Breaking it down

by
Nate Jervey

Nate Jervey

By: Nate Jervey
Assistant Sports Information Director

As I sat down to write this blog entry (the first blog entry that I have ever penned…can typing something be consider penning it??) I found myself with little inspiration and I thought that I was going to have a difficult time figuring out something to write about. As I read through the other posts by Wendy, Joel and Jan, I was struck by something that Wendy had written about — two things actually.

The first was that she mentioned the falling leaves. Being from Michigan originally and having only worked in Lexington for a little over a year now, I can really identify with the fall season. I am used to it starting about a week after the Fourth of July. Back home we would typically be expecting the first snowfall sometime around Halloween. As Rachel (the sports information assistant and fellow Midwesterner) noted the other day, when we were kids our Halloween costumes were often dependent on whether or not we could wear them with a snowsuit.

Waxing poetic aside, Wendy compared her season to the life cycle of a walnut tree. Long periods of dormancy interrupted by a flurry of action. Wendy noted that her nine-month off-season culminates in a flurry of activity over a three-month span as her field hockey team takes to the turf. Now, I understand that dormancy is maybe the wrong word, as coaches don’t go into hibernation during the offseason. There is recruiting to do, film to be watched, clinics to coach/attend, etc… But it is still an “off-season” — a time to reflect on the season that was and prepare for the season that is approaching.

For me (and Brian and Rachel), the term “off-season” is as foreign as anything that I can think of. As the Sports Information Office is responsible for the media relations for all of the University’s 23 varsity sports, our off-season is generally reserved for a two and a half month stretch through June and July — if we are lucky.

Reflection on one season and anticipation of the next is often difficult for us. 23 sports, three people. That works out to about 7-8 sports each for the three of us. And they are evenly spread out depending on which season they compete in. For instance, I handle field hockey, volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track & field, baseball and men’s and women’s outdoor track & field. Technically that is 10 of the 23 sports, but the track & field teams are really just one large sport in terms of workload for me, so it is not as bad as it seems. With so many different sports to take care of, you can see how it would be hard to really appreciate the accomplishments of team one and look forward to the exploits of another.

There is absolutely no time in between seasons for us. Our winter sports will start before our fall sports end. Our winter sports are still competing while spring sports gear up, making it even more difficult to fully appreciate the sport that is winding down and just as difficult to look forward to the one that is getting out of the blocks (see what I did there…a little track reference).

This weekend is the first full weekend of competition for Washington and Lee. Volleyball opens with two matches on Friday night, which happen to be at the same time as our first field hockey game – both at home. Both are my sports, but I will be handling field hockey and will not get done until at least 9:00 pm on Friday at which point I will have worked part of a volleyball match and a field hockey game (against No. 11 Johns Hopkins no less) and will then have posted the results and game details on the website and passed them along to assorted media outlets. On Saturday, we have both cross country teams competing at home, volleyball once again playing at home, field hockey at home, football at home, men’s tennis at home and men’s and women’s soccer on the road. The festivities get under way at 10:00 am with the women’s cross country race and continues into the afternoon with field hockey taking on McDaniel at 3:30 pm. Great way to just EASE into the season huh? It is going to be this way for the three members of the sports information office for the next nine months.

Long hours and break-neck pace from September to June aside, I love my job. I get paid to watch basketball games, lacrosse games, volleyball matches. I actually get paid to sit courtside at basketball games. I get paid to travel to NCAA Tournament contests. I get paid to know about sports. I am a guy and a former college athlete myself. How this is an actual job again?

As I prepare to kiss my social life goodbye until Memorial Day at the earliest, I have to pinch myself. I live in a beautiful part of the country and I get paid to watch sports. Now if only I could get a day off.

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