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The Gazette KCRG
Posted September 6, 2012
Hazing the new guy

Phew. *Deep exhale* After football games starting late and going three overtimes, learning a new state’s geography and spending an hour or so trying to figure out what volleyball team is the varsity squad, I finally have a moment to take breathe and introduce myself.

Some of you may have seen me at various games the last couple of weeks. Others may have said hello on Twitter (@MikeBBonner). I’ve seen a great outpouring of support on Twitter, which I can’t thank you guys enough for. But if you haven’t I’m Michael Bonner, the new guy at  The Gazette/KCRG.

While fans, co-workers, players and coaches have all welcomed me warmly, the games have decided to have a little fun with me. The first game I covered saw the third quarter end exactly at the time of my deadline.  What a way to start.

The second game wasn’t much friendlier as a missed extra point sent the game into overtime — you guessed it — just as the clock struck my final-absolute-no-later-than-this-deadline.

Things had to be better in the third football game, right? Well, it was. The game ended exactly on deadline, which forced me to scrap stats and tweets during the fourth in order to ensure my first deadline would be met.

After three hectic games, I was sent to a volleyball match. Nothing could go wrong here.

Well, I grew up in Massachusetts and some how managed to do so without dropping my Rs. However if you have a conversation with my parents, you’ll need a translator. I went to school at Syracuse University and still fight for the mascot Orangemen, rather than Orange. My first two newspaper gigs were in Central and Upstate New York (Yes, they are different locations, New Yorkers get very up set when you confuse the two. Who knew?) At none of these locations had I seen what I saw when I arrived at the first volleyball match: two pairs of teams playing at the same time.

I thought I missed the first game of the varsity match. At the end of the the match, I tweeted the final score. After doing interviews and talking with the head coach, I realized, this wasn’t varsity. I was embarrassed, but relieved. I could start fresh.

And I did. Ever since it’s been smooth sailing. I’m sure there will be some more rough seas ahead, but that’s life as a rookie. Luckily I haven’t had to get donuts for Marc Morehouse or Mike Hlas…yet. And K.J. Pilcher and Jeff Linder haven’t bleached my hair blonde…yet.

So the games have taken the role of rookie hazing. As any good rookies knows though, you keep your mouth shut, your ears open and keep plugging forward. And I’m excited to see what lies ahead.

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