ATLANTA—There may be no better feeling, as a sportswriter, than being the only person in a media work room.

So here I sit, not brokenhearted, in an empty ball room at a downtown Atlanta hotel.

It’s Saturday morning, two mornings before Monday’s regionally huge national title game between Georgia and Alabama.

Two security guards, one absolutely armed, checked my media credential thinking I might be a freeloader trying to crash 300 hundred empty chairs and a stack of media guides.

Ok, so I missed Media Day.

Big deal.

But let this be a lesson to all young, aspiring journalists–never let the rooster beat you to a 5:30 a.m. wake up call. I didn’t sleep much Friday, maybe an hour or two, traveling from California to Atlanta. The man in front of me on the Vegas to ATL leg had that killer flu I fully expect to (now) come down with next week.

He was an older Alabama fan who broke my personal rule of adult etiquette, which is: no man over 50 should wear a football jersey with a player’s name on it.

So, anyway, I decided to “sleep in” on Saturday to 8:30 local time, 5:30 time back home in LaVar Ball Land (Chino Hills). The plan (my plan) was to skip Georgia’s 9 a.m. session but catch Alabama at 10:30, thinking this would cement my status as a half-session ass reporter.

Writer blissfully at work in empty Media Workroom

The transportation desk had other plans. The nice lady there told me I had missed the last bus to wherever Media Day was being held and that my best bet was taking Uber.


This broke another one of my rules, which is: I’ll pay an Uber driver to see Nick Saban Coach–but not to talk. No way.

My loathsome tardiness and body-clock weakness sentenced me to the solitary confinement of the media work room. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.