As you know by now, Mississippi State lost to Western Kentucky, beat Stephen F. Austin, and I was there to write and tweet about it.
Before all of that happened though, I was running late to the Mississippi State softball game against Western Kentucky. I’ve always been bad about being punctual (it’s something that my parents would potentially chastise me for if they knew how often I was not actually early for something) and I made it in to the press box with my backpack about an inning and a half late to the game.
Not my proudest moment, but I’m a 22 year old college student, it’s a Saturday, I was up late last night watching movies and not feeling all that well, and I wanted to try to get lunch before the game. That didn’t happen.
I get settled in within the press box, with umpires for the next game in the booth to my left and Anthony Craven and the SEC/ESPN watch crew in the booth to my right. I tried opening the giant window in front of me. It didn’t move and made some loud noises, much to the enjoyment of the umpires and potentially to the annoyance of the broadcast crew. It was loud.
The next thing I know, I see a wasp fluttering around my right foot. I’m not sure where it came from. I’m not sure where it went. I still don’t know what happened. All I know is that I didn’t get stung. That would’ve sucked.
And I go about my live tweeting duties. It’s just like the games from last night, only with a wasp instead of a moth.
I’m the only media member present (okay kinda media member. I don’t get paid much and I don’t get approved for credentials or press releases but whatever). I need to get as much information out to the public as possible. Because that’s what big time media folk do, right?
Well, as I’m live tweeting and eating a bag of Lay’s Classic chips (big time media folk gotta eat too) I hear someone get settled in behind me. It’s got to be another big time media person that was also tardy to the game, right? Well, nope.
It was John Cohen. Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics. That former baseball coach that took MSU to Omaha.
He greeted me with a pleasant “howdy there” and I returned his pleasant greeting with stunned silence.
I’m not sure if it was because I was shocked or caught off guard or where exactly one would classify my reaction on the spectrum of emotions one feels when they’re surprised. But I was quiet.
Once I FINALLY processed that it was John Cohen, Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics, that had joined me in the booth I got up and introduced myself. I figured John Cohen needed to know who the young big shot media person was in front of him (I’m the only media person there by the way) but also because it’s really cool to meet John Cohen, Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics.
And so I did. And of course the first thing I manage to get out of my mouth is “I didn’t expect to see you in here.”
And then I introduced myself and asked him about the baseball event that happened today, something I had missed but I assume where every other media person in Starkville was. He didn’t know because he hadn’t gone either. I apparently have things in common with John Cohen, Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics.
His wife, Nelle, would eventually join him in the booth and it was cool. I got to cover the game and listen (eavesdropping is bad, don’t do it, folks) to their discussion about the game. They’d give some incredible commentary and their emotional investment in the game was infectious.
He’d make comments about how he liked certain things about softball umpires over baseball umpires (he’s never had to scream in the face of a softball umpire, I assume) and they’d discuss certain plays that were made. It was cool.
I’ve been able to do a lot of cool things in my time here at For Whom the Cowbell Tolls. I’ve been a contributor since April of 2015, when I got my start covering softball. I’ve been the managing editor since May of 2016. I’ve been featured on ESPN radio in Salt Lake City as an interview and have been on podcasts and youtube channels discussing MSU. I’ve covered just about every sport in some capacity in that span of time.
Meeting John Cohen, Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics, while being the only big shot media person covering MSU’s softball game takes the cake for how cool something is. It’s not everyday that a college student and sports blogger person gets to be a sports media person and meet John Cohen, Mississippi State’s Director of Athletics.