At six-foot-six, Giancarlo Stanton stared down at me as words clumsily stumbled out of my mouth.
It was the Miami Marlins’ first baseball game of the season, which happened to be their first loss as well. So I guess you could say it was the perfect scenario for my first interview with professional athletes. In particular, the irate 240-pound one who had just struck out in the bottom of the ninth.
“Giancarlo,” I choked. “How did your new contract affect the pressure you felt in the game?” The sentence splattered like the last blast from a depleting bottle of ketchup.
The three-time All-Star slowly churned his tree stump of a neck towards me.
“Zero!” he bellowed, with eyes that stared so deep into my head, they converted all five of my “Inside Out” emotions into fear.
I found out the next morning on 104.3 FM as they repeatedly played my interview question for six minutes that I had insulted him with my (as my friends put it) “implied doubt.”
But can you imagine if that was the last time I ventured into a locker room? If the sole headline of my sports career was: “Stanton’s stare forces student to defecate?”
If I hadn’t chalked that up as a learning experience, I would have never realized how rewarding it can be to interview professional athletes. Just last week I helped out with a piece on Ultimate Fighting Championship fighter Anthony Johnson, and I only required two adult diapers this time.
As you learn about and visit new organizations this fall, make sure to at least return for a second go-around. As I just showed you, first times are just…awkward. You’re too busy feeling out the situation to know where to feel it in the first place it.
For example, if a year was defined by New Year’s Day, then each would be marked “the year of sleeping all day and wearing sunglasses inside.”
Regardless, Canefest already passed, so I know you have more club fliers than digits of Pi.
Therefore, you have two options for those brochures: Feed the pile of papers into the recycling bin and forget about it, or actually make use of the information and show up to some club meetings. And then go back again.
Not everything is a Drake song, zooming from “zero to a hundred real quick.” Let an experience hit its stride before you measure its speed. You just don’t know how much you might enjoy something after you give it some time to stick – like the second season of Parks and Recreation.
Because you know what? I didn’t let the radio roasting stop me. Later that month, I worked the Miami Heat’s last press conference without earning any unwanted media coverage.
And after asking a player a question, even “Inside Out’s” joy made a cameo.
So please do your friend Danny a favor and stay on each merry-go-round for an extra ride, and, most importantly, read his next column, too.
Danny New is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism.