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BABY BOOMER ON MODA CENTER PRESS ROW

Imagine, if you will, a humble boomer blogger achieving one of their dreams.
Media credential for Moda Center and Portland Thunder Arena Football.

Media credential for Moda Center and Portland Thunder Arena Football.

From the sounds coming from our aging demographic, we’re all doing super.

In a world of smoke and mirrors the truth is more elusive than ever.

Whatever you write or claim needs documentation, research, and proof, or else it’s in the same bird cage with the tabloids.

Whether it’s getting in shape, losing weight, moving to the perfect retirement community, or finding your soulmate, you’d better be able to back it up with the right stuff.

This blogger believes in the power of press clippings and pictures. Traveled to Hawaii? Let’s see the pics. You can speak Spanish? Let’s hear it.

You had a media credentials for press row at a Portland Thunder game?

Sure you did.

Well, I did, and it went like this:

Ace podcaster Brad Stein has an inside line on local teams. He interviews them on television, for a podcast on oregonsportsnews.com, and knows the players by name.

For the last game of the Portland Thunder Arena Football season, Brad told fellow sports fans he could get them access to press row, the news conference after the game, and personal interviews.

All in all, pretty heady stuff.

The game group met Saturday night at the Moda Center. We followed Brad through the maze the media members know by heart. Which entrance, which elevator, which section; he knew it blindfolded.

If you’ve seen an event, or game, at the Moda, then you’ve seen press row. For sports writers, this is the nirvana they dream of.

And there we were, members of the largest independent sports blog in the state with feeds to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the Oregonian’s oregonlive.com, and Comcast Sports Net, among many others. It’s a big responsibility to do things right, and a big penalty for doing things wrong.

Founder Arran Gimba is a veteran at getting things done the right way, and press row for his writing crew is another example.

Most of the writers are in that delicate age range between single, engaged, recently married, or expecting their first baby. Most of this is in the rear view mirror for baby boomers, but seeing it first hand with younger people is a shot in the arm. If you wonder which direction the world is headed, check in with a group of young writers.

These people are smart, motivated, and inspired to do better work than what you see from major media outlets. Call it fresh eyes and you’d be right.

That’s what I saw on press row. We’re in the minor leagues of sports writing, but sitting at the major league table surrounded by radio guys with microphones and print guys with laptops. Like a sixty year old kid in a candy store I checked the ranks of the professional media.

Turns out Portland carries an entire media package for Arena Football. Television with Comcast, radio with 750 The Game, and the rest.

By now you may be tired of the idea of thinking outside the box, pushing the envelope, and being all you can be. Older folks have done that and more, and as long as the remote works on their television they’re happy. Or so we’re led to believe. I like to think some of us break that stereotype.

Hanging with the young chargers chasing career dreams in sports writing is a humbling experience. Will they make it to Bleacher Report? SB Nation? Deadspin? Will ESPN, the sports world’s mother, ship pick them up? Maybe Grantland? Those dreams do come true, but not if you quit.

What’s an all-gray all day man doing with dreamers? Call it a boomerpdx mission of hope.

Life doesn’t end at thirty anymore than it starts at forty. Fifty isn’t the new age of youthfulness. Sixty doesn’t mean slippers and new dog to pet.

I sincerely hope my presence, my participation, is an inspiration to writers from younger generations. I want the twenty and thirty somethings to see me and know that sixty is a vital age full of enthusiasm and energy.

It would have worked too if I hadn’t left at halftime and watched the rest of the game in my garage with a cold one.

About David Gillaspie
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