When you think of career days in sports, you think of players who pitch a no hitter, or hit three home runs in a game. No, I didn’t have any of those career days. Instead, I did spend the morning with first and second graders telling them the ins and outs of sports reporting at the annual New Bloomfield Career Day.
When I was asked a couple of weeks ago by the teachers if I could talk with kids about my job, I had no idea what to say. What would interest seven and eight year olds about me watching sports and then talking about it? It didn’t take long for me to catch on.
I don’t think the concept that I produce daily sportscasts for 50+ radio stations across the state of Missouri really sunk in. Or, the fact that I get up at 4am everyday to brush up on the previous night’s games. No, they were most excited about the story of free snacks!
It’s one of the perks of covering a professional sporting event. The hospitality these teams offer to sports reporters. The kids were absolutely fascinated by the fact that I get to go to games, eat popcorn and drink soda and on really hot days, whether it’s at a Cardinals’ game or an early September Chiefs game, I get to eat ice cream…ALL FOR FREE. I told each of the six classes that I spoke with that I thought I had one of the best jobs you could ask for. When one boy heard me describe the free ice cream on hot days I heard him say, "That is the best job."
We had fun as I interviewed some of the kids. They got a kick out of listening to themselves give simple yes or no answers to my in-depth questions about which sports they liked and why they liked them. I had one girl who was on a competitive cheer team that took 2 nd place at a competition in Indianapolis. I spoke with another girl who plays competitive softball. Another first grader who was happy she had scored two goals for her soccer team, and two boys, one who just liked playing football in the yard, and the other who couldn’t wait for summer baseball because he just enjoyed "hitting the baseball."
I know I was supposed to show up and teach those kids something about my profession, but I think they taught me a little something today. Kids don’t play sports for the thrill of winning, or to be the best athlete on the team or to defeat their opponent. They play sports, because it’s fun. That’s the way it should be. Play because you enjoy the game and look forward to snacks at the end. Kind of like my job now!
Thanks to New Bloomfield Elementary for inviting me to career day. I really enjoyed my time with those kids. Now, I did give the kids a home work assignment. They could either listen to my sportscast on Friday afternoon or read this article for the special password. So, for the first and second graders at NBE, the password is: WILDCATS
Remember, tell your teachers on Monday and you’ll get a special treat!!!