Friday, October 8, 2010

Knowing when to say when ...

ECI running back Darion Moody, center, leaves Poral defenders
flailing on a 64-yard touchdown run on 4-and-2 when the
Bulldogs were trying to run out the clock just before halftime Friday.

There's a certain amount of guilt that goes along with being a one-man photo department at a small newspaper.

You can never adequately cover your community. The news is 24/7. It never stops. You end up having to make choices and sometimes compromise your journalistic ideals. Sometimes you're the one putting in the 14 hour work days, and sometimes it's your co-workers, and you feel guilty when it's not you. And you're constantly juggling that sense of professionalism and commitment with family and activities outside of work. It's a hard, if not impossible, balance to achieve.

Today, I spent most of the day with my sick 3-year-old. I didn't get in to the office until most folks were just kicking off for the day. I knew I was okay, because the only thing I had to shoot was Friday night high school football. Still, most of my co-workers had already been working at least half-a-day, and several would be working past 11:00 p.m., either web-casting the game, writing game stories, or putting together the newspaper for the next day. So, when I decided to bug out of the ball game at halftime, there was a twinge of guilt.

Some folks don't understand shooting sports. "Can't you get one good shot and then leave, since it's likely only one shot will be published in the paper?" they say. But it's not about getting a shot. It's about getting the shot. About telling the story of that game. Or at least a small group of photos that capture its essence.

I hate to leave a game early because of that. You just can't count out some kind of crazy turn of events that results in a monumental comeback. It's rare, but I've seen it happen, and I feel it would be professionally remiss to skip out on a game early just because I have a couple of good action shots. My worst nightmare is to leave a game early, have something unlikely happen, and not be there to capture the real story.

Tonight was not one of those times. The score was 42-0 at halftime. So, with both my wife and I facing long work days on Saturday – on our wedding anniversary, no less – and a feverish toddler, I left at halftime tonight.

So, with sincere apologies to Portal High School, my co-workers, and Statesboro Herald readers ...


Portal's Deontre Williams is slow to get up off the field after having his punt blocked by ECI's Wezley Ealey in the second quarter Friday.

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