Unlike Deadspin, where they preach coverage without "access, favor or discretion", we actually have acess this weekend and probably some favor as well.
Discretion... not so much...
While Luis will be in the city of St. Louis covering the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament, I'll be in various spots throughout the greater Phoenix area, including Tempe and Glendale.
First off, having previously covered college basketball tournaments both in St. Louis and in St. Charles, Mo., I can tell you first hand how much fun they are.
Unfortunately, the buzz around the MVC Tournament isn't what it used to be because the conference as a whole is down for the second year in a row and this time there isn't a "cinderella" story to enjoy that turned into Godzilla (Drake).
Particularly, for arguably the second year in a row, the team we covered isn't a legit threat to win the tournament (SIU).
But the year before that was arguably the most fun Saluki season ever.
I had a chance to cover the tournament at the Scottrade Center when SIU was at its peak and it still ranks as one of my favorite professional moments of all time.
For that weekend, I felt like I had "made it" because it was a far cry from covering games at SIU Arena where the ammenities and talent are the pits.
It wasn't actually even the games themselves that were the best part, although there were many memorable moments from each game.
For me, rubbing elbows with the fat cats of journalism was unreal and to a certain extent I mean that literally.
Take for example the first day of the tournament. After SIU won the game I scurried in the media room to find Bernie Miklasz sitting across from me writing his own story (sort of).
Now to be fair I never heard of Miklasz before I moved down to Carbondale for school but after reading him regularly in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch I realized that he was what Jay Mariotti should have been.
But I continue...
As you can see from the link he just looks like an average guy. But then you see him and think wow, no wonder he just uses a head shot. I'm talking walrus status folks. Even better, I was more stunned by the way he was downing Dunkin Donuts munchkins than the actual game I had just watched.
I couldn't help but stare and looked over to the writer sitting next to me and said, "man that guy eats like a pig."
Without pausing, he took a line from the Simpsons and said, "No, pigs tend to chew, I'd say he eats more like a duck."
But all making fun of people aside it was just great to look around and see all the national media outlets that were covering this thing. I literally peed right next to Clark Kellogg in the bathroom.
My parents didn't find this as cool as I did, however.
The food was amazing (and free) and the place was packed and they had a hospitality party with free beer!
Ah...it's the little things in life.
Now, I'm paying my own way to Arizona to go to Spring Training 2009, Friday.
Despite being an avid baseball fan, I've never seen spring ball before. Hopefully, I'll remember to bring my laptop and I can write some stories live there and add some pictures.
I'll be staying in Tempe, Ariz., and I'll catch at least one or two "California" Angels games and then see how much it's going to cost me to get out to Glendale for a White Sox/Dodgers game.
Stay tuned all weekend.