Filed by Darren Epps, Staff Writer
Reporters are a funny bunch. We take great pride in teasing each other even if we just met and dont particularly like to stop when the joke gets old. Hey, weve got to do something during all those media timeouts we call.
And man, the out-of-town reporters are making fun of the local writers this weekend.
In my reintroduction to Norfolk as a Richmond, Va., native, Ive been here before as a child but spent most of my time knocking over my younger brothers sandcastles at nearby Virginia Beach I figured this city was basketball crazy. At the front of the media room, a crowd of writers anxiously watched the closing minutes of the Manhattan-Maryland NIT game. Now this is a basketball town, I thought. Pretty lame, but at least they care about the sport.
Turns out the local writers were fearful Manhattan would win to set up a NIT second round game at Old Dominion on Monday. They could read the thoughts running through the minds of their sports editors: Wait a minute...theyll already be at Old Dominion anyway to cover six hours worth of practices and news conferences...they can hang around a few more hours and cover the 9 p.m. NIT game and it wont cost us a thing...Ive got a phone call to make!
To the delight of the out-of-town reporters, Manhattan knocked out Maryland which was going to host Old Dominion with an 87-84 win. But the local writers arent the only ones now facing an extra workload. The NIT game also presents a logistical nightmare for the Old Dominion athletic department. They need to squeeze two mens shootarounds, four womens practices, four womens press conferences and an NIT game all in the same day. Fear the turtle, indeed.
Since the NIT game isnt on TV, they wont even bother removing all the NCAA womens basketball signage. When the folks at the NCAA aimed to create a more tournament-like atmosphere when it bought the NIT, they werent kidding. Manhattan and Old Dominion will play a mens NIT game surrounded by signs welcoming womens basketball fans.
We may put up an NIT sign or something, Old Dominion athletic director Dr. Jim Jarrett said Saturday.
ODU also wont bother removing the massive amounts of press seating, which really is a nice gesture considering all the Virginia writers who are now forced to cancel dinner plans and cover an NIT game.
Now Im looking at the Old Dominion roster out of curiousity, and I see the name of Jonathan Adams, a freshman forward from Ringgold, Ga. who played his high school ball at Baylor. Gulp. A local connection. Now, my phone is ringing.
I hope they save me a seat.