Going behind the scenes at the Baltimore Ravens opening day of their 2009 Training Camp was like an adult Disney World for me. Hanging with all the other media people along the sidelines and end zone while players and coaches were all around us was a dream come true for this Ravens fan. I brought my camera, note pad and recorder to get the details.
Walking around the fields, I had perfect views of both fields and everything going on in the organized frenzy that the coaches and players only seem to understand. Once the morning session was over, there were podium interviews and then opportunities for other group interviews and even a few one-on-ones that I was able to get with WR Justin Harper, and placekicker Graham Gano. I also got questions in to Mark Clayton, Demetrius Williams and even Joe Flacco.
After it was over for the morning, us media people went back to the Best Western hotel where the players were staying to set up our computers in their lobby and prepare our stories. Lunch was served after the players and coaches ate, in the hotel's conference rooms. Classic Catering provided the food, which consisted of crabcakes, chicken, frsh fruit, salad bar, ice cream and any drinks you could want. The meal was great and compliments of the Ravens.
One of the guys who gave me the most info and pointed me in the right direction all day was Mike Duffy, writer for BaltimoreRavens.com. He was easay to approach and ask questions all day long. I also introduced myself to TV's Gerry Sandusky, Mark Viviano and Bruce Cunningham, as well as Ravens sportswriter for the Carroll County Times, Aaron Wilson.
Back out on the fields for the afternoon session, the heat was out in full force, a big difference from the morning session. No interviews after practice this afternoon, as the day was long and tiring for the players, not to mention this "rookie" media personality. More tomorrow and the rest of this week. Jealous, guys? You should be!