OXNARD, Calif. – Day 3 is Monday and the first day of two a days. Not like the Landry two-a-days when it was full pads morning and afternoon workouts. Now it's helmets and shorts in the morning and full pads in the afternoon. I'm not saying it's easy just different. But from a media stand point it's good because it gives you access to the players twice a day.
Our first interviews turn out to be starting cornerback BrandonCarr, new Defensive Coordinator Monte Kiffin, 8 time Pro Bowl tightend Jason Witten and Anthony Spencer. That's where Spenc told us he was very concerned about his left knee that had bothered him all off season long. Now we know why it wasn't just a bone bruise he needed surgery and now the defensive end is out for camp. Remember what Jason Witten said last year after arriving at camp. He said same ole story after finishing 8 and 8. Now after repeating the same record Jason was a little bit more low key this season telling us now the Cowboys have to walk the walk. He had every right to explode when you consider he ruptured his spleen in preseason and was ready for the season opener against the Giants. Talk about leading by example.
Now comes the fun part. Being in this business since I was 16, you get to see a lot of changes especially on the technical side. Don't get me started on film, but when I first covered Cowboys camp in the early 80s there were no live trucks or satellite trucks. Just the beginning of tape. So we would have to shoot the video of practice. Do interviews and then track our audio (narration) into the camera. Package it all up and head for the airport. It was about an hour drive from Thousand Oaks to LAX and every night at about 10:30 I would arrive at the Delta dash counter for the redeye back to SA. Someone back home would meet the flight and bring it all back to the station for editing. Our first satellite truck was born in the 80s and was driven all the way from SA to Thousand Oaks, California, and it almost made it until the transmission gave out. No problem - a large tow truck was called and it was taken to the field at CLC and dropped for our 10 day stay. We would worry about the transmission later everything else worked fine.
backpack I'm providing you with this somewhat boring background only to set up the following. Now you can go live from a backpack. No kidding a backpack full of electronic gear that somehow connects us using cellular service from anywhere in the United States. On Monday night, we fire it up at 10 pm waiting for our live hit at 10:20 in sports only to be told at 10:18, "Hey what's wrong? You're frozen up." So quickly photographer Billy Caldera reboots which is a fancy word for turn it off and then on again. And guess what? The signal is usable about 10 seconds after sports is scheduled to start. Isn't that like anything electronic? Crashes 2 minutes for you need it and comes alive 1 minute after it's time to go on the air. Good thing Steve Spriester is a sportscaster trapped in an anchorman's body and he pulls it off without a hitch even reading through my poor writing. The rest of the night Mr. Backpack behaved.
Don't get me started on what it's like to have to get that thing cleared through TSA. That's another blog all on it's own. Did I mention the equipment arrived!