LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- This was supposed to have been my first day on the job here at WDRB and WDRB.com. In fact, this very column was supposed to have been my introductory column. But of course, it's a little late for that now.
Instead, I thought I might use it to take you for a quick spin around the new job, as best I've been able to experience it in this short time.
It was, frankly, a much quicker transition than I'd planned. The day after giving notice, my services were no longer required in print. And WDRB was quite accommodating. I believe the actual words were, "Great. You can start tomorrow."
For some, this will be a little bit too much "inside baseball." But I do get questions. "What's it like? Are you enjoying being on TV? Is Rick Bozich that tall or are you really that short?" I get comments. "I like/hate your new tone. You need to do something about the dark circles around your eyes." I get queries from other print reporters asking about the move to television.
Here's all I know.
For starters, TV is different. Sitting around the old newspaper sports desk you didn't often hear the words, "What you need to do is go to Sephora and ask about Smashbox HD."
Rick Bozich, who made the move with me, almost never talked about "white balance" and "framing a shot," before. I swear, give a guy an HD camera and a tripod and he starts walking around like Spielberg.
Maybe you've seen Bozich towering over me in various WDRB Sports commercials. Regrettably, he is that tall. Apparently my contract clause stating that we are to appear the same height on air at all times is unenforceable.
And writing for the Internet is different. More than one person has written to me commenting on a different "tone" in my writing.
But what has changed isn't the tone. What has changed is the length. Most of my newspaper columns usually ran 600 words, no more, no less. Over the years, various changes at the paper, the size of the font, the size of the page, saw that number shrink from 675 to 650 and finally settle at around 600. Online, there is no limit.
So if I want to quote University of Louisville offensive coordinator Sean Watson for long stretches talking about the study sessions for quarterbacks over the summer, I can do it. To write the same subject as a regular newspaper column, I likely would've paraphrased his words with my own to move the discussion along. The information would've been the same, but the pace would've been much faster, and some detail would have been lost.
It seems backwards to suggest that I had to go to television to write more, but that is in fact the case. I'm no more positive nor negative than I've ever been in tone. But I am more verbose. It's not always a good thing, but it is a significant change.
In addition to that, I am able to drift back and forth between reporting and opinion pieces more easily. If it feels like a piece is better as a straight feature, like with the U of L quarterbacks, then it's a straight feature. If it's more opinion-oriented, like Stephan Van Treese returning to the team, then I go that way.
In short, there's more freedom, without question. If I want to write 1,200 words about Jim Spalding and his life devoted to Bellarmine athletics, I can take my time and write what I think it deserves.
In that sense, the job is more comfortable even than one I had for years. I'm writing the same columns I would have been writing, just a bit longer sometimes, though not always.
But in another area, all of this is very new -- being in front of the camera.
I've done television. In the couple of days after the Kentucky Derby this year, I was on ABC's World News Tonight and Good Morning America. For about 8 seconds. I've done ESPN's Outside the Lines and other shows. But it's different when you're doing a spot 2-3 times a week, and you might have 45 seconds of actual talking time, which is a very long time in a newscast.
The problem isn't delivering words on television. The challenge for me is going to be delivering the right ones. When I first started writing a column, I remember going to a UK football fan day and writing what I wanted, then whittling and whittling away, and reading it the next day and thinking, "That's not what I set out to say at all." Watching yourself on television, you can get the same feeling. "Who is that idiot?"
The challenge is to say something insightful with those few words, something worth saying, something considered and hopefully somewhat original. In that sense, on my would-have-been first day, I'd say I'm very much a work in progress.
There are more features to come. Our blogs are on the way. Those will be an outlet for shorter items and updates throughout the day. In the end, it's all about telling stories. And in working with the sports staff of Tom Lane, Pat Doney and Steve Andress, we're starting to come up with new ideas for telling them across several platforms all the time.
In all, I'm amazed at how quickly and effectively folks at WDRB have been able to bring Bozich and me into this brave new world, given that they didn't expect us to be here until, well, today. And we've only just begun.
As always, if there are things you would like to see, click my email link at the top of this story and fire away. Also, you're welcome to follow along on Twitter @ericcrawford or Facebook by clicking here.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 12:03 PM EDT2013-05-21 16:03:47 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This has a familiar sound. Bobby Petrino takes over a program making a conference change and looks to lift it in stature.The new Western Kentucky University coach was at the ConferenceMore >>
In Eric Crawford's "Morning Line," Bobby Petrino says he's not patient and wants to get WKU "cranked up pretty good" in a hurry, plus John Calipari's storm donation and more.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 10:38 PM EDT2013-05-21 02:38:47 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Teddy Bridgewater doesn't ask for much. So when he told University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson that he wanted to ask somethingMore >>
Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is certainly going to be a Heisman Trophy candidate to start next season, but he has told coaches he doesn't want a Heisman publicity campaign.More >>
Monday, May 20 2013 12:41 AM EDT2013-05-20 04:41:21 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The scene is always the same. After every University of Kentucky basketball home game, the coach walks across the Rupp Arena court, puts on his headset and starts talking withMore >>
Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari will do things a bit differently with his young but talented Wildcats team this season.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:54 AM EDT2013-05-18 11:54:38 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Longtime golf commentator and 1964 U.S. Open champion Ken Venturi died today, and there's nearly no need to add to the tributes that surely will come, because there's a greatMore >>
Ken Venturi left a lasting memory in Louisville when he opened Hunting Creek Country Club's championship course with a record that still stands, and with a simple gesture to a sportswriter 25 years later.More >>
Tuesday, May 14 2013 5:25 PM EDT2013-05-14 21:25:36 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- I like Andrew Wiggins. Here's a kid who didn't want to make a spectacle of his recruitment, despite being the top-ranked basketball recruit in the nation and being hailed as theMore >>
Eric Crawford surveys the carnage of the Andrew Wiggins circus, and ponders what it means for the future of civilization.More >>
Sunday, May 12 2013 11:30 PM EDT2013-05-13 03:30:46 GMT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Alabama football coach Nick Saban simply said out loud what people have been talking about for some time last week during a stop on his offseason "Crimson Caravan."RespondingMore >>
Alabama coach Nick Saban's idea for power conference football team to play only teams from other elite conferences sounds good -- but most programs would never accept it.More >>