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Mon, April 22

Sports Column | The chronicles of a traveling sportswriter

In a span of 10 days, I traveled over 1,000 miles in three trips to Phoenix.

To say I was tired of driving by the end of that stretch would be an understatement.

Nonetheless, it would be crazy to say I didn’t enjoy the experience.

It all started Sept. 25 when I made the trek south to Suns Media Day. I had yet to attend one for any professional sport, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was an overwhelming experience at first, but I quickly adjusted to it all and made sure to do what I set out to accomplish – take photos and get information during individual player Q&A sessions.

Surprisingly, newest Sun Josh Jackson had the most interesting story to tell about how much his mom meant in his development and the fact he started a chess club during elementary school. I’m sure there are more of these stories on the team, but Jackson wasn’t scared to talk about it to crowd of media.

The only downside was not seeing any live action, but it definitely set the tone for how this season should play out.

I had originally planned to go from Media Day to Glendale to cover the Cardinals vs. Cowboys, but the photographer request didn’t pan out. So I emailed another request for Oct. 1 against the 49ers.

I was approved for the game and I was even more excited due to the fact I’m a 49ers fan. Now before you disapprovingly judge me, I did take more photos of the Cardinals than my favorite team.

However, I still took advantage of chance to be on the 49ers sideline during the first half.

That was in itself unbelievable, but to witness an uncut view of an NFL football game was pretty awesome. I switched sidelines in the second half and was just feet away from Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer.

I may not be a Cardinals fan, but Fitzgerald is no doubt a future Hall of Famer and Palmer has made a strong case to be one.

Unfortunately for me, the duo found a way to prove this by connecting for the game-winning touchdown in overtime. While it wasn’t what I wanted to see, I enjoyed the whole experience.

Last, but least was my trip to Phoenix Wednesday for the National League Wild Card game between the Diamondbacks and Rockies.

I’ve been to countless MLB games during my eight years in San Diego, but getting to cover a postseason contest has to top my list.

While I did get stuck in media overflow in the PetSmart Patio, it gave me a much better view of the sellout crowd at Chase Field. The rally towels were out in force throughout the entire night and the Arizona fans were rewarded with a win.

The night was capped off by witnessing the beer-soaked celebration in the Clubhouse and that will be a memory that I’ll never forget.

Even though I would much rather see my San Francisco Giants being the team celebrating another big postseason win.


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