time.

I love Twitter as much as anyone else, but for a good solid three or four days, my feed was littered with Armstrong posts. And it's not that I didn't read any stories on Armstrong, because there were a lot of great pieces. It was those who don't pay attention to cycling that pushed me over the edge.

You know that person. The one who watches a half hour video and becomes an extra on *fill in the blank* topic (Cough Kony 2012 Cough).

And don't look now, but J.J. Abrams and Paramount are scheduled to make a film on Armstrong and his fall from grace.

Lucky the media picked up another fascinating case of Manti Te'o and his hoax of a "girlfriend."

At least the jokes coming from this story were funny (See the Dallas Stars).

It'll be interesting to see the next turn the Armstrong saga takes. Hopefully I don't have to hear about it ever again, but I'm not too sure that'll happen.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hockey's back!

It’s sad to think that the NHL’s defining moment this season is the Gary Bettman and Donald Fehr press conference, where they announced that a new CBA had been reached.

But that was the reality of the lockout. After months of bickering to the media, lying to fans and using PR tactics to try to gain an upper hand in negotiations, the two sides finally sat down, and bargained for close to 16 hours.

They walked out of their New York City boardroom in the middle of the morning on a Sunday and gave fans what we’ve been dying to hear for months.

But one question still itches at me and it remains unanswered.

Where was the urgency in the summer?

Unfortunately, fans will never know. The league invited players to sit down and talk about the expiring CBA during last season, but for reasons unknown, nothing ever came to fruition.

But that isn’t the most frustrating part of this lockout. The one thing that really bugged me during the past five months was the inflated egos from both sides.

The #LockoutProblems tweets from many of the players didn’t help their cause. When multi-millionaires are posting pictures of a beachside residence, a hotel view of the Las Vegas Strip, or golfing in Florida, do they expect any pity?

It was insulting and left a bad taste in my mouth. Then you had the #ThePlayers, which was created at the beginning of the lockout to gain support from the fans.

Sorry, there are no good sides during a lockout where millionaires and billionaires are arguing over money.

On the leagues side, Gary Bettman has the attitude that the fans will come back. Will I be back watching hockey? You bet. I wish I was stronger and could boycott the league for the season, but it just isn’t going to happen.

He takes us for granted. Especially in Canadian markets. He knows that every Canadian team will sell out. But what he is gambling on is that southern markets don’t fall off the cliff.

Many organizations were already struggling to stay afloat before this lockout, but with a full season lost, you may see attendance numbers look even worse in places like Phoenix, Tampa Bay, Dallas and other similar markets.

The long-term effect of this dispute has yet to be felt, but I think the league is going to suffer like the MLB did after the work stoppage in the early nineties.
All I know is that I’m tired of seeing the suits, the egos, hearing about revenue, contract lengths and cap issues.

When January 19 rolls around and all 30 teams hit the ice, all will be good in the world again – even if it’s just for those two and a half hours.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Work placement review

Starting in late November, I had the opportunity to intern at the Winnipeg Sun. It was my first work placement that strictly focused on the sports aspect of journalism, and boy did it not disappoint.

First of all, the Sun's newsroom is filled with a great group of people. I worked with Ted Wyman. He assigned me numerous stories everyday and gave me the chance to get a lot of pieces published in the paper.

Even with the lack of NHL news at the time, I still covered a few hockey stories - including a few Winnipeggers making a big mark in the WHL.

My time at the Portage Daily Graphic really helped me during my three weeks at the Sun. In Portage, I would usually write around four stories a day, take my own video/pictures and then upload everything online.

While I did take some pictures and video during my three weeks, the Sun has photographers and people who work on the website, so that was definitely different. Writing two or three stories a day became much easier to do.

Now that I have had some experience on the print side of journalism, I'm looking towards radio and television for my second work placement in April.