Tuesday, April 3, 2007

From The Big Apple to the Big Orange

Hey guys, I’m back. My life has been crazy these past two weeks thanks in large part to working the NCAA basketball tournament for CBS (congratulations to those of you who got to watch it like normal human beings). Working 15 hour days, even when watching every sport you can imagine on 12 different TV’s, makes you realize that the television business is not as glamorous as one may think. New York is the number media market in the United States and the insanity that ensued coupled with the mass amounts of people involved to make it run so smoothly was proof positive of why. You truly have no idea how much goes into a major television production until you have taken part in it. One day I’ll look back from in front of the camera and laugh, I hope.

In all honesty, after living basically my whole life in Florida, moving to New York has been one of the best experiences of my life. The “Big Apple” is unlike any place on earth, and it can change you. Not all for the better, but most.

I tell you this because in about 3 months I will be moving to another place that is truly unique, Israel, specifically, Tel Aviv. The village just outside of the “Big Orange,” will give us, as players, a chance to get to know not only our roommates or our teammates but everyone that has been given the opportunity to play in the Israel Baseball League. I know that no matter what team I end up on playing in the inaugural season of the IBL and living in Israel will definitely have an affect on me. It is a country that deals with life and its daily happenings in such a different way than I do as an American. People keep asking me if I am nervous to go over there and I always reply, “absolutely not.” Obviously the widespread hatred of Israel and ever-escalating violence is in the back of my mind, but the fact that a country so war-torn can come together and bring baseball to those who have never had it says more about where this country is, and will be, than any report you see on CNN.

The league itself is starting to really take shape, which is exciting. We are starting to find out some of the particulars and opening day is coming up pretty soon. I have been doing some extensive training, although I had to take a two-week hiatus for the tournament but not to worry I am getting my work in. Next week, I am going to begin a throwing program that I got from the trainer I had in college. So Leon, if you are reading this, lets get to work man.

I would like to take some time during this special opportunity I have to write a special segment where I will recognize a different person each time I post. I am dubbing this segment “My Biggest Fan at This Moment.” My first biggest fan at this moment goes to Lon Samuelson of CBS Sports. Lon has been in charge of both making sure I get the most out of my internship as well as giving me grief every chance he gets. He is the biggest sports fan I know and will be following the IBL very closely on a day-to-day basis. So thanks Lon for being the first, “My Biggest Fan at This Moment.”

That’s all for now, but I will be back with more soon.