Friday, June 13, 2008
Whenever we ran into one other--the conversation always turned to Our Washington Nationals. No, Tim Russert and I were not best friends, nor did we hang out together. Just Business Colleagues--working within the same television news operation in Washington, DC. For the past fours years our encounters always turned to Baseball In Washington.
Like myself--Mr. Russert was a Season Ticket Holder for Our Washington Nationals. A BIG FAN. And he always got a kick out of the very fact that each and every time we met--I was wearing SOMETHING Washington Nationals. Tim Russert always laughed with me about that--chuckling at my dedication. "Go Nats!!" he would always say. A shared feeling and love for The Great Game he could not proclaim each and every day in front of the television news camera. But make no mistake about it-- Our Washington Nationals were a great relief to Mr. Russert's everyday rigors of television news.
Despite what some may believe--The News Business Is An Obsession. To be a Journalist, you have to work long hours, sacrifice family and be available at THE instant. Get up and go--don't look back. Time to find out the real story--NOW. A Short Amount Of Time and The Pressure To Perform is a constant in our profession. Rare it is--to actually relax when supposedly enjoying a real vacation. No Journalist wants to miss out on The Big Story. Ask The African Queen about my obsession with My Television News Work. Our Business--Drives Our Lives.
As you may well have heard--Mr. Tim Russert--Washington Bureau Chief of NBC NEWS and Moderator of "Meet The Press" passed away this afternoon in Washington, DC--unexpectedly and sadly.
This wonderful man who called me "My Washington Nationals Buddy"--will be greatly missed.
And in remembering our friendship--I wanted to pass along this brief story. This past January in Manchester, New Hampshire--both of us were working a very long day covering The New Hampshire Primary. From early in the morning to late into the evening--we were still hard at work. West Coast Prime Time was coming. That's 11PM Folks for those on the East Coast. 15 hours after the work day had begun--we passed each other--heading in opposite directions--both tired, sluggish but still trudging on. This Is Our Job.
As Tim Russert looked over at me--he again noticed my Red Curly "W" Cap worn proudly on my head. He smiled: "Go Nats!!". I said: "Spring Training Six Weeks Away!! Can't Wait!!" Tim Russert replied: "New Nationals Park 11 Weeks Away--Can't Wait!!" We laughed, smiled and then we headed back to work. Refreshed.
That one small instant of free time was all we needed to complete the long day's tasks at hand.
Work had brought us together. Baseball allowed us to get through it.
I will miss those cherished moments.
And I will miss you--My Friend.
PS--Obviously, there is NO WAY I can write about Our Washington Nationals this day. Life and all its daily challenges are far more important at this time.