Man, it stinks going back to work after a holiday. It's not that I don't like my job, just that once you get a few days off, it's a reminder of how little you get to just do whatever you want.
For me right now, that's hang with Shanda and Jett, watch the magic of Russell Wilson and the Pack, and go to the deer woods.
I had last Wednesday and Thursday off and technically, I had Friday, too. But Hibriten reached the third round of the football playoffs at East Henderson and I thought we (meaning the paper where I work) had a chance to "win" some with that. By that I mean, we could've just taken a call-in on the game and got enough. But instead, I drove to Hendersonville, covered the game and wrote it up. Wrote a 1,200 words kind of write up.
Hopefully, someone in Lenoir noticed....even though Hibriten lost and they'd probably rather forget it.
Speaking of work stuff, I watched Wake Forest play hoops late Sunday night against Baylor. I have a few connections to Wake hoops.
The main guy I covered while he was in high school, Deacs forward Jamie Skeen, is being red-shirted this year. But there are a few other connections there. Point guard Ish Smith went to Central Cabarrus and I got to know him well through him playing in the same conference as Skeen (North Meck). Also got to know Skip Prosser some while he was recruiting Jamie.
Quick story on that....
North won the 2005 4A state title, behind Skeen, Ben Stywall (UNC-G) and a few other interesting characters. Anyway, the regional tournament was in the Joel Coliseum in Winston-Salem and since Skeen was a Wake recruit, Prosser was always around. Given it was in Wake's arena, well, that was easy.
So the regional final was being played on a Saturday night and I was sitting on press row as the lights went down. They were doing the fancy player intros and there was an empty seat beside me. I noticed that someone had moved into it, but didn't notice who until the lights came back up. It was Prosser.
Now, for a lifelong ACC fan, follower, this was almost too much. I love everything ACC. I mean, I joke about hating Carolina, and I do, but I've sat a few seats down from Roy Williams at another tournament without smacking him. That's progress!
Every reporter has a favorite team they put aside when they're working. I could call out the Pack or praise the Heels if I was covering them. No problem. Wouldn't bother me a bit.
Anyway, off on a tangent. So basically I watch a whole game with Prosser, was getting paid to do that. We didn't talk a lot, but joked some about North's really witty student section. He wrote out the ACC standings on a napkin. This was the day before the whole Chris Paul hitting Julius Hodge in the jewels incident.
Given what happened to Prosser, it's a good memory.
Then last year, the Caldwell County Hospice held its annual ACC luncheon and had Dino Gaudio as the speaker. Now this was just six months after Prosser died and about a week before official practice opened. But I got 10 minutes of one-on-one time (interview that is) with Gaudio. Our nutty photographer snapped a shot. Glad he did. (Gaudio looks bored).
At least I made it this far, if I never make it to full-fledged ACC coverage.
Speaking of the Pack, Mr. Wilson (below) is the first freshman ever to be named first team all-ACC quarterback. He led the Pack to four straight wins to become bowl eligible after they were 2-6. Let's see, they beat Duke, Wake, Miami and hmmm? Who was the other one? Oh yeah, 41-10, Carolina......