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2014 Bucket List #11 - Snap Photos to Describe a Typical Day


I love photo essays. I'm always a big fan of them, usually reading them on the blogs of others whom I follow. Most photo essays are great at engaging a reader on a topic they wouldn't typically read. As a lover of simple words, I can appreciate the form as it is useful for such things. So, for this year, I wanted to try it out, and to do so by explaining a typical work day for myself. Something small, you know. Do it nice and easy as Tina Turner would say. 

Unfortunately, I work in collegiate athletics, and no two days are alike. Which can be great, but at the same time, defeats the purpose of "typical". Nonetheless, I selected a weekend in which yours truly, who is in charge of intercollegiate wrestling gameday operations (among many other duties) would prepare and execute a quad meet.


Of course, preparation begins on Friday, which requires me to come in to the office/athletic facility later than normal. While most are on their commute home for the weekend, my day/night is just beginning, and the weekend, well, in college athletics, the weekends you do have off are a luxury. 

As many would imagine, this particular set up was interesting, as the following day, not only would the facility host a quad meet in the morning, but a double header basketball game on the other side of the building scheduled immediately afterwards. And as NCAA rules dictates, you cannot have simultaneous competitions of different sports in the same building occurring.

Therefore, on this very night, we would have to set up both basketball and wrestling for the following day. And as you can imagine, due to resources available, we would have to get really creative in location, and other game day management issues. 


For those of you who have never been to or around wrestling meets, the mats are incredibly heavy, and takes precise placement in order to meet competition requirements. Leading student staff and interns in these projects are also very challenging. 

After a setup that lasts almost six hours for both events, yours truly left the building at 11:05PM, and arrived home after midnight, getting lucky and catching some well timed trains. After a brief detour run to the pizza store for some food (because I always forget to eat during event weekends), I was home, fed, and finally in bed...well on my couch by 2am. I always sleep on my couch knowing I have to be up early, and to not disturb my wife who HAS a weekend to enjoy. 



Of course, nervous about oversleeping and with multiple checklists running through my head, I fall asleep at 3:00am and am up at 5:30am to work on some things for the event, before heading out the door at 7am. I grab my car, as I decide to drive in to work to eliminate the risk of trusting the MTA, and to ensure my sanity of some type of solitude on my commute home. 



As always, there is something about going over the bridges into Manhattan that always gets me going, and again, going over the bridge on this particular morning gets me amped up to pull off a successful event. 


After some final changes, everything is set and we are ready to go an hour out from weigh-ins and pre-match national anthems and introductions at 8am.


I take my seat at the scorer's table (my view in the picture above) and hope everything goes smoothly as we begin at 9am. As always, there are multiple issues that crop up, whether it be technical, production, staffing, patron, officials, athletes, coaches, equipment, or whatever, it all came up, but was all met with a swift kick in the face called preparation. Some advice for future sport managers - preparation, contingency plans, and hard work are your three best friends. Get to know them. 

All in all, somewhere along the line, my phones stayed in my pocket out of sheer necessity to meet the needs of pulling off a great event rather than getting enough content for my personal blog, but that's okay - I think you get the drift. 

To summarize, wrestling finished at 3PM, and basketball (men's game) was over at 7pm.  I was out the door at 7:30pm, and back home on the very couch I woke up on to play FIFA 15 for PS4 at 8:30pm. And beleive me, on weekends such as this one, video games are my sanity. There is nothing like a twelve hour work day, and another solid eight hours that sandwich roughly three hours of sleep.  Then again, there is no better feeling of pulling off a successful event.

But that's college athletics - and I love my job. 

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