For me, nowadays, Friday nights in West Texas are a lot different then they used to be ... and Vive le Difference!
This time of year, people in towns big and small congregate under the lights for fun, fellowship - and even worship, of sorts - in football stadia of all shapes and sizes. For many, it's the biggest night of the week. The same can be said for television news departments, where they pull out all the stops to provide special coverage of something that has a special appeal for many of us.
It IS a big night ... and a LOOOONG one, too. Just ask any sports reporter or photog making the rounds of West Texas. You see, it would be easy to fill the sports segment of a regular news broadcast with highlights for Midland and Ector county schools, and results for other schools in their district ...
... but no regular broadcasts on Friday nights! that's why they have 'football forecasts' in weather, extended live sports segments or stand-alone programs, or website features on KMID, KOSA and KWES.
And that's why photographers will be going out in different directions, covering large loops around the region, stopping in an numerous towns to get quick video of that evening's game. In the late 90s, when I was living and working in Fort Stockton, I was also stringing for NewsWest 9, getting video at the Fort Stockton games and handing it off to some hard-driving photog, just arrived from Pecos or Balmorhea, who'd then drive off to cover Buena Vista, or McCamey, or Crane on his way back to the station.
Later, when we moved back to Midland, and I was editing mywesttexas.com, Friday nights were spent at my keyboard in the office, uploading 10-minute chunks of raw audio/video from each of the games our roving photogs visted, fielding phone calls with scores from around the region, updating the website while someone ran the notes to the sports anchor on the set, and the cg operator in the control room.
Long nights, usually following a full day ... really draining, and the family's asleep by the time you get home. Me? I don't miss them ... and I have A LOT of respect for the people who do that - FOR YOU - every Friday night.