9:00 a.m. -- An assignment editor/department director sits down, makes a little small talk before beginning the daily morning meeting with a group of reporters waiting to hear what they will be doing for the day.
"Alright, I've got nothing in the file. What do you want to do with your day?"
The worst question to get at the start of the day in the local (i.e. small-town) news business. Print or broadcast, trying to figure out something to "cover" is a series of starts and stops -- unanswered phone calls along with about "four irons in the fire" that never seem to actually, you know, get hot.
Sure, you would think a day where there was "nothing" going on would be a much needed respite from inane press conferences, horrible car wrecks and general government minutia. I mean, there's no news today? Roll the water skiing squirrel!
But really, a day with nothing actually means a lot of work trying to make that nothing into something worth watching or reading.
Which is something I was thinking about today as I attempted to sit down and bang out a post here on the site. I could write about Jim Boeheim vs. the Rest of the World, which just irritates me to the core. Boeheim certainly should back off a little regarding Tyler Ennis, seeing as the kid is now on to bigger and better things, but his opinion is of the most educated on the subject isn't it? He's not only coached for 38 years, sending several players on to the pros early, but he also saw Ennis on a day-to-day basis. The fact that Boeheim compliments the freshman while also pointing out he needs work should speak volumes. Yet, Boeheim isn't likable so the easy narrative is to ignore historical facts and just rip the old coach one more time.
I could write about all of that but Sean's already hit that one out of the park.
(As an aside, writing for this site can sometimes make me feel like South Park to Sean's The Simpsons. Which is meant only as the most sincere compliment to the boss while clearly exaggerating my talents.)
So, where to go on this April morning when it comes to the Syracuse Orange? A dilemma I have so rarely faced in the last couple of years. What with real scandals, fake scandals, and all of the retirement discussion, finding inspiration in the offseason has been like Daryl Gross finding a camera. But things are, for whatever it's worth, a little slow right now -- and, besides, Boeheim's pissing off someone in the media is nothing "new." But otherwise, Mike Hopkins looks like he staying, Jerami Grant hasn't made up his mind but all signs point to a return and Yahoo! Sports isn't snooping around the Hill -- as far as we know, anyway.
For a good stretch here, any one of us who write for the site could blindly pick an interesting topic, write about it and have little fear of someone else picking the same subject. It's different, right? I know the Ennis news is still relatively fresh, but really, the Orange went down against Dayton with a forgettable whimper, putting a cap on a mostly forgettable March. Waiting on someone like Grant is...dare I say, a normal off-season type of ritual! It's almost like Syracuse is kind of like every other team in the country -- sorry, TMZ, nothing going on here. Which stinks for me, not that I root for scandals, but I certainly look for interesting subplots.
I can just picture Sean, via our secret Bloggers Only Facetime mechanism, asking us what we are going to do with our posts for the site today. And, with that in mind, at the risk of tipping off the conspiratorial minded, I thought I would rattle off a list of possible COMPLETELY NEW scandalicious scandals like all reporters do: (Please tell me you picked up on the sarcasm.)
- Carrier Dome: Built on a pet cemetery? Think about it, have you ever heard it wasn't built on a pet cemetery? Online petition to find out the truth signed by dozens of idiots.
- Gerry McNamara: Love-child of Jim and Julie Boeheim? The DNA results you've been waiting for!
- Jim Boeheim Doesn't Think Kaleb Joseph Is Ready...to play NBA 2K14.
- Jerami Grant Gets Syracuse Chiefs Tattoo: Junior forward gets free NBT Stadium tickets for life with face tattoo.
- Miley Cyrus Replacing Vanessa Williams: Twerking star bumps Desperate Housewife for National Anthem gig.