"Don't Forget to Turn Off the Lights"
An Inside Look at the Rambler Sports Locker
By Joe Flaherty
May 5th, 2012
Every Thursday night at the Convergence Studio, we here at the Rambler Sports Locker come together to deliver you 15 minutes of the freshest information regarding Loyola Athletics.
But have you ever wondered what we do with all that time in between shows? I recently went behind the scenes to show you what life here at the Sports Locker is all about.
At the end of every episode, an anchor wraps everything up with the group’s catch phrase: “don’t forget to turn off the lights”. About five minutes later, we’re already planning for the next show.
Between the time that phrase is uttered and the start of the next show, jobs are delegated, footage is shot, interviews are conducted, voiceovers are recorded, and packages are edited.
At the studio, the anchors deliver the newest developments in Rambler athletics, which is accompanied by a Round Table discussion, an in-studio interview, and the completed packages.
As you can see, there’s a lot more than meets the eye that goes in to each episode of the Sports Locker, which is Loyola’s first ever weekly broadcast production.
I sat down with producers Garrison Carr and Steven Manney, as well as Advising Professor Ralph Braseth, to find out how the show got it’s start, their roles on the show, and how we operate on a weekly basis.
"In November of 2010, I approached Professor Braseth," said founder Garrison Carr.
“He approached me about it, and initially I didn’t really know what he wanted to do," explained Professor Braseth. "So we fleshed it out a little bit, and I told him, ‘well, we’re not going to meet again until you come in here with a critical mass of people that are willing to do this.’ And I think it was two weeks later, the guy walks in [with a bunch of people] and he says, ‘okay!’"
“We started in February of 2011, and we’ve done it every semester since then,” said Carr. "My role at this point is mostly organizational, trying to keep everything running smoothly."
Co-producer Steven Manney explained his role to me, "I’m kind of the jack-of-all-trades at this station; I’m kind of the glue that makes sure everything gets done. I work behind the scenes, in front of the camera, outside of the studio putting together videos, editing videos, [and] writing scripts… a little bit of everything."
Professor Braseth explained how his role has slightly diminished over time, but with a purpose, "As time goes on and students start to assume those roles, it’s my job to step back, and I’m happy to do that. And then I act as your adviser, when you guys have any kind of questions."
He added, "[I] often times have comments to make, afterword and not before. That’s one of the valuable things, for you guys to get knocked on your behinds by a mistake, stand back up, dust yourself off, and go do it. It’s a great learning tool."
Then I asked the three of them what they think makes us unique, or what we "do well" as a group.
"What makes the Sports Locker unique would be the fact that everyone here is passionate about it, and I think everyone we have here is really interested in not just sports but broadcast media," said Carr. "And I think we all have way more fun than any other group on campus."
"Everyone who’s here, is here... not as a class, you’re not receiving credit; you’re not receiving a stipend for it," explained Manney. "They’re here simply to gain experience and because they enjoy it."
"The thing that you do best is welcome new members to your team," said Braseth. "It’s where you make friends, it’s where you start relationships, and it’s one of the ways our school can sort of come together as a unit."
While we do feel that we are “pioneers” of sorts in broadcast media here at Loyola, and that we’ve come a long way since our inception in February of 2011, there is always room for improvement.
An area of concern for us is exposure to the public. I conducted a small survey of Loyola Students and of the 36 students I polled, less than 23% knew the Sports Locker existed, while only 6% had ever seen an episode.
After presenting Garrison, Steve, and Professor Braseth with these figures, they explained why this is the case, as well as how they plan to combat this in the future.
"I ’m going to flunk the person who’s responsible for that, [give him] an F. You know who that person is? It’s me!" exclaimed Braseth. "It is my job to tell others about you, and you know what, it’s something I know how to do."
"Part of it is that Loyola athletics have in general struggled a little bit as of late and it’s not as interesting to other people," explained Manney. "As that continues to improve, there should be a few more people that will be watching."
"The show has started broadcasting on the monitors throughout the campus, so I think those numbers are going to go up dramatically as people see those as the weeks go on," said Carr.
Manney further explained his ambitious goals for the show by adding, "I also want to have these shows played during the games, like basketball games. And we hope to be on cable channels by the end of next year."
So as we look to improve for the rest of 2012 and beyond, we could always use the extra man power. Interested in joining us at the Sports Locker? You can catch us at the Convergence Studio at around 4:15 pm every Thursday evening during the school year. You can also contact Steven Manney via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or stop by the School of Communications and talk to Sabine Schramm at the information desk on the second floor.
In true Sports Locker fashion, I leave you all with this: “don’t forget to turn off the lights.”