No Cheering in the Press Box and Other Words of Wisdom From Chris Jones

By Noah Davis 

Chris Jones, he of the brilliant Son of a Bold Venture, offers up some advice for a young reporter spending his first year in a pressbox.

Chris LaMacchia, you have yourself a guide. Here are a couple of our favorite bits from Jones.

“6. Instead, dress the way you might dress for a meal with a woman (or a man) at a good but not ridiculously high-end restaurant. Unless you’re covering baseball, in which case you can show up looking like Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski.***”

“11. Watch the f*cking game.****
****This might seem like an obvious point, but it’s not. In press boxes across North America, I’ve watched sportswriters surf the Web, email, text, download music, listen to music, play games, watch movies, talk on the phone, talk to each other, make origami frogs and cranes, design and build a perpetual motion machine, sleep, doze, nap, catch forty winks, cut their fingernails, not cut their fingernails for years, and eat a whiffy homemade sandwich filled with what I’m pretty sure was cat food. Every now and then, you should remember that there’s a game going on, in front of you, and you need to be watching it, closely, at a level that’s beyond the watching undertaken by mere mortals. That’s why you have your name on a seat in the press box, and they don’t.”

And the most important, at least to our eyes:

13. Don’t forget to have fun.
14. Even after you’ve spent whole entire years of your life in press boxes, try not to fall out of love with the game that you’re covering.
15. Try to remember how it felt that first time for the rest of the time.

Our only addition: When in doubt, ask yourself, ‘What would Chris Jones do?’