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Time Is (sometimes) On My Side

12:13 AM, Mar 10, 2013   |    comments
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By Andy Mohler, KSDK Sports Producer

You know, as we are moving (have moved?) our clocks forward an hour, I got to thinking about time tonight. 

As a producer of a show, whether a full program or just a segment of one, time is a major concern.

On many levels.

I have found over the years that my insides battle as the finish of a game treads dangerously close to a show deadline.  As a sports fan, I want my team to win.  But in my job as a producer, I have to weigh what a rally by a team I'm rooting for would potentially do to my highlights that are about to air.  As many times as people have told me that I have a great job and that they're jealous that I get paid to watch games, that is one instance that would encourage me to tell an envious friend that they're full of it.

But in most cases, my running battle with time is fought over having more material than the time I'm allotted.  At my deepest core I am a sports fan, and I want to share my passions with our viewers and compete with a viewer's other choices for summarizing a day in sports.

You see, part of my job is to determine what the greater majority of our audience wants to see, things that he or she can't get anywhere else.  And the priority is to sum up the story with the best resources.  And the fact that I rarely come away satisfied with the end product means I still can do better. 

But I can't ever seem to get enough time.

Saturday night, for example, was a virtual local sports buffet, all you could devour:  A Blues comeback, Saint Louis U. winning their first conference title since I was a wee lad, Missouri playing another on-the-edge, come-from ahead game, Adam Wainwright pitching well and then making his pitch for an end to contract negotiations by the end of spring training, and about a thousand high school basketball games.   And as anyone from this area who has asked the inevitable question of where someone went to high school can testify, folks take their preps seriously; we at KSDK try to feed that hunger.  And our assignment desk invested the resources to get six games shot tonight, plus we had highlights of another game that we got from an affiliate.  All important games as the march to Championship Weekend in Columbia goes on.

No matter how big a time bag we got to work with tonight, it was going to be a challenge to not overstuff the bag with each separate storyline to inform and entertain our viewers.  I even made the decision that I would have to leave the bench-clearing fight from the World Baseball Classic on the shelf in favor of local interest stories; great video, but available elsewhere.  And no one in our market was going to have highlights of seven high school games.

One has to have ambition, right?

I got some extra time for our sportscast tonight, and I thought I could pull it off.  I kept everything shorter than I would have liked, but still I felt as if each story was told efficiently, informatively, and yes, quickly.

Sigh.

Time slows down for no one, as  I learned once again.

I just couldn't fit everything in.  There are three prep games you'll have to see in our morning sports report or on KSDK.com, plus there are some championship teams that fans of their schools probably think we ignored. 

Not true. 

What's that old line used for a legendary quarterback who has passed on?  He didn't die, he just ran out of time.  That line can be used for old sports producers, too.

But that's the trials and travails of a sports fan with infinite beliefs living in a finite world of time.

But I'll be back at it tomorrow, at least until I figure out something better to do to feed my passion.  And I'll be better.

You know, because after all, tomorrow is another day.

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