So, you think you can work in sports info? Well, listen up here, sonny.
Yesterday we were unofficially officially welcomed to the Atlantic 10 by league staffers with a riveting Power Point presentation and wooed with pewter coasters. Yes, my loyalty can be bought, and the price is pretty low. For many of us, it was our first administrative act as totally almost official but not official until July 1 members of the league.
This allowed for a chance for all us sports information/media relations types to get together and discuss incredibly sports info things.
A little background info. I’m a sports nerd. It’s a condition that affects thousands of adolescents a year. If left untreated, your children could grow up to work in sports information like me.
By the time I was 14, I was pouring over the USA Today sports section on a daily basis because they had the best stats. I can still tell you that Cleveland Indians third baseman Brook Jacoby hit 32 homers in 1987, but somehow only managed to drive in 69 runs. I know that Scottie Pippen was actually drafted by the Seattle Supersonics and that Johnny Unitas retired a Charger. I know that Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn and that the Washington Senators are now the Minnesota Twins (1961) and Texas Rangers (1972). I’m one of six people on the East Coast under the age of 50 that can score a baseball game by hand.
In high school, I managed to mask my sports nerdness to participating in undeniably cool sports like bowling and cross country.
Anyway, yesterday we sports info folks had an opportunity to do some of the most sports info stuff ever. Things like: In StatCrew, does the A-10 enter player names last name first, use the full first name or just the initial? Do you type the name in all caps or in upper and lower case letters (for the record, the A-10 is last names first – in all caps – followed by the first name in upper and lower case letters). Exciting, right?
Here’s my favorite part of the meeting, which is equal parts inane and helpful, especially to VCU fans. Here at Ram HQ, we’ve been fighting the VCU brand fight for years. For the record, there are two acceptable ways to reference your school. It’s either Virginia Commonwealth University (first reference) or VCU. It’s been an uphill battle within our own league to get people to stop using Va. Commonwealth as an abbreviation. We do this because, frankly, Va. Commonwealth looks terrible and is difficult to market and understand. VCU is sleek and looks great on a t-shirt. Plus, chicks dig it.