Sports job has perks

Published 8:49 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

By By Chandler Myers
This job gets better all of the time. There are perks with this job that make it enjoyable.
Friday started the Escambia County basketball tournament, with Escambia County, T.R. Miller, W.S. Neal and Flomaton all facing off to decide who the best team in the county is.
There are a lot of good things about covering sporting events, but one of the best has to be free admission and free food.
It doesn’t have to be some kind of expensive meal, just some sandwiches, chips, chili and something to drink is great.
It never occurred to me that the gym at ECHS would have a hospitality room for the coaches, officials and members of the media. That is until Lady Blue Devils basketball coach Ray Greer motioned for me to visit the room and get something to eat.
By this time hunger had set in and the idea of food sounded great. Ham and cheese sandwiches, Doritos and Dr. Pepper really hit the spot at almost 8 p.m.
The weekend continued to get busier on Saturday as another trip to the county tournament occupied Saturday afternoon. The games were good, but would have been better if both the ECHS boys and girls teams won. The boys did, but the girls had trouble against a tough Miller squad.
The event of the day though was the visit from boxer Roy Jones Jr. Jones, a former heavyweight and middleweight champion, was in town as a part of a toy drive put on by Chuck Stevens Chevrolet.
Jones is a really nice guy and takes the chance to speak with everyone in his path. After interviewing him, he took the time to sign a few photos and even took a picture with me.
This event was another good opportunity for some free food, as it was catered by David’s Catfish, which is one of my favorite restaurants in town.
Chuck Stevens and his dealership co-owner Chad Bartz spoke and introduced the man of the hour and let him do his thing. Row by row the people that had made it into the YMCA for the toy drive were able to get speak with Jones, get an autograph and select a toy from the pile.
After all of this, Jones stepped outside and met with all of the people that did not make it into the YMCA. He spoke with everyone he could and signed as many autographs as possible.
He is a real down to earth guy that realizes the value of giving.
Meeting with him is one of the coolest moments I have experienced in my time as a journalist and he showed me that everyone embraces the Christmas spirit.
Monday, the ECHS Blue Devils won their county tournament going 3-0. Congratulations goes out to them.
Speaking of Christmas, today is the eve of the big day and I hope everyone has a great holiday. Merry Christmas!
Chandler Myers is sports editor of the Atmore Advance. He can be reached at 368-2123.

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