NELSON: Motoring to the Motor City


November has always been the busiest month on my calendar.

NFL takes up every Sunday, and at least part of Saturdays to get there.

If possible, there is a college football game on Saturday (like this past weekend), and the week days are dotted with basketball games. Adding the Pacers to my list checks off even more dates.

There are no Pacers home games this week, so that gives Jared a chance to send me off to some extra high school games.

You get the idea.

Last weekend had me in Greencastle for two days. Friday was getting ready for the TV broadcast of the Monon Bell game, and the hours of computer/software problems that made the day go very poorly.

No, I won’t blame it on the DePauw folks. It was inside the production truck, or tied to Fox software clear out to Los Angeles.

We tried it their way most of Friday, and then just went back to some old-fashioned routes Saturday which to no one’s surprise, worked just fine. We had a good broadcast of what turned out to be an exciting Bell game.

I won’t get into the officiating part either. It happened, and that is that.

My NFL assignment was in Detroit last Sunday, so that gave me travel choices.

The Bell game finished too late for me to catch the last direct flight to Detroit, but I could have flown through Minneapolis or Atlanta and arrived by midnight.

Or, I could drive, which I have done nearly every time. It’s a short five hours up and back, along with the flexibility of having one’s own car.

In this case, however, I got a bonus, as I had a driver!

Chris Whitehead has been to a couple games around the Mideast or Midwest with my crew. His work had him in the same city we were in a couple times, and he came along to help.

Well, he is between assignments with State Farm, and when I was telling him about upcoming games, he said he would be willing to drive up if I could get him a pass.

Oh yeah, and pay for the gas of course.

It seemed like a good deal, and after the Bell game, I would have needed a nap before driving up. Instead, I hopped in his truck and took a nap for a while as he drove.

We got to the hotel in time for some leftovers from the production meeting and he got a nice parking pass close to the production trucks.

He even got in on our escape out, and followed the small caravan to the airport where I had to drop off one of our rental cars. Chris picked me up there and we came home.

So, I have that going for me.

This week has a couple high school events, including the Sugar Creek Classic on Thursday, the games moved from Friday because Western Boone’s football team is playing in the semistate.

I’m at Butler Friday and then head to Philly Saturday. We were supposed to go to New Orleans again this weekend, but our game got flexed. So we all had to find new travel plans.

Next week is busy every day, with Pacers Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and high school games on Tuesday. NFL follows on the weekend, and travel on Thanksgiving weekend is always a treat.

Anyway, a big thanks to Chris and here is to getting ready for the holiday.

Safe travels.

Jeff Nelson works in national television. His column appears each Thursday in the Journal Review.


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