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A Day in the Life of a Sports Reporter.

POSTED October 10, 2013
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: This was the kind of day that I dreamed of when I decided to go down this road of working sports for a living.

It stated early with a trip up to Storrs for the UConn Huskies weekly press conference with head coach T.J. Weist at 11:30 followed by lunch and interviews with the players.

First the trip though.

I leave Torrington about 9:15 a.m. in order to get to the campus in Storrs by around 11 a.m., traffic permitting.

So far, before today, the ride that starts after the morning rush hour in Hartford had been great.

Up Route 4 all the way to 84 then 84 East to Storrs.

 Got through the side roads okay and made my way to the merge with 84 when I had a flashback to my days at Frito Lay and the Waterbury mix-master.

A parking lot is what I saw. Not a Walking Dead one, everybody was alive but not going anywhere.

An accident about three exits up had threatened to ruin my morning, I hate being late and you can’t ever tell how long you may be waiting when it comes to the rubber-necking crowd.

Fortunately this one was wrapping up and after about a 10-minute delay (that’s nothing compared to the legendary Waterbury miscues) I was cruising through Hartford and north towards the school.

The Tuesday pressers give me a good chance to get a feel for what’s going on with the football team, grab a quality lunch (reporter’s bonus points!) and talk with the select players that are invited to talk to the press.

Not to anyone’s surprise, the most popular player was newly named quarterback Tim Boyle, who will make his debut on Saturday against USF at Rentschler Field.

Boyle, a true freshman, is taking over for Chandler Whitmer who had been behind center since the start of 2012 but was not able to get enough going on offense to keep the job.

Weist had said during his meeting with reporters that Boyle had shown a degree of maturity that separated him from the other quarterbacks behind Whitmer and was having quality practice sessions so far.

Funny, just before the Michigan game, Boyle had been in the same room but saw but a handful of scribes stop by to say hi.

He had told me at that time that he felt he was ready but was fully supportive of Whitmer as the starter.

It’s a unique story, a kid who is a true freshman in every sense of the word, comes to UConn after winning three straight Class LL Championships with Xavier High School in Middletown hoping to dig his college team out of a season long slump.

No pressure though, right?

The best part of this luncheon, by far was a meeting with two men who served our country in the military and are now home and taking advantage of a great program run by the University.

It’s called the UConn School of Business’ Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities and it’s a marvelous venture that I will tell the stories of the two vets that I met, Gulaid Ismail and Pat Nelligan at a later date.

What was apparent though was that this is a program that offers our men and woman in the military a chance to become business owners themselves.

These two gentleman, and 22 other later this week, will be honored for their service at the USF game and were scheduled to talk to the team at practice Tuesday afternoon.

Both have battled adversity, a message they wanted to tell these young men who are having a little trouble (on a much smaller scale) of their own right now.

Spoke with Steve Greene, an offensive lineman who can’t wait to talk to reporters about a win at some point this year.

Greene and the offensive line of the Huskies have struggled to get a running game going this year but has confidence that with a slimmed down line playbook, this unit may just get back to the basics and on track again.

From UConn, it was back on the highway and a trip to Thomaston to take a look at what all the fuss is about with the Golden Bears field hockey team.

The Bears started the day 9-0 and ended it 10-0 with a 3-0 win over Northwestern.

Not a surprise that a team that has the core of the basketball team that made a run to the finals a year ago on the field.

Abby Hurlbert, Morgan Sanson and Gabbie Hurlbert bring a winning pedigree with them and it shows.

Action was dominated by the home team in the Highlanders end most of the first half and the Bears show no sign of slowing down.

Abby Hurlbert was an All-BL and All-State selection a year ago and her determination and grit is apparent on this field as well as on the hardwood.

After a spell in Rick Wilson’s home town and school (Mr. Wilson was hard at work inside, correcting papers) it was back on the highway for a visit with the Torrington girls’ soccer team.

Mario Longobucco and his Raiders are in the mix for a high seed in the States and look to make some noise in the NVL tournament as well.

On this day though, the Woodland Hawks had the better of it on the pitch and came away with a 3-2 win.

Part of the fun of doing this for a living is running into guys I have known and respected since I began back in 1999.

Peter Wallace of the Register and Joe Palladino of the Rep-Am were on the case and it’s always a blast to hang out with the two local legends.

We talk about everything and nothing but it makes for a good time and we even do some work, take some video and shoot some pics.

From THS it was time to head home. Out from 9:15 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Not a bad day.

Home, dinner and to the office for pics, video and a story before calling it a night but not before writing copy for our ad on the WZBG Morning Show sports report with my friend Dale Jones.

11:15 and that’s a wrap for today.

That’s my kind of day…..

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here