Friday, April 7, 2017

Press 2 For Schedules Of Upcoming Events

Manish Mehta covers the New York Jets for the New York Daily News.

It's a very high-stress job, even if it has its glamorous moments. He is constantly on call, constantly on social media, constantly under pressure to beat the competition for any and all Jets' news.

Luckily for Manish, he can draw on his background of working in the Princeton Office of Athletic Communications to help him through the tough times.

Manish, like TigerBlog a Penn grad, worked as an intern in the OAC in the 1990s. He wasn't quite cut out for the athletic communications life, as his invitation one day to a freelance photographer to "take this outside and settle it there" possibly indicated. TigerBlog can tell that story now because 1) it's been more than 20 years, and 2) Manish wouldn't actually have done it. TB thinks, anyway.

Very few people who have worked in this office through the years have brought more fun to the place than Manish did every day. He was always going down some interesting road or another, always smiling, always laughing, always making everyone else laugh, always .

Manish would have done a lot better here in the new world of athletic communications, which began a few years after he left with the advent of and continued through the evolution from media relations organization (not his strength) to media relations outlet (very much his strength).

He's gone on to find his niche in life, in a world where a certain amount of daily confrontation is a good thing. It takes some courage to do what he does - be critical of NFL players in the paper or on social media and then walk into the locker room the next day. Would you want to do that? Most of the people you see on TV or hear on sports talk radio don't have the guts to do that.

Beyond that edge, Manish remains the same happy, good-natured person he's always been. It's always good to see him.

Manish recently sent a text to TB and David Rosenfeld, another OAC alum, that started this conversation:
Manish: What was the name of that phone recording system we used to have for game results
TB: The Tiger Sportsline
Manish: Yessssss!!!!!!!! I was just saying how great we were on that. I had so many parents tell me they loved that.
TB: Press 1 for scores only.
David: Sponsored by Bell Atlantic Nynex Mobile, the heart of communication
Manish: Hahahahahahahah

By the way, David just wrote a great piece on his experience with the early Trenton Thunder minor league baseball teams as its official scorer for a local Baltimore sports blog. You can read it HERE.

Ah, the glorious Tiger Sportsline. Maybe you remember it? Way back when, it was the fastest way to get scores of Princeton events, and even a highlight or two.

If you dialed 609.258.3545, you'd hear the option to choose one of four mailboxes: 1 for scores only, 2 for upcoming events, 3 for highlights from men's sports, 4) highlights from women's sports. If you pressed "2," you had a really, really good chance of hearing the schedule of games from several weeks prior, as TB was in charge of updating it and rarely remembered.

In its prime, the Tiger Sportsline was a source of information, frustration, humor, consternation and every else you could think of. Why? Well, let's see. If there a bunch of events on a given day, you either had to constantly leave a new message at the end of the previous one for scores or highlights or you had to erase that message and record a new one that had all of the previous information included.

Plus, it was a very unforgiving system. If you wanted to leave a one-minute recap of some great game and you got 55 seconds of the way in but then stumbled on a word or made a mistake, you had to erase it and start over. On some nights, it could take TB longer to update the Sportsline than it does now to write a blog each day.

Anyway, in honor of mailbox two of the old Tiger Sportsline, TigerBlog will show you the absolute best way to get schedules of upcoming events:

Click HERE.

There. That's how.

It's another typically busy spring weekend for Princeton teams, with 28 events featuring, if TB has counted right, 15 teams. That's a lot of events and would have made for a really long Tiger Sportsline.

For the home schedule, there's Princeton women's lacrosse tomorrow at home against Harvard. Almost all of the attention in Ivy women's lacrosse has been given to the three top 10 teams - Princeton, Cornell and Penn - and the Tigers have to play the other two, both on the road, in a four-day stretch.

Before that, though, there is Harvard, and there is no looking past the Crimson, who are 3-0 in the league.

Also at home will be men's lightweight rowing (expected) and men's heavyweight rowing (not expected). The heavyweights had their Childs Cup races with Penn and Columbia moved from Philadelphia to Lake Carnegie.

There is also the Princeton Invitational in men's golf, home women's tennis against Cornell today and home men's tennis tomorrow against Columbia. And of course the Sam Howell Invitational track and field meet.

So that's this weekend.

Oh, and if you wanted to see something funny, you should have seen someone in the office at 11 at night mess up at the end and start over, inserting the step of throwing things all over the place and dropping some words that couldn't be used on the Sportsline in the middle.

The Tiger Sportsline is one of the many things that used to be staples of this office that long ago disappeared. Each time one of those elements of the office was abandoned - media guides, post-game faxes, fax-on-demand, mailing out release, printing photographs, on and on TB could go - it was only after a lot of thought and consideration and worry if this had been in fact the right direction to go at the time.

Their memory now is worth a smile - and a reminder of how this profession changed 180 degrees, and with it brought along so many better ways to be creative, to engage the fan base, to get the word out, to make this job much more challenging and exciting.

Change, of course, can often be a really, really good thing.

1 comment:

BGA said...

Up here in Hanover we had the Dartline. Yes, an unforced error required a do-over but so did a forced error, the kind we forced right at the end by making faces – or worse – while the Dartline was being recorded. There were a lot of laughs, mostly at the expense of the person tasked with making the recording.