Late Wednesday afternoon, my eyelids started to feel a little heavy.
So, knowing what stood before me the rest of the night, I decided I better take a short nap, even if it did only last 15 minutes.
Even a short nap like that went a long way for me, as I sat in the office with fellow sports writer Larry Peterson at 5 a.m. Thursday.
We weren’t just getting to the office, we were just leaving the office after one of the busiest nights of sports I can remember our coverage area having in my time as sports editor.
It all started Wednesday morning, when Larry found out Creston/O-M three-time state champion wrestler Jake Marlin had committed to wrestle for the University of Iowa.
Larry went to work on doing interviews and putting a story together on Marlin’s decision. His goal time to leave for Sioux City for the Creston/O-M playoff football game was 2:30 p.m.
He finished transcribing interviews for the Marlin story at 2:15 p.m., and somehow cranked out the story in time for his goal departure time.
Much later that evening, I hit the road for Murray to cover the Murray vs. Twin Cedars playoff game, while assistant managing editor Kyle Wilson came out of sports retirement for one night only, to cover the Mount Ayr vs. West Central Valley playoff game.
Meanwhile, with the three of us preparing for kickoff at our respective football games, Southwestern Community College was honoring long-time volleyball coach Rita Schroeder by naming the Southwestern volleyball court in her honor.
We picked up a big assist from Joel Wires, who took photographs at the event and sent them our way.
Then there was the Lenox playoff game against Exira/Elk Horn-Kimballton, which I’ll get to later.
While Larry battled the drizzle and temperatures in the 40s in Sioux City, I was nice and comfortable in the beautiful weather conditions in Murray.
After a 62-point first half in Murray, I grabbed a Mustang Special (a double burger with nacho cheese, topped with a pork loin) at the concession stand, and settled in for the second half.
Thanks to the running clock, my game finished first and I made the trek home to get started on the marathon of catching up on everything going on Wednesday night.
Larry and I are used to working the night shift now, but we knew Wednesday night would likely be a later night than we’re used to.
I received a text message from Larry at around 10 p.m. telling me he was leaving Sioux City, which meant it was going to be three and a-half hours until he arrived back at the office.
And then he was still going to have to write his story and prepare photographs.
Kyle and I were already both at work on our respective game stories. After I reached a point where I couldn’t work on the Murray story anymore without stats, I moved on to Lenox.
I interviewed Lenox head coach Allen Dukes while he was still on the bus, and then put together a story on the Tigers’ season-ending loss.
Next on my list was the playoff football score list. Thankfully, it was late enough that all the scores I needed had already been reported.
Kyle finished his Mount Ayr story and then headed out for the night. At that point, it was time for me to bring out my laptop for some background noise, and I plugged in an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary.
Shortly thereafter, I received several photos in my email from Atlantic News Telegraph’s Drew Herron, who was at the Lenox game in Exira, which was another huge assist as we ended up with photographs from each of our four playoff games.
I finally finished up the Murray and Lenox stories, with stats, at around 1 a.m.
Larry arrived at the office around 1:30 a.m., and quickly got to work on the Creston/O-M story.
After preparing photos from the Murray and Lenox games, next up was plugging Mount Ayr stats into Kyle’s story, which was completed shortly after 2 a.m.
Then, it was time for me to write the story on Southwestern’s come-from-behind volleyball victory over Grand View.
Having finished all of my writing at this point, I assisted Larry with the Creston/O-M summary, totaling up stats and plugging them into the box score.
After Larry finished the Panther football story, I was finally ready to start layout of the pages, which came at around 3 a.m.
And so I began putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, and somehow, some way squeezed every bit of information from four playoff football games, the Southwestern volleyball match, and Marlin committing to Iowa into the four sports pages.
Finally, we had completed the marathon, and left the office at 5 a.m., culminating one of the busiest nights of sporting events I’ve been a part of.
There were some impressive numbers from the marathon session — four playoff games, 379 miles traveled by Larry to and from Sioux City, and three ESPN 30 for 30 films started and completed while I worked.
And I couldn’t possibly forget to thank those who assisted during the wild night one more time. Big thanks go out to Kyle Wilson, Joel Wires, Drew Herron, Terry Freeman and all the coaches who were able to get stats in on such a late night.
• The power of Twitter is incredible. Wednesday afternoon, renowned sports statistician Ken Pomeroy was looking for preseason polls for each Division I basketball conference when he made an interesting discovery.
Conference USA ceased putting out a preseason poll in 2010, making it the only conference that did not have a preseason poll.
Pomeroy then took to Twitter, saying if he received at least five responses ranking the teams from 1-12, he would put together a preseason poll.
As a fan of college basketball, I decided why not give it a try? I’m by no means an expert on C-USA basketball, but it was still fun to put together my ranking of the teams.
Thursday, Pomeroy released the preseason C-USA basketball poll as voted on by 26 voters — USA Today’s Dan Wolken, CBSSports.com’s Matt Norlander, UW-Superior head coach Paul Eberhardt and 23 random people from Twitter, including myself.
The poll, which saw Memphis selected as the unanimous No. 1, can be found at http://kenpom.com/blog
• Just two weeks ago, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was the clear difference between two, seemingly, otherwise evenly-matched football teams in Ames. Now, after his performance against West Virginia last week, he’s the clear frontrunner for the Heisman.
It can’t hurt his chances that he has one of the best nicknames in college football right now — Optimus Klein.
• In case you haven’t noticed, ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is back and is showing new documentaries on Tuesday nights, and replaying them throughout the week. Any fan of sports should check out these documentaries. They are very well done, and tell some amazing stories.
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