In the world of collegiate sports, the placement of press row can be an interesting topic of discussion, specifically in basketball. Traditionally, press row is a table courtside, often across from the official scorer’s table and the team benches. The the configuration of certain gyms along with the desire of some schools to sell courtside seating at a premium move members of the media to different locations.
And so, at the University at Buffalo and at St. Bonaventure, press row is elevated, the first row of the stands in essence, behind the official scorers table and behind the benches.
Why is this important?
It gives media types (such as myself) a chance to overhear some of the interesting things which come out of the mouths of coaches.
Granted, it is easier to hear chatter during a women’s basketball game (my primary beat) than it is during a men’s game, not just because the men draw more fans but because the accompanying “chatter” of music and other ADD-distractions are minimized.
Since becoming an endurance athlete two years ago, the way in which I view the people whom I write about has changed. What’s also changed are my reactions to the things I get to overhear during games.
At yesterday’s Buffalo-Bucknell women’s basketball game, I heard the Bulls head coach Linda Hill-MacDonald tell her team after a media time out: The next four minutes!
In college basketball, media time outs come every four minutes. (As an aside, I have never called a time out in my life. They are electronic media time outs for television and radio for commercials. Rant over.) With scheduled breaks every four minutes, the game gets broken down into segments.
The premise behind “the next four minutes” is a reminder to focus on that particular segment. It’s pretty obvious from an intellectual standpoint that one can only focus on what is in front of them. If you’re running mile No. 5, you can’t be running mile No. 8 nor can you go back and re-run mile No. 2. You can only run the mile you are in. Easier said than done, especially for those of us who were born over-thinkers. But the next four minutes may become one of my mantras to get me through those long winter treadmill training runs and through the pain of the upcoming half marathon.