Saturday, January 14, 2012

Tales From The Road

A little bit of this, a little bit of that while on the road with the Aggie men's basketball team.

I'm sure neither Dominic Lippi or I will forget his official court debut for the Aggie men's basketball team on Thursday night. I just think we'll remember it for different reasons.

Lippi, a freshman guard from Alameda who once scored 15 points in the last three minutes to help his high school team win a NorCal Championship, played the final 52 seconds against Big West leader Long Beach State.

It was his first action of the regular season and I'm sure provided some personal excitement amidst a tough loss to the 49ers. Lippi wasted little time getting in on the action, quickly erasing the zeroes on his stat line by picking up a rebound, a turnover and narrowly missing his first points from the free throw line.

That much he'll remember. I'll recall his first game for what happened after.

Seems that technology didn't know Lippi was on our team because when he checked into the game, the computer stats program couldn't find him, setting off a postgame convention of stats-type people - myself included - to try and rectify the situation.

The stats program doesn't much care for adding players to the game file after all is said and done so it revolted by mixing up player stats. Each fix seemed to lead to another problem before something very close to the correct stats was produced.

I volunteered to make the final fixes to the file which was the least I could do because it was my roster file that somehow dropped Lippi. 

As I examined the new play-by-play coding in the game file during my CPR, I started noticing random "12's" scattered in places where nothing should be – or was before. 

Guess who wears #12 for the Aggies? 

I replaced it all with new coding - sans #12 - and nearly an hour after the game a final stats packet was available. Coaches were long gone but the online world of ESPN, the NCAA, etc., finally had their stats.

But Dominic Lippi made one final appearance later that night after I returned to my hotel. I received a slightly revised game file but that tiny update inadvertently threw things out of whack again and I spent a couple of hours in the wee morning getting everything back in order before sending it back to LBSU.

And, yes, some of the fixes included removing more "12's" from coding. When Lippi makes an appearance, he really makes an appearance.

In the end, everyone had correct stats and Dominic Lippi made his Aggie debut in memorable fashion. He's a hard-working player and here's looking to him making all future memories for me on the court.

One of my semi-annual tasks is inputting the dates and times of all Aggie athletics events into my computer's iCal calendar. It's a tedious, time-consuming task but allows me to see everything our athletics communications staff is responsible for over the coming months.

It also helps when my wife Linda asks me on Sundays, "What nights will you be home for dinner?"

Events in blue in my iCal are home, road game are in red. I can look at entire months at a glance and pinpoint busy days - ones that have more blue than a tropical sky - and can begin planning staffing and equipment needs.

As we enter the New Year, our staff - as are most folks in the athletics department - is readying for what we call "crossover", a usually four-week period in the fall and a 6-8 week time in the winter and spring where sports seasons overlap and we scramble daily to keep up with home and road events.

iCal March

 As an Aggie fan, there are no shortage of events for you to see. Only five days in February and six in March, the latter because of final exams - are without some kind of UC Davis Athletics event somewhere. Take a look above for a red-and-blue flavor at what I see on my iCal calendar for March.

Not surprisingly, weekends are the heaviest. On the light end, Saturday, Feb. 4 has just four events (one at home) while Saturday, Mar. 10 is filled with is filled with two home games for women's water polo, a baseball game against Seattle, a huge track meet and a softball tournament.

Oh, and that's also the weekend of the Big West Basketball Tournament in Anaheim, potentially impacting my staff considerably. 

Note to my wife, I might not be home for dinner that night.

Still, the takeaway here is there are lots of chances for you to follow the Aggies and we hope you do. Check out our online composite athletics calendar for a quick way to see everything at once.

Sometimes our office is called upon to fill in gaps at home games if there is a need. In addition to our normal responsibilities, we've all been called upon to run scoreboards, handle public address duties, etc.

Assistant director Amanda Piechowski has added singing the national anthem to that list although her talent landed her that gig.

Thursday night, for the second year in a row, she delivered the Star Spangled Banner prior to a women's basketball game at The Pavilion. I tried to tune in online and watch while I was with the men's team in Long Beach but the only sound my computer was picking up was the LBSU men's basketball radio announcer.

Something tells me Amanda wasn't singing about the 49ers' starting lineup but that's what I heard in my headphones as she stood at midcourt at The Pavilion.

Things must've gone well because I was able to see the women's coaching staff give her plenty of high-fives. Then it was back to her courtside seat where she took care of her usual duties.

Amanda is also our baseball contact and has handled national anthem duties at Dobbins Stadium as well, so if you missed her on Saturday, don't be surprised if you hear her encore performance before she settles in to figure out hits and errors.

Assistant Athletics Director Mike Robles assures Dominic Lippi and his family that he is in fact on the computer stats roster file for Saturday's game at Cal State Northridge. And while Robles didn't hear Amanda Piechowski sing the national anthem on Thursday, he can vouch for her singing prowess, evidenced in the office by numerous afternoons of her delivering every soundtrack from the cast of Glee.

1 comment:

  1. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.
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