Welcome to Women's World. Brandyn Campbell is the founder, editor and writer of the Philly Sports Muse. Every Thursday, Campbell will offer a unique perspective as she shares her passion for the Eagles ...
It was a beautiful, sunny Sunday, the morning before the biggest game of the year. The Dallas Cowboys were in town to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. The press box provided the perfect vantage point from which to watch the game.
Being inside the nerve center of all things media for such an important game made for a fascinating experience. The game itself, unfortunately, did not prove to be very entertaining but thankfully, observing those present in the press box made even an ugly game a bit more interesting.
Ever wondered what it's like inside the press box at a major sporting event like an Eagles game? Here are a few highlights and surprises from the experience.
There is stadium seating. To set the scene, the press box at Lincoln Financial Field fills a very large room. A huge window provides for an incredible view of the field. Members of the media have assigned seats. Designations are by both row and seat, with the press box featuring four rows of stadium seating. Very appropriate for the setting. Seating assignments are related to the relative size or stature of the outlets which those media members represent, with the biggest sitting front and center.
Writers for the Inquirer, Daily News and Comcast SportsNet were all observed in the row closest to the field. That said, Eagles legend Ron Jaworski was present and seated in the second row, representing ESPN. They don't come much bigger than Jaws in Philly, so perhaps seating assignments for major media personalities isn't as contentious and strategic as for, say, a wedding. In the end, everyone has a really, REALLY good seat.
Reactions allowed. The press box is very different from other areas of the stadium. While loud cheering is pretty much mandatory throughout the stadium against such a hated rival as Dallas, that is not the case in the press box. Those present are not invited there to kick back, relax and have fun. They are there to work - to watch closely, dissect the game and disseminate their observations to a regional and/or international audience.
And that equals no cheering. It's got to be challenging for the diehard Eagles and Cowboys fans not to react as the rivalry unfolded on the field, but alas, that is what professionals must do.
That in no way means that the press box is quiet like a library. There was no way to not to react to some aspects of the game. At times, it felt like a classroom trying to show a measure of decorum for a substitute teacher but, in the end, giving way to the wisecracks and giggles.
There were comments about the punt fest that abounded for the first half of the game. No "aaahs," but plenty of pain-filled "ooohs.” Shouts for ideas of what to write about to make any aspect of reliving the game palatable to readers or watchers. Impartial, yes, but watching a bad game requires that some of the entertainment come from somewhere other than the field.
Members of the media like free food. I never outgrew my love of/obsession with free food after my college days, and evidently those present in the press box are the same way. As the stay for a game can be a rather lengthy one, both breakfast, lunch, and snack options were available. The centerpiece of the morning's offering was the build-your-own-entree omelet station. Lunch time delicacies included nachos, pulled pork, chicken fingers and red velvet cake for dessert. And in case you're worried, plenty of soft Philly pretzels were available to supplement full plates or serve as meals themselves.
Clearly Chip Kelly and his healthy meals and specially designed shakes haven't made their way to the press box.
Eagles and Cowboys CAN get along. Sometimes. Just as members of the Eagles web and communications teams were present in full force for the game, Cowboys media members were also there to produce content and updates for their fans. While wearing team gear was not an option for most present, it was for those employed by either team.
The circumstances in the press box are probably the only time that those in Eagles and Cowboys gear can live somewhat harmoniously.
Gameday is serious business for fans and members of the media alike, though in different ways. Press box access has its perks, but it is not all fun and games. Okay, yes, it is covering a game that's incredibly fun to watch. But, it also means churning out multiple articles during and shortly after the game ends. Not an easy feat, but membership to the club of those with credentials to cover Eagles games certainly has its privileges.