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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

After the Broadcast

Monday
October 12, 2015

"You had a lot of dreams that transformed to visions
The fact that you saw the world affected all your decisions"
-Lil Wayne "How to Love"

"Double check for double meanings
I'm a man who's got very specific taste"
-Saint Motel "My Type"

Columbus Day is one of those B-level holidays that has a rather haphazard application, falling outside of the paid day off for most businesses. Banks are closed because they can and the mail doesn't run, but other services tend to fall into a certain gray area.

I stayed up very late this morning to watch the very good New Japan Pro Wrestling King of Pro Wrestling show that aired live on New Japan World, the streaming service that offers the best deal in entertainment I've ever run across, a remarkably low 999 yen (~$8.50 American depending on the exchange rate) per month. But, even for a night owl like me, the show ran late, but I made it to the 6 a.m. CDT conclusion.

Sleep, which can sometimes be elusive for me, was no problem this time around, though I subsequently slept into the early afternoon. As always in life, there are trade-offs to be found, even when you have the near total autonomy that I have.

So this afternoon, when the trash hadn't run by 2:30 p.m., I presumed that my trash company (Republic Services) observed Columbus Day. They almost always pick my trash up early in the morning. This is my first time around the calendar with them and I'm not sure what to expect, but I shrugged and rolled my container back from the curb, anticipating a one-day delay like I had for Labor Day.

But I wanted to know for sure, so I went online and found their schedule, which didn't list Columbus Day. I sent them an email inquiring about it, wanting to be sure. Moments later, in a Murphy's Law scenario, I heard the roar of a vehicle and an accompanying brake squeal -- it was a Republic Services truck, zipping past my place and picking up from a neighbor down the street.

That's what I get for not leaving the container up by the road while I checked, I suppose. Live and learn.

I can't say enough good things about being back on the broadcast team for Father Ryan High School football webcasts. After working on select games in 2010 and doing color commentary for all of 2011, I had to vacate my position when I moved away in May 2012. But I've been able to work myself back into the mix, and I've been warmly received. I appreciate the kind words and positive feedback I've received more than you know.

I thoroughly enjoy doing it, though the experience is typically very draining. In many ways my broadcast persona isn't really me, or at least not how I normally am: hyper-attentive and bantering and slightly bombastic at times, reacting to what I see and working off notes and memory from the show prep I did prior to the game.

It's three hours of improv, and I love it. I go into a bit of a trance, somewhat like how I am when I get on a roll with my writing, but also quite dissimiliar since it's communication in an entirely different way. And, wow, by the time I get home I'm usually absolutely exhausted. Mentally, emotionally, at times even physically.

But I really like being part of the broadcast team, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

And, so long as they'll have me in there, I'm willing to lend my broadcasting ability to help with the storytelling of the game, providing analysis for the friends and family and interested parties tuning in, not just across the country but from around the world. And if I'm able to help the students who are in the Behind the Crest broadcasting club learn a thing or two, even better.

In many ways, I enjoy being in the mentor role. The older I get, the more I find people turning to me to ask for advice or direction or to evaluate a given situation that the person in question might be facing. And I'm glad to help. The wily veteran role fits me better than just about any other, even though I played the upstart prodigy part for many years, going back to when I was improbably writing a music column for The Tennessean when I was in high school circa 1993-1994.

Things with Draft King are going better than ever. Who knows what the future will hold, and the party could end tomorrow. But for now I'm finding more success as an independent businessman with my website work than I have in any year doing anything else, both from a financial and certainly a job satisfaction standpoint.

The only debt I have is the mortgage on my house, and with zero dependents I'm in a remarkably good position. For the most part I do what I want, when I want, a scenario which I suspect is considerably more valuable to me than it likely would be for just about everyone I know. That all plays in with my INTP personality, which really deserves its own column on here so I can explain what that means.

But, at least for now, it's good times for me. October is here, my favorite month of the year, with the relentless heat of the summer gone and the bitter cold of the winter not here yet. From a sports standpoint it's about as good as it gets, with football on every level in full effect, the postseason of Major League Baseball underway, and pro hockey and basketball getting going. It's hard to find much to complain about with any of that.


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