If there’s anything I have to say regarding how the last two days of my life have been, it’s new (and hot). Moving to another city is new, being 13 hours away from the only state I’ve ever grown up in is new, and the people are new. Since I discovered I would be coming to Charlotte for the summer, I’ve been trying to map out what I needed to do to get comfortable in a new environment, and I finally know what it is.
Like I mentioned four times already, being in a new state is new to me. In my tender 22 years of living, I’ve never actually lived outside of Wisconsin for an extended period of time. Besides that, I’m really far from my family, and that includes the ones that are and aren't in America. As much as I want to talk to my mom and dad right now, I can’t unless I wake up early in the morning and burn a stack of $5 calling cards (they're vacationing in Eritrea for the summer). One of my two sisters is all the way out in California, while my other one is back in Milwaukee with my brother and his family. My other brother is Minnesota. It's hard being this far away from them, especially because they've all been supportive of me throughout the moving process. (Of course I'm the youngest of them all.)
Everybody has a different way of releasing stress and getting their mind away from things, and forcing my body to sweat tears of justice is what does it for me. Why? When I lost weight a year ago, I felt like I was in a different mental state that actually helped me feel invincible. For example, the more I worked out, the less I wore t-shirts (not really, but you get the metaphor). I unfortunately gained a lot of the weight I lost (50) back, and commuting an hour for school three times a week the last two semesters plus covering two professional sports team caused it to happen. Getting back in the gym and eating healthy gets me right mentally and spiritually, and that’s what I’m going to do to get comfortable here in Charlotte.
This past year marked my third on the Milwaukee Bucks beat, and it was definitely my most exciting and interesting season yet. Part of that is obviously because the Bucks made the playoffs, but it’s also because of the drama, personalities and experiences I went through. The everlasting one was covering the Bucks’ playoff run against the Chicago Bulls, in both Chicago and Milwaukee. My three years on the team in Milwaukee never required me to cover the Bucks on the road.
Although the Bucks made the playoffs in my first year thanks to the dynamic and dynamite duo of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis, I didn’t work as hard as I do now to warrant a spot to cover the game at the time. Covering the NBA in the postseason is a whole different ballgame than the regular season. There’s obviously more media, but the games are (mostly) better, the content for your publication rises and the format of how everything is ran is faster. It was all new for a young gun like me.
I’ve met a lot of smart and good people in journalism during my time covering the team, and the majority of those people are from opposing teams. Driving and car-pooling to Chicago during the series gave me a small sample of what it’s like to grind for multiple hours and then deal with travel arrangements. This experience gave me a greater appreciation for beat writers because moving from city-to-city and having to constantly stay on your toes is not easy. I always covered just home games, and never really had a chance to see what those guys go through. Games 1 and 2 were so different for me, and I’m glad I made sure to get to the United Center super early so that I could get comfortable with where everything was, and who I could ask questions to. I’m also thankful for the Chicago media members that helped me out.
The last thing I learned and wanted to make clear about the postseason – for the Bucks specifically – is that there are a lot of media members in Milwaukee that aid in the unbalanced coverage of the team in the city. Wisconsin will always be a Packers state -- always -- but the side-eye coverage from people at various Milwaukee networks and entities really disappoints me. There are a lot of media members who show up to playoff games that haven’t been to more than five games all season, and that’s sad. It’s even worse when those people are asked by national outlets outside of Wisconsin for their opinion on the team, while people who have busted their chops the entire season aren’t. There will always remain a Packers-based culture in Wisconsin, but a lot of media members should stop acting like a portion of fans in the state and pay attention to the NBA franchise in Milwaukee. It's pretty easy to tell who doesn't do their homework in journalism.
All in all, I had a lot of fun, and I'm very grateful for everything the experience taught me. Chicago still isn't really a city for my liking, but walking through their historic arena and admiring hallway graphics of Michael Jordon and Scottie Pippen was something I'll cherish forever. Cheers.
Behind the Broadcaster
This blog displays topics that interest me -- including culture, entertainment, music, and life experiences.