In my career, there have been a few moments that have made me scratch my head and think to myself, “Sometimes you just gotta laugh.” Yesterday during a Fox National Reds broadcast, we had one of those moments. It came in the bottom of the 7th inning. With the Reds finally erupting on offense and Braves starting pitcher
Rob Derek Lowe struggling in the late-afternoon heat, the manager made a call to the bullpen to replace Lowe and so we went to a commercial break.
And then the whole truck went dark.
When I say chaos ensued, it might be a little bit of a stretch. However I have to admit I don’t ever remember seeing so many people running around in such a confined space before. With a control room full of people (AD, Director, Producer, TD, BA, Me, 2 Stats people, some guy who was watching, another person I don’t know, Tech Manager and a Fox Box op and we ALL have computers and laptop bags lining the floors) all crammed into the front of our truck, trying to maneuver was tricky. Trying to maneuver in complete darkness is even trickier. And the fact that it was near 100 degrees outside and the truck started to get really warm really fast was another issue.
Funny thing was, with people running around and the truck engineers running more power to an external power source (apparently ours overheated. Go figure.), we were only off the air for 6 minutes. And with Fox also airing a game in Philadelphia, most viewers probably didn’t even notice we were gone and if they did, all they missed was a pitching change and 2 easy outs by Reds batters. So huge kudos go out to the Lyon truck engineers (Phil & Fred…quite possibly the funniest comedy act to ever hit the television circuit!) for their quick reaction and to the Fox crew (director Jim Lynch & producer Jeff Gowen) who got us back on the air without any issues.
I think there once was a horror movie tag line that once said…”In complete darkness…no one can hear you scream.” Well… apparently you can’t watch a ballgame either.