With a little help from my friends
Baseball may be the national pastime but ripping the local sports scribe has nipped at its heels ever since the first crack of the bat. I have beef with these jokers too, but for more personal reasons other than lambasting athletes.
The sports season is long. I mean really long. What you have is basically the same four or five guys in what always seems to be a Chevy Impala rental car getting lost in towns like Ames, Iowa from the beginning of September to the end of March. I think it's fair to say that after seven or so months of eating at Denny's, being layed-over at DFW and listening to Keegan's hippy rock we start to grate each other's nerves.
Below, I've compiled dossiers for each of my fellow coworkers comprised of their name, occupation and most annoying trait that I've discovered to date. This is my official Annoying Coworker, Nails On Chalkboard list for the 2009-2010 sports season. They pretty much all center around eating or traveling because these are the times when we interact most.
Dugan Arnett, KU football beat writer: Shakes his head and stares at the menu in every restaurant we go to until the waiter or waitress hates us. After an extended period of contemplation coupled with awkward silence he will then order exactly what I ordered.
Jesse Newell, KUsports.com online editor: Does this thing where he clicks his thumbnails off his teeth while staring out the car window. This may not sound that bad to some of you, but it's a long drive to Norman and the Flint Hills aren't as cool as everybody says they are.
Gary Bedore, KU basketball beat writer: Is a perfect human being and I have nothing else to say about him.
Tom Keegan, sports editor, columnist: Is quick to point out and become agitated by the peculiarities of others, yet harbors some of the most annoying tendencies of all. The man hates vegetables and onions especially. Tom believes that onions lurk around the corners of his food and the only way to protect himself from their distastefulness is to grill the waitress about the onion content of every item ordered and then he stares at her above his glasses as if to catch her in a lie.
To keep myself from completely flying off the handle in moments like these I try to remember the good times and all the positive qualities that each guy brings forth. A particular instance involving the Henry brothers stands out.
Xavier and C.J. had arrived to KU and a cluster of media members had shown up wanting to catch them for interviews as they left the Fieldhouse following a workout. I was hoping to grab the brothers for a quick portrait after the the crowd had disbanded but I didn't have a clean place with any atmosphere to shoot them because of the construction in and around the Fieldhouse. Knowing this, I decided to set up in Hadl Auditorium and with the clock running started setting up stands, adjusting lights and plugging in chords.
Being the good sport that he is, Tom noticed my frantic behavior and came over to model the light as he and the guys often do. As I fired test shots and made adjustments, Tom showcased his talent for basketball spinning and brought enough buffoonery to the situation to kill any anxiety I may have incurred.
When the Henry brothers agreed to do the portrait I showed them this test photo of Tom thinking it might lighten the mood and give them an idea of what I had in mind. They very politely looked at me like I was completely crazy.