Perspective From The Middle Seat: #2017BEA

BY CONNOR NICHOLS | Ball State Sports Link
For most people, sitting in the middle seat of a plane is not an enjoyable experience at all. They would rather have the window seat so they can lean their head over to the side and fall asleep, or they want the aisle seat so they have leg room to stretch out.

But Tuesday, who was in the middle seat for our return flight from Las Vegas?

With my arms and legs crammed against my body, my back burning from sitting in an uncomfortable seat and barely being able to hear music from my broken headphones, I struggled desperately to shut my eyes.

I am glad I didn’t though because I now had the time to just sit and think about the past few days.

As I looked out the window to my right, I couldn’t stop reflecting on how amazing of an experience it was to be at the Broadcast Education Association’s annual convention in Las Vegas.  If you had told me that I would someday accept a BEA “Best of Festival” award, I would have called you crazy.

It was an honor to share ideas with other talented individuals in this field and to be on the stage to accept an award for “Best of Festival” in sports Monday night at the Westgate Hotel and Convention Center.

I never thought it would be possible, especially this early in my sports production career.

The Best of Festival King Foundation Award is the top award given during BEA’s Festival of Media Arts, a competitive festival open to BEA faculty and student members.

Dear Teddy won the overall students sports competition and was one of just 17 Best of Festival winners selected from a pool of over 1,450 entries, representing over 175 colleges and universities in the following competitions: audio, documentary, interactive multimedia, news, scriptwriting, sports, two-year/small colleges and video.

Dear Teddy was recognized with a specialized screening and a cash award of $1,000 from the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation.

While I walked on the stage to accept the award, I was behind an individual who played a very important role in the production of Dear Teddy. That person is Tyler Bradfield.

I would have not been on that stage if it weren’t for him. From the very beginning to the final stages of producing Dear Teddy, he continued to push me every single day.

Some nights I would want to go back to my dorm and get a few extra hours of sleep, but he wouldn’t let me. He was constantly by my side helping me edit the story and encouraging me to keep going.

No matter how difficult it was for me to keep my eyes open while I was laying out the story, he was by my side.

From encouraging me to do 10 more pushups to get my juices flowing late at night in the Sports Link room, buying me Mountain Dews from the vending machine and talking to the overnight janitor about his band with me, thank you Tyler.

It was the little things that meant the most.

Dear Teddy was recognized with a specialized screening Monday night at the Westgate Hotel in Las Vegas.

I can’t wait to see what story we work on together next semester because you are way more than just a person who does play-by-play for radio and ESPN3 — you are an extremely creative producer, and most importantly, my friend.

Also, I can’t thank Chris Taylor enough for everything that he has done for me. Thank you for believing in and trusting me since freshman orientation.

It is an honor to be a part of this amazing program and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you.

My first two years of college have flown by and it is because I love what I do. My passion for sports storytelling has grown each and every day because of you. Simply stated, thank you for everything, CT.

So again, thank you Tyler for being such a great friend and amazing producer, thank you CT for always believing in me, and a big thank you to the flight attendants that kept me hydrated while I sat in the dreaded middle seat.

I hope I’ll be in a seat to Las Vegas next year and I wouldn’t complain if it was a window seat.


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