From The Stands - Charlotte
I'll just quickly describe it all.
I get to my pressbox seat 14 seconds before kickoff (literally 0:14). Stayed a little too long at the tailgate. But that's OK. Caught the elevator, caught the start of the game.
I put my AirPods in my ears. Switch them to noise canceling mode. Pull up my pressbox playlist. Watch the game. This has been my routine for several years now. Always drown everything out with music.
When Charlotte drives for the TD to make it 7-3, the classical music in my pressbox playlist isn't loud enough. Noise canceling on, music turned up - I can still hear the pressbox volume. It used to be a working environment, but now it's a gamewatch.
So I have to switch up my music. I flip to a Hans Zimmer playlist (movie soundtracks). Much louder. Drowns everything out. Good. Fixed it.
But now my normal Twitter/Slack routine is a mess. So much anger. I'm listening to the main theme from Inception, and the intensity of that + the intensity of every word being thrown my way is just too much. Gotta find my groove.
So I start flipping through the playlist. I land on some tune called "Matera" from the No Time To Die soundtrack. It relaxes me. So I put it on repeat. It's two minutes long, but this is enough to A) block out the pressbox "WHY WOULD YOU THROW THAT THERE??" and B) drown out the Twitter/Slack hate. Found my groove.
Here's what I was listening to, if you're curious.
Calm. Serene. Deep breaths, Robert.
But then there's a play just before half where two reporters to my left start openly complaining. They're louder than the noise canceling and "Matera" is too soft. I go to the mentions tab on Twitter. More bludgeoning. I go over to the Slack channel to just chat with subscribers. Hammers are out, pounding any Illini football thing that moves.
So I called it. Packed up my bag and headed down to the stands to join two of my sons, one of their wives, and one of their girlfriends. I avoided Twitter. Bowed out on Slack. Tossed it all in my bag and just fan'd the entire second half. Hung out with my kids. Clapped my hands. Just watched a football game. And my goodness did I enjoy that.
Casey Washington fights for a first down. Kerby Joseph gets his hand on a certain touchdown pass. Wild Goose Chase goes wild. Illini win.
Found it again.
So this From The Stands is all you're going to get until later tonight. I have a lot to say, but those kids are with my wife at the tailgate right now, and I can't wait to go join them.