Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

  1. #1

    Default Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    I had told a few of you that I was being given the privelege of attending the Detroit game on Wednesday night with a press pass, earned by working games as a color analyst for high school basketball, baseball, football, and softball on a popular southern Indiana radio station. Now that I have some free time, I thought I'd give everyone a little inside perspective on my night, and how things go from a media point of view on game night at Conseco.

    I went into this totally not knowing what to expect, so needless to say my eyes were wide open, like a tourist seeing the inside of some famous landmark where normal tourists arent allowed to go.

    It was really really cold here Wednesday night if you recall, and like usual my radio partner (attending with me) was running late, so we left my home in Bloomington a little later than we had planned. I was hoping we'd have access to some great and secret inside parking garage to shield us from the wind, however that wasn't the case, so we parked on the eastern side of Conseco, paid our parking fee, and treked our way in thru the snow and howling wind all the way to the press door, located on that side of the building thankfully.

    Once thru thru the door, we were met by an intern sitting at a table handing out press passes. I assume that some regular guys have their own passes for every day, but that may not be the case, because he had still unclaimed passes there for Mark Montieth from the Indy Star. If Mark ever arrived, I didn't see him. Because of our somewhat delayed arrival, only Montieth and us still had passes there waiting. After an ID check to make sure we were indeed who we claimed to be, we had our passes and were turned loose in the bowels of Conseco.

    Winding around a bit, we passed several offices with many names outside the doors, most of which I assumed were low level interns. We passed the main press conference room, and also a couple of nearby smaller TV studio rooms, with small little places to conduct TV interviews in private I guess.

    Then, on to the media room/gathering place. If anytime a media person ever complains about their jobs, you should punch them in the nose, because pampered treatment is the norm in here. A nice place to hang your coat, media guides provided for both the Pacers and that night's opponent, any pertinent stats and game notes you would want were all provided.

    Several computer hookups were along the outside walls, all labeled by what press outlet may be there. I saw the main ones you would expect...IndyStar, Associated Press, Detroit Free-Press, Pacers.com, etc etc. In sort of the way that Conseco is adorned with pictures of former Pacers, this room is adorned with pictures of famous or semi famous media types that no doubt have covered the team in the past. Pictures of Sekou Smith, Bob Collins, and other former Indianapolis media types are all over, along with several televisions mounted on the walls all tuned to either ESPN, Fox Sportsnet, or the internal Conseco Fieldhouse feed.

    There were lots of media types in the room, even though tip off was now within a half hour or so. There were all there no doubt, as I was, for the media dinner provided for free before every home game. I sat surrounded by Dave Calabro from channel 13, Mike Wells, Bob Kravitz, Rich Nye, David Benner from the Pacers office (a very nice man who chatted with us at halftime), several camera guys, and other Pacers/Conseco front office types. A member of the Harlem Globetrotters (who performed a skit at halftime promoting the teams appearance next wee) was also in the room.

    This was an exceptional dinner by the way. 3 cheese manicotti, potatoes au grautin, and some sort of great tasting pork chops along with a really good salad bar was the menu selection, along with some other items that I didn't eat, so therefore don't remember. I was told this was both free AND all you can eat, so those of you who know me know this made me a very happy Pacers fan! Dessert was some sort of cinnamon/bun cake that I didn't have, and some sort of chocolate/yellow cake that I would have eaten, but that were were too late to get any of.

    While stuffing our faces, many of us were faced with a decision: Continue on pigging out and watch the beginning of the game on television inside the media room, or scamper to the elevator, ride up to our seats, and be there for tip off. Here I saw a difference in television and newspaper....the print guys reluctantly trudged off, where all the tv guys (all Indianapolis stations representated) mostly lingered and continued eating. I wanted to scamper to make the introductions, but my radio partner wanted dessert, so I waited on him and watched the first 5 minutes on television, with the radio broadcast instead of the television being used on the internal feed. Finally, totally stuffed, we made our own way to the media elevator to head to the game itself.

    The media elevator was fun. Apparently, there is a long time employee who has worked this elevator for years and years and years, even dating back to Market Square Arena, and he is kind of a local legend. Unfortunately, I can't remember his name right now as I type this. But he wasn't running the elevator tonight, a young intern was. This seemed ot be of great concern to people on the elevator, and our young intern/elevator man didn't know where the normal guy was. He even said he hadn't seen him in over two weeks, which seemed odd, but what do I know?

    It seemed funny to me that the team or the arena makes this poor guy, who does nothing but ride up and down in an elevator all night asking you what floor you want, is made to dress up in a shirt and tie and dress clothes. I mean, it isn't like anyone besides local press is going to see him anyway. And it isn't like you saw lots of fashion model guys in the press room, although Anthony Calhoun from channel 8, Calabro, and the rest of the tv guys all had suits on of course. I don't know why, but seeing this young kid in an uncomfortable shirt and tie pushing buttons all night struck me as funny.

    Anyway, we made our way to the arena. Now, as a group of peon radio guys from down south, were weren't seated along press row on the floor. I was told we might have been but that Detroit television brought a couple of extra people, and that along with the normal crowd of folks down there meant that they were sitting us up above the lower bowl, on the concourse, at those big long press tables you see usually when you are there, you know the ones with the little TV's on them? Anyway, that is where we sat, with plenty of room and a great perspective on the game, being able to see clearly each team's bench, although we were nearer the Indiana bench than Detroit's.

    Interestingly, as I stood around in the press room before the game, I heard the Detroit tv guys discussing how their team was having chemistry issues relating to Allen Iverson. Big surprise there! Scuttlebutt is that some of the players feel that Coach Curry is being way too accommadating to Iverson instead of laying down the law. I feel sorry for Curry and told the guys this, even though in reality what do they care what I think?

    Anyway, apparently there are major issues with the starting lineup and playing time in Detroit, concerning Rodney Stuckey, Teyshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton, and Allen Iverson. Apparently it has been mandated by Detroit management (at least that was the gossip) that Rodney Stuckey must start. Coach Curry believes apparently that he needs Teyshaun Prince in the lineup defensively, so that leaves one spot open for Rip Hamilton and Allen Iverson. According the Detroit media guys, Curry had went to each of them and asked them about their willingness to come off the bench as a sixth man, and each of them ahd strongly refused....each of them badmouthing the other. So, the apparent solution for Detroit for a while is a compromise that at least keeps the peace but doesn't really help their team: Start all of them, play Rasheed Wallace at center, and go small. I was anxious ot see what would happen at the end of the game though, when that wasn't as easy to see....apparently Coach Curry thought against us it was wise to send Rip to the bench, a major reason why I think we actually won the game.

    Anyway, as members of the media, you have some other perks. At the end of each quarter, you are given by the PR staff a complete statistical breakdown/box score of the quarter. You are also given a written description of every thing that happened each possession and at each dead ball, broken down to the second. I spent some time wondering who it was that had that thankless job! At the end of the half and game, you are given these as quarter breakdowns and for the entire half and game. The game summary is apparently known as the "book", which you get about 20 minutes after the final horn in the media room.

    At the half, we watched the Globetrotter guy, then made a quick trip the the private bathroom in the media room, before having some snacks provided there for everyone. Bob Kravitz seems to be popular with lots of the Conseco Fieldhouse workers, as he spent some time discussing with someone low level about the Colts news. It was from Kravitz that I heard about the Colts changing special teams coaches.

    As the last 3 games had before with me in attendance, this game of course went into overtime. I know from experience that beat writers hate this, because they have a deadline to meet. This had another unintended effect I found out later, which was that some of the TV guys elected not to go back to their stations, but to instead stay at Conseco and do whatever spots they were going to do from there.

    So after the game, I wanted ot head to the press row near the court down where Denari and Wuinn Buckner sit, but instead we headed back down the elevator to see Jim O'Brien's press conference. I had this vision of a crowded press conference, with people jumping up to ask questions and struggling to get picked to ask something. However, I quickly found that was not the case. In fact, I believe it was just a couple of guys in there asking stuff, and indeed it was over in a matter of minutes. I asked my radio partner where everyone was, and he replied he figured they were all loafing in the media room, and that I would find out why as soon as we got there.

    This was a funny sight to me. It was all sorts of media guys, all looking uncomfortable, like they were waiting on something to happen, just kind of shuffling their feet. Turns out there is some sort of story about not being the first one to crack open the free beer the Pacers provide the media after the game. Let me say that again for emphasis sake :FREE BEER!

    My radio partner had no qualms about breaking this rule, but before he got there Bob Kravitz popped one open so it was ok. I actually don't know if there is really some sort of "don't want to be the first guy to drink" rule or not, but if there was Kravitz didn't seem to care...and I liked that about him. It also probably helped him that I don't think he had a deadline, where some of the others did, and a few other media types were probably still on the way from the Pacers locker room/interview room.

    Anyway, free beer was nice. Nice cold Miller Lite, in a huge barrel full of ice. I just sort of became a fly on the wall, listening to the various conversations going on around me as we awaited our media game books. After they finished their respective duties, Mark Boyle and Chris Denari came down to join in the festivites and hang out. Mark particularly was happy and well relaxed I thought, and he is bigger than I thought, which is an odd though to have but it's what ran thru my mind....I didnt know he was that tall. I also looked at him looking dapper in an expensive looking dark oin striped suit, which is in contrast to my own radio normal radio attire, which looks like I slept in an alley the night before a game. Maybe Mark thinks you can see him on the radio!

    I was also told that Quinn and Slick never come to the media room, which if true seems a little weird to me. They are missing out! Maybe they have their own hangouts in the building somewhere with some privacy. Maybe Slick hangs out with Bird and the coaches, who knows?

    Lots of guys weren't drinking of course, they were working. For many of them, the work was just now beginning. Conrad Brunner was online doing something on Pacers.com, the Detroit Free Press guys were working hard along the west wall of the room, and a photographer was downloading game pictures he had taken, I assume to send somewhere to somebody for publication. A serious looking Mike Wells was along the south wall near Conrad, typing his story into his laptop, I thought looking grouchy while he turned around and looked at Kravitz chugging his Miller Lite. I wonder if their office is like most offices in the country, with office politics, grudges, jealousy, backstabbing, etc etc. I bet it is. Actually, it turned out as I was leaving the Kravitz told someone there that he is writing a long, detailed article about Danny Granger, setailing his background, history, childhood, etc etc, that will appear in the Sunday edition of the Indianapolis Star. I guesss there is probably less pressure with a story like that instead of the deadline heat Mike Wells may feel.

    Lastly, just for fun, I inquired from the Pacers media relations staff what is necessary for our own Pacersdigest.com to recieve a press pass to cover games. She grinned ( I think our existance is well known there I am guessing, although maybe Im reading into it too much) and told me that because we are a message board, the team wouldn't issue us one directly. However, she told me that there was a application process thru the NBA league office, accessible somehow on NBA.com. Hicks, get to work! I think full time press credentials is well worth it, even if just for the free gourmet all you can eat buffet and free drinks! Maybe we should try to be nice to David Stern for a while.......yeah, you are right, probably not worth it lol.




    UPCOMING ATTRACTIONS:

    I have a series of articles/postings I am working on analyzing in a painstaking detailed way our team defensive issues. I hope to start that series of articles, which will be pretty long (to none of your surprise no doubt) in a day or two. It looks like it will be about a 3 or 4 part piece right now.


    Tbird

  2. #2
    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Indy's Wild Wild West Side: 8 sec-check...Club Rio-check...Cloud 9-check
    Age
    40
    Posts
    5,946

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Good work, T-bird! Very interesting read. Sounded like one hell of an experience.
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

  3. #3
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    5,772

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Sounds like fun. Looking forward to your breakdowns.

  4. #4
    NaptownSeth is all feel Naptown_Seth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Downtown baby
    Posts
    12,638

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    My seat is right next to press row and I don't think I've seen Kravitz down there more than a few times. Mike on the other hand is obviously there every game. So my "respect" for Bob's opinion of the team or any detailed article on young star Danny is low.

    Let's face it, the Danny story is now national. It was a "scoop" before maybe last year's AS game. I just like how he waltzes in for the big story only after it's proven to be one people are interested in. Way to take a risk on that one.


    Good story Tbird. My wife always pushes me to apply for a photo license but I always figure I wouldn't get it. I am upgrading to an XSi though, still low level but decent. Add a press pass to that and we've got a team. Our first story, and in depth look at how fans have grown tired of the thugs. Maybe we could beat Bob to press with that one.
    Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 01-17-2009 at 05:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Member crunk-juice's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Purdue
    Posts
    1,292
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    good story. how was Denari off camera?

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    2,326

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Anyway, as members of the media, you have some other perks. At the end of each quarter, you are given by the PR staff a complete statistical breakdown/box score of the quarter. You are also given a written description of every thing that happened each possession and at each dead ball, broken down to the second. I spent some time wondering who it was that had that thankless job! At the end of the half and game, you are given these as quarter breakdowns and for the entire half and game. The game summary is apparently known as the "book", which you get about 20 minutes after the final horn in the media room
    Oh god that would be amazing to see. I wonder how much work the Pacers statistician (if they have one) puts into it.

  7. #7
    Denim Chicken duke dynamite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Bloomington
    Posts
    13,373
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    I was given the privilige to all the perks that tbird had during my blog experience. That press area is a dandy, and was filled with a plethora of good *free* things to eat.

    Boyle was somewhat friendly, he was busy obviously. Denari always comes up to me whenever the Ms. and I are around. (He took a lot of our photos during the Eagle Ranch event for us with my camera.)

    Also, the cool thing was the fact that going into the coach's press room and watching a post-game press conference live.

    I kept all my post-quarter and post-game stat sheets in the media folder they gave me. It also contained a ton of articles from Mike Wells from The Star and other useful tidbits.
    Last edited by duke dynamite; 01-17-2009 at 06:15 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Quote Originally Posted by crunk-juice View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    how was Denari off camera?
    I've met Chris Denari elsewhere. Nice guy; genuine guy, despite his "polish." He was exactly as you see him on-camera: well-versed in Indiana sports (naturally) and with historical depth; plus, attentive and full of positive energy and enthusiasm -- so much so that you scratch your head wondering what he sounds like if/when he's (ever) really bummed out.

  9. #9
    Indy's #1 Hockey Fan Peter_sixtyftsixin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northside
    Age
    27
    Posts
    564

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Quote Originally Posted by DrFife View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    I've met Chris Denari elsewhere. Nice guy; genuine guy, despite his "polish." He was exactly as you see him on-camera: well-versed in Indiana sports (naturally) and with historical depth; plus, attentive and full of positive energy and enthusiasm -- so much so that you scratch your head wondering what he sounds like if/when he's (ever) really bummed out.
    He's a Westfield Shamrock we're used to losing. He's immune, just enthusiastic when a win comes.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Thanks for the recap, tbird.

    For those that have seen them: What additional stats (not found on nba/espn/indystar) are on these reports (i.e. deflections)?

  11. #11
    Member Doug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,632

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    While I have nothing of great importance to relate about the Detroit game, especially compared to Tbird's insider's view of that game. I will say this


    Nothing says "basketball" like a pep band playing Sweet Georgia Brown.
    You're caught up in the Internet / you think it's such a great asset / but you're wrong, wrong, wrong
    All that fiber optic gear / still cannot take away the fear / like an island song

    - Jimmy Buffett

  12. #12
    Administrator Roaming Gnome's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Indy's Wild Wild West Side: 8 sec-check...Club Rio-check...Cloud 9-check
    Age
    40
    Posts
    5,946

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    While I have nothing of great importance to relate about the Detroit game, especially compared to Tbird's insider's view of that game. I will say this


    Nothing says "basketball" like a pep band playing Sweet Georgia Brown.


    QFT
    ...Still "flying casual"
    @roaminggnome74

  13. #13
    Member CableKC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    San Jose, CA ( 1123, 6536, 5321 )
    Age
    42
    Posts
    25,671

    Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Quote Originally Posted by thunderbird1245 View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Interestingly, as I stood around in the press room before the game, I heard the Detroit tv guys discussing how their team was having chemistry issues relating to Allen Iverson. Big surprise there! Scuttlebutt is that some of the players feel that Coach Curry is being way too accommadating to Iverson instead of laying down the law. I feel sorry for Curry and told the guys this, even though in reality what do they care what I think?

    Anyway, apparently there are major issues with the starting lineup and playing time in Detroit, concerning Rodney Stuckey, Teyshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton, and Allen Iverson. Apparently it has been mandated by Detroit management (at least that was the gossip) that Rodney Stuckey must start. Coach Curry believes apparently that he needs Teyshaun Prince in the lineup defensively, so that leaves one spot open for Rip Hamilton and Allen Iverson. According the Detroit media guys, Curry had went to each of them and asked them about their willingness to come off the bench as a sixth man, and each of them ahd strongly refused....each of them badmouthing the other. So, the apparent solution for Detroit for a while is a compromise that at least keeps the peace but doesn't really help their team: Start all of them, play Rasheed Wallace at center, and go small. I was anxious ot see what would happen at the end of the game though, when that wasn't as easy to see....apparently Coach Curry thought against us it was wise to send Rip to the bench, a major reason why I think we actually won the game.
    Well, this validates alot of what KStat was saying about Curry.
    Ash from Army of Darkness: Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun.

    This is David West, he is the Honey Badger, West just doesn't give a *****....he's pretty bad *ss cuz he has no regard for any other Player or Team whatsoever.

  14. #14
    Member naptownmenace's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    4,658

    Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Loved that inside detailing of the press box and all the perks that came with it. Thanks for sharing!
    Quote Originally Posted by vnzla81
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Larry is not coming back, he didn't have a meeting with Orlando for not reason, yeah he is coming back to the NBA but not to the Pacers, the notion that he is a taking a year off and then come back is absurd.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trader Joe View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    GOOD GOD THAT'S LARRY BIRD'S MUSIC!

  15. #15
    Member owl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    4,470

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    I still can't believe AI is getting preference over RIP. Curry either has someone
    directing him to play AI or he does not see the obvious, which is start RIP.
    AI is gone after this year so why alienate RIP. RIP is the better player for that team
    anyway imho.


    Good report Thunderbird
    {o,o}
    |)__)
    -"-"-

  16. #16
    Member pianoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Muncie Indiana
    Age
    24
    Posts
    1,349
    Mood

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    that was very enjoyable to read. And yeah, the people at conseco take care of their guests. I had been to the marsh suite a countless number of times, and the food was just excellent.
    Passion, Pride, Playoffs, Pacers

  17. #17
    Feed the big fella. Infinite MAN_force's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Broadripple
    Age
    29
    Posts
    2,255

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter_sixtyftsixin View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    He's a Westfield Shamrock we're used to losing. He's immune, just enthusiastic when a win comes.
    Denari went to Westfield? Never knew that, haha I'm also Westfield alum.
    "As a bearded man, i was very disappointed in Love. I am gathering other bearded men to discuss the status of Kevin Love's beard. I am motioning that it must be shaved."

    - ilive4sports

  18. #18
    Indy's #1 Hockey Fan Peter_sixtyftsixin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northside
    Age
    27
    Posts
    564

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite MAN_force View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Denari went to Westfield? Never knew that, haha I'm also Westfield alum.
    What year? I'm an '06 grad.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    South Side
    Posts
    4,277

    Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo Sports Logo

    Default Re: Tbird's view from the press box: Detroit game Wednesday Jan. 14

    Thanks tbird, for the info, especially the Detroit stuff. Interesting.

Similar Threads

  1. Odd thoughts about the Miami game
    By Peck in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 68
    Last Post: 11-02-2008, 09:34 PM
  2. Going to Lakers/Suns game ...
    By Los Angeles in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-16-2008, 02:41 PM
  3. 12/29/2007 Game Thread 31: Pacers vs Detroit
    By BostonConnection in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 91
    Last Post: 12-29-2007, 11:57 PM
  4. 12/28/2007 Game Thread 30: Pacers at Detroit
    By BostonConnection in forum Indiana Pacers
    Replies: 215
    Last Post: 12-28-2007, 11:37 PM
  5. Replies: 19
    Last Post: 11-29-2007, 02:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •