“But me, I’m still on the road…”
“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?”
— T.S. Eliot
Too many strangers were standing in a long barely fire code approved skinny hallway.
The hotel carpet under my feet was brown, the walls were a shade of the floor, the conference room's double doors, yet another relative of a shade of color known as “not to offend.”
Multi-colored jerseys swam in and out of my view, it was like NASCAR without all the scratched bright metal and corn dogs.
And standing in front of me, 2 inches outside my personal space was a man framed in experience and white hair, I was listening to what he was saying to me but in the every third or fourth word listen.
“We’ll see …
“How much of a hot shot …
“The numbers will tell.”
I suddenly was jerked back into an every word listen. “We’ll see how this works out, I know you are some sort of hot shot at ESPN, but we’ll see how your numbers work out here, it will all come down to your numbers.”
It was day one with my new gig at some thing called B.A.S.S. and Bassmaster.com. It was a fishing gig, it was an outdoor gig, I was a few hours into it, my first impression was … pretty colorful sport … players' names on jersey backs, the names of those who pay the players everywhere else, everyone seemed, was nice to me or ignored me except this dude in front of me.
“Excuse me, what’s your name again,” asked even though he had some sort of name badge hanging around his neck.
Oh, hmm, I was told at ESPN that I would be working with, “…a Dave Precht,” and here he was standing in front of me.
“You can pick up your Media Packet over there,” said as he pointed inside a crowded room then shook my hand and smiled and walked into the back-slapping crowd of everyone knows everyone except me.
A couple hours later I’m in my “Bassmaster Classic” hotel room telling my wife of my experience with, “… the Dave guy.”
I could hear the anxiety in her voice. We both entered this gig with caution, “Sounds like he sort of drew a line in the sand, you know. What are you going to do now?”
As Barb was talking I was going through my Media Packet, came to my Press Badge that would give me all access except printed on it was only this: BUS.
I tossed the badge onto the bed, and answered my wife with this exact quote, “I’m going to step over the *%#@!* line drawn, that’s what I’m going to do.”
It was the best thing career wise that ever happened to me.
And in my heart I now know Dave Precht did me a huge favor then to which I’ve never really told him thank you.
“…heading for another joint…”