I have been to four high school football games in my life.
One at my high school (I think only one). One at the high school most of my friends went to. One at a college friend’s former high school, when we visited for homecoming.
And one Friday.
The high school reporters at the Columbian had one too many games to cover that night, so I picked up the extra both to help out and to prove to myself I could do it. I had already written a story about Battle’s preseason, so I was familiar with the coach and the location. A couple of our guys gave me stat-keeping tutorials.
About me: I’m like an ADHD butterfly in a field of wildflowers. Especially when I watch sports. My stats from Battle’s game reflect that. They span pages, scrawled intermittently with observations about the cheerleaders (my real story…no, really). Thus, my story does not have very many stats in it.
But the nugget of that statement is that I still got a story out of the game. In fact, the biggest thing besides stats that I feared before the game — talking to people — would have been very fun if I hadn’t had to worry about keeping any stats. It goes back to Hunter S. Thompson and watching the crowd, not the game.
And guess what? I went without a plan.