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Student journalists recap game through the press

Tuesday, 11.20.2007 / 10:55 AM CT / Community
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Student journalists recap game through the press
The Nashville Predators are proud to invite students from Hume Fogg Academic School to come out to select Predators games as members of the press corps. Students have the opportunity to look behind the scenes at the life of a sports journalist and how they cover a professional sports team. The students are afforded all of the amenities that a member of the press would receive.

Eric Austin and Dale Mills were on hand to take in all the action on Thursday, Nov. 15 when the Predators took on the Chicago Blackhawks
Read below as the two students co-write their experiences.

Who would’ve thought there were more than twelve guys, a couple goals, and a puck?
By: Eric Austin and Dale Mills

To most people, a hockey game is just a three-period contest between 12 guys on an ice rink. All eyes are fixated on those 12 men battling for a little black disk. Yes, to most people a hockey game is exactly what it seems. But what I learned at the Sommet Center is that there is much more to a hockey game (and any professional sporting event for that matter) than meets the eye. 

My co-writer Dale Mills and I arrived at the media entrance just a few blocks from our school Thursday night (Nov. 15) for the Predators-Blackhawks game not quite knowing what to expect. I knew that I was about to experience something that I had seen many times before from a completely new perspective. What I did not know is that my eyes were about to be opened to a completely different world going on underneath this very familiar event.

We headed down the elevator which opened to reveal a wide gray corridor and our guide for the evening, Erich Wilhelm, Community Relations Coordinator for the Nashville Predators. We introduced ourselves and then headed over to the media dinner down the hallway. During dinner we looked over a mountain of stat sheets which included information on every team in the league and just about every fact you could ask for about the hometown team. The room was filled with media people as well as coordinators for the game. Most notable for me was hearing the familiar voices of Pete Weber and Terry Crisp at the table to our right. I realized that for the individuals here, this was a nightly ritual. Many of them were good friends as you could easily tell by the light-hearted mood of the room.

After dinner we went to the elevator that would lift us to our seats in the press box for the evening. On our way, we walked through a frenzy of people getting ready for the game. We passed the dual zambonis which were being prepped for their rides around the ice.

We then made the ascent to our seats which were nothing like I had expected. I envisioned a temperature controlled room with a couple rows of desks and the sounds of ringing phones and typing fingers. In actuality though, the press “box” was a section in one of the corners of the upper bowl. It consisted of about four rows of long desks with a nametag set out for each journalist. I was excited to see notable outlets like 106.7 and ESPN present. The open press box really helped me to get a sense of what the arena was like at key moments at the game, and I saw how being able to catch the sounds of the players, officials and fans would be essential to a journalist’s postgame recap. But unlike the roaring fans around us, we had to maintain a professional, impartial demeanor throughout the game, even when Martin Erat scored the game-winning goal just 19 seconds into the overtime period.

When the overtime thriller was over, we moved downstairs and sat in for the press conference with coach Trotz. Here again I picked up a clear familiarity with the coach and the few reporters that question him night after night. They talked a lot of strategy, a little too much for my limited knowledge of the sport to handle, but it was still a great experience just getting to view a real press conference with the coach of a professional sports team.

The night was winding down. On our way out, we were shown the offices of the Predators organization. Here you really get a perspective of just how much goes into maintaining a team in the NHL. It may be one thing to be a season ticket holder and make it to every game of the year. But for the players, journalists, and working staff, hockey is much more than a spectator sport. It’s a way of life, and for them, everyday is game day.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


F. Forsberg 82 33 31 1 64
R. Josi 81 14 47 -3 61
J. Neal 82 31 27 27 58
S. Weber 78 20 31 -7 51
M. Ribeiro 81 7 43 11 50
C. Smith 82 21 16 4 37
M. Ekholm 82 8 27 14 35
R. Johansen 42 8 26 10 34
R. Ellis 79 10 22 13 32
C. Jarnkrok 81 16 14 1 30
P. Rinne 34 21 10 .908 2.48
C. Hutton 7 5 4 .918 2.33