A couple thoughts after a week at Oregon State: The I-5 traffic report
The weekend that was and the week to come along the I-5 Corridor.
CORVALLIS — I want to begin today’s post with a quick thank you to Oregon State coach Jonathan Smith.
He’s got a lot on his plate, as outlined by my two students at last week’s High School Journalism Institute camp, but the Oregon State coach still allowed time for a 2-on-1 interview right after the first practice of the season. Zoe and Madysen, both 16, were well prepared, asked smart questions and Smith gave them the respect he would any professional journalist.
It’s a memory those two will have the rest of their lives — and they produced a really strong story about the changing college football landscape.
Smith’s Beavers have their work cut out for them this season — Boise State in Week 1 is no warm up — and in the longterm with their place in the conference. And I don’t know what that means for Smith’s future, who will undoubtedly have opportunities for higher paying jobs if the Beavers do, indeed, get left behind in some form or another. But in the present, Oregon State’s got a pretty good coach in all facets. And as he enters his fifth season down in Corvallis, coming off the team’s first bowl game since 2013, I’d really like to see what it looks like after his 10th season.
Here’s one for Vin
The day prior, Oregon State broadcaster Mike Parker was kind enough to meet with Zoe and Madysen for an interview. We chatted inside a coffee shop on OSU’s campus, just before Parker headed over to Goss Stadium to call a Corvallis Knights summer league baseball game.
I don’t get to see Parker often, and I told him how much I enjoy listening to him call baseball games. I often find myself tuning into Oregon State broadcasts during spring drives home from Eugene, and always thought his cadence and penchant for storytelling reminded me a bit of Vin Scully.
And that’s shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Parker grew up just east of Los Angeles in Hacienda Heights, and still remembers the first time he heard Scully’s voice come over a neighbor’s car radio.
The 1-1 pitch to Ron Fairly is low and outside, ball 2, 2-1.
Parker didn’t know much about baseball before that spring afternoon in 1966, but there was something about this new language that he understood immediately. And that opened up a new world, one in which Parker still lives in professionally today.
Just a few hours after we wrapped up, the news broke of Scully’s death. Parker was on the radio, doing what Scully first taught him to love nearly 60 years ago.
He wore this to the next day’s football practice.
A great way to close
One of the best things about good baseball: The game’s little quirks can actually lead to chills.
Look, if you’re a good team with a dynamite closer, the ninth-inning closer entrance is one of the THE best artificial things in sports. But if your team isn’t in the playoff chase, and your closer is, say, Fernando Rodney, you’d be better served to hear a fire alarm come over the PA system.
It’s why this here, from Edwin Diaz, is so darn cool. The Mets are one of the best teams in baseball and Diaz has been stellar, recording 25 saves with a 1.42 ERA and striking out 17.9 batters per nine innings.
This will be electric in the playoffs:
Extra points for the camera work.
I’d like to live in a world where this carried over into real jobs. Imagine going into surgery and hearing the Rocky theme as the surgeon walks in and they hit you with the gas.
Then again, maybe it’s best reserved for sports.
Ok, time to head down to Eugene for UO practice today. Have a great week, all.
— Tyson Alger
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Just subscribed. Forgot how much I missed your writing at your former gig. Keep it coming!