“That’s my quarterback…”   Terrell Owens sniffled, I giggled.

Was this really happening? Was this some kind of joke? I was monitoring the feed of a press conference and those were the two thoughts going through my head.

Turns out, it was really happening.  And what was more unbelievable, it was not a joke. At that point we knew we had our sound bite. Not just any sound bite. Our golden sound bite.  All the other post game audio I had assembled prior to T.O’s tearful confession did not matter anymore.  The hard work I had previously done was being tossed from our rundown.  The focus shifted over to the famous wide receiver crying at the podium.

You guys can point the finger at him. You can talk about the vacation. And if you do that it’s really unfair. It’s really unfair. That’s my teammate. That’s my quarterback. If you guys do that man it’s unfair. We lost as a team. We lost as a team.

Before the last sob was finished, I already had the video and audio clip ready to go.  On the cue from the director, I played out my editing for all of America to see.

The sound bite went on to air during all of our night shows and continued to dominate the airways the next day.  It even appeared again the following week.  Currently, the infamous quote lives on through YouTube.  Any football fan will remember this moment from T.O.

America saw his weepy words secondhand through their television sets.  I witnessed it as it was happening. Like sound bites that have come before and ones that have yet to be spoken, I—along with a production team—determine what will and will not be heard by viewers. A press conference can last a few minutes or close to an hour. Much is said during that time. Most of which will never make airways.  It’s just tiny snippets from the entire duration that will be taken for the public to hear

Helping to choose these snippets does not make me an expert, but it does allow for a fresh perspective. Because of my job, I watch all press conferences and sporting events with a clean slate. Everything I see is unedited. Untainted. Untouched. It is all first hand to me.

Seeing clips end up on the cutting room floor, I often think of all the great stuff that is never shared with the audience.  The same goes when I see interesting things in the background of game feeds.  Besides the game action, there is plenty of other background noise that catches my eye. Unedited. Untainted. Untouched.

These would also make great stories.