Way back at the beginning of the season, Kate said to me, "Hey, what would you think of trying to get credentialed for a game in D.C.?" I immediately seized on the idea. I have no interest in being in a press box on a regular basis - I like being a fan way too much for that - but I thought it would be a really neat one-time experience and one that could lead to some interesting and entertaining blog entries. I was a journalism major for a time and even though I bailed on it, I have remained pretty interested in that world.
Unfortunately, getting credentialed wasn't quite as easy as the Caps machine makes it sound. (Seriously, it's all very, "Got a blog? Hey, bring your laptop and we'll hook you up!") Nate Ewell, the guy I spoke to with the Caps, was very kind and helpful but informed me that all visiting press requests go through the visiting team. Which makes perfect sense and shows you how very naive I was about this whole process. Kevin Snow, the guy I spoke to with the Sabres, was also very helpful but after offering a (very small) sliver of hope, ultimately told me that the Sabres policy is to not credential bloggers. I was a little disappointed but I think that's an understandable stance for them to take. They're not hurting in the least for coverage so it's probably easier to not take the time to weed through blogs. I'll just assume that if they did credential bloggers, I would be at the very top of the list. (That's a joke.)
Anyway, before the plan went belly up, I emailed Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News to see if he was going on that trip. He was and he very good-naturedly offered to babysit us and help out with anything we were unsure of. When I emailed Mike I already had a couple of ideas percolating in the ol' noggin. One, I wanted to see if I could charm him into feeding Kate and me on TBN's dime. (Also a joke. But only a little.) Two, I thought I'd see if I could get him to sit down with me for a few minutes and do a little interview for this here blog.
Mike was, of course, devastated to learn that Kate and I were not going to be in the press box with him. (That's my interpretation.) And I have to admit, as much as I definitely wouldn't want to do it on a regular basis, I was pretty disappointed too. I was starting to get some really fun ideas for potential posts. I mentioned to Mike in passing one day that I had been thinking about doing an interview with him if he was agreeable and he suggested that we could do it anyway which yeah, duh. Why not? I'm a dope.
So we did it. And have been doing it for quite a while. Turns out we're both full of wisdom and insight. Or we're both windbags who think we're full of wisdom and insight. Take your pick. Now a real journalist would probably take the thousands and thousands of words and edit them into one really good post. I say eff that. The Sabres don't think I can be a real journalist? Fine. I'm going to embrace all my finest blogger tendencies and eschew editing and word limits.
So next week you guys are going to get Mike Harrington: An Interview in Three Acts. That's right, it's going to be a regular Mike-a-palooza here at Top Shelf. The tentative schedule is as follows:
MONDAY - Part One. About blogging, why Mike enjoys it and how it's affected his job and the newspaper.
WEDNESDAY - Part Two. Growing up in Buffalo, the Sabres beat, the difference in being a fan and being a journalist and the problem with TBN. (Okay, that last part is mostly me.)
FRIDAY - The Shocking Conclusion. Odds and ends that don't fit in the above posts. Some frivolity and also the answer to the burning question, "Will the Pirates win the World Series in my lifetime?"
In addition to the interview, which I hope you'll all read and enjoy, I am still going to D.C. as a regular ol' fan and will probably do a little bit of blogging from there.
Hey, have a good weekend.