Here's a quick recap of what it's like covering the Cats on the road for the SEC tourney:
First priority is planning the 90-minute semifinal report for Saturday. Plan, produce, coordinate graphics and animations necessary to create and produce based on sales, cut teases and bumps shots. Check break times for the show and start writing.
Then it's on to editing one-on-one pieces with Cal, Dominique Hawkins and Alex Poythress. Make sure the show is in order with the exception of sending back post from Atlanta on Friday night after Cats play in their first game of tourney.
Day-to-day duties stay the same. Email, applying for credentials, parking passes, phone texting and tweeting. Producing stories and video posted to the web and mobile app.
Cars have to be cleaned after year of not being kept in travel condition. Vacuum, wipe down surfaces, fill up on gas and wash the outside before hitting the road.
Once in Atlanta, it's time to crank out content. Send back 11 o'clock a-block hit, tease and sports hit for Wednesday night.
Morning sports sent back after that for Thursday. Then it's time for 5 o'clock hit, 6 a-block, sports teases and sports hit for 6 on Thursday at the Georgia Dome.
11 a-block, sports tease and sports hit Thursday night new from the team hotel after LSU beats Alabama. Morning sports sent back for Friday from team hotel as well.
Tape a segment for KSTV for the show's Friday airing real quick with Thomas Beisner and company. Always a good time.
Friday (UK's first game of tourney) vs. LSU. Preview with another hit at 5, a-block and sports tease and hit for 6.
Topicals for the 11's on Thursday and Friday sent back from the Georgia Dome to tease ahead during ABC primetime what's coming up that night from Atlanta.
Friday night at 11 is a recap in the a-block of the Cats and LSU, then a sports tease and sports recap as well.
The big semifinal show Saturday morning finally comes after dealing with days of running electrical, ethernet and checking connections while in Atlanta to make sure we're good to go with signal and power for a full 90 minutes. Emails printed before leaving Lexington coming in handy as teh communications company dealing with running ethernet line has no clue about it already being paid for, etc. We have to tape our last segment during the show because of TV rights owned by ESPN. So by 12:50, we have to be shut down court-side. Fun show packed with content and plenty to get fans set for the games to follow with a focus on the Cats obviously.
Post show tougher to get together with technical problems back home. With our Dejero live units, we have no program feed and no audio to hear what's actually going out over the air, so things can look delayed until we get a cue from the only other person we have down in Atlanta to run the camera during the show.
Sunday it's recapping the title game at 6 and then full coverage of the NCAA selection show at 11.
Staying in Buckhead to drive in daily adds some time to the day.
Non-stop, 12-14 hour days on average throughout the week can easily turn into 18-hour days in a flash. Sleep at a premium Saturday night before we get Sunday started and make the drive back to Lexington! Of all the games played, only 3 or 4 actually get to be watched in at least some form.
Then time to plan for travel in the NCAA and keep coverage plan moving back home for high school hoops, UK women, EKU men, UK baseball/softball, UK football pro day, track and more.
Derby credentials need to be sent in upon return as well. The finished product is what most everyone sees, but the hard work that goes into planning it all and keeping it moving is what goes unnoticed by the majority.
Maybe that helps give an idea of what has to be dealt with other than standing and talking about the game.