Travelling tittle-tattle, tall tales and shameless name-dropping by Jon ‘Don’t Call Me’ Norman

About Me

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

It's raining in Manchester & other sporting cliches

My folks often tell the tale of how, as a youngster, I used to while away the long trip on the Underground from Tooting Broadway to Colindale to see my nan by reading the sports pages of The Guardian.  My little legs sticking out from underneath the huge broadsheet as we travelled from one end of the Northern Line to the other.

I wanted to be a sports journalist from an early age and looking back I suppose I had unwittingly started my training early.  Thoroughly researching my chosen subject while learning how to make best use of my time on long waits.

At times it seems like I spend nearly as much time hanging around on my own as that football 'scout' who used to watch us play on the common when we were kids.  I doubt any industry involves as much hanging around as mine.  Apart from that scientist drip guy, that is.  

Any press conference scheduled to start at 1pm is 100% guaranteed to start at any time of the day other than 1pm.  And then when it actually happens you'll wonder why you bothered in the first place.  Then there are the weather delays, the airport delays, the traffic jams and the cancelled trains. All played out against the backdrop or ticking clock of a looming deadline to file copy, send audio or appear on air.

By far the most infuriating reason to wait though is following a technological fail.  All the other reasons detailed have to their credit at least one form of logical or physical happening that has led to the situation being what it is.  Somehow that makes things more manageable.  

However there's little more infuriating then when a piece of equipment you have been using successfully for years decides it can't be arsed any more.  Or when you turn up at a venue with your broadcasting kit, you plug it in, dial it up and then instead of the welcoming click & flashing green light there's nothing more than dead air and you know any hopes of a relaxing afternoon have been scuppered.

And so it came to pass today on my first ever visit to Manchester's premier cricket ground.  Arriving at Old Trafford at 1.20pm I made Australian captain Michael Clarke's 1.15pm press conference with time to spare. However that was as good as it got.  

Technical problems mean that as as it stands I cannot broadcast from the stadium & I can't go anywhere until the problem is fixed.  It's not something I can do anything about myself, I can't attack anything with a screwdriver, plug something in, check & change a cable or find a quick fix on the internet.  I can't share my woes with a colleague because I am the only one experiencing it. All I can do is sit and wait & stare out the window.

Needless to say as the clock approaches 5pm the view that raised my spirits three hours ago is starting to look a little samey. 

photo (8)

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