Wednesday, October 31, 2007

On Monday we submitted a credential request to Maryland that would allow us to cover the women's basketball game against Team USA. We didn't hear anything until Wednesday at 4:30pm, and the responsive had a negative tone to it.

Al and I are very disappointed by Maryland's response and are really left speechless about what we can do at this point. Maryland doesn't perceive the DC Sports Box to be a legitimate media outlet and I'm not sure what we can do to convince them otherwise.

We have 8 people that are writing or shooting for us, and we report on the Wizards, Nationals, Mystics, Redskins, Hoyas, Colonials, and Midshipmen. All our photographers own 400mm/2.8 lenses (which cost over $5k each), and almost every person carries personal liability insurance. The number of readers we have is growing every month. We're working on our incorporation, and once that is wrapped up we're going to be looking at ways we can earn some money.

I wish they'd see our commitment and capabilities and realize that we're legitimate. In the mean time we'll have to keep shooting and hoping they come around.

I was really torn about attending the game tonight. We weren't credentialed, and if we couldn't get a credential for a pre-season exhibition game against a non-conference challenger it doesn't bode well for our hopes later on in the season. Al's thought is that we have to focus on the teams that want us to be courtside to report on them. I would still like to report on Maryland, but I agree with his viewpoint.

As a result I didn't know if I wanted to attend the game tonight. Maryland has left such a bad taste in our mouth and as a result I wasn't very motivated to attend on my own dime and cover the game. But at the same time I thought that it's times like these that you have to have a steady hand and stay consistent. I headed over to the game to cover it with my 70-200mm/2.8 and D200.

As I walked up the steps I thought about how last year I picked up a credential from Will Call with some help from a friend of mine. And here I am about a year later having shot 90+ games and having been paid for my work and I'm purchasing a ticket to an exhibition game against a non-conference team. I paid my $4 at the door to a person selling tickets and headed inside.

There were very few people in attendance and I could pretty much anywhere I wanted except for the floor. I probably could have gotten down there if I really wanted to because 2 of the CSC staff recognized me and waved to me. I stayed up in the stands though and had to move around on several occasions because I was blocked by people on the floor.

I was absolutely miserable during the event and that was the first time I had shot an event and not enjoyed myself. I couldn't stop thinking about how we were being treated by Maryland and it really irritated me. I thought about walking out half way through the game but I kept going back to what originally brought me there: even though Maryland was being cold to us I want to show them nothing but professional coverage.

You can read my writeup over here.

I wish I had some more to say about the event, but my enthusiasm for covering Maryland athletics has waned given their response.


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