Even before Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a 24-hour society of spreading news in a viral fashion, you still had to watch your behavior. Whether it was at a restaurant or sporting event, you represented not only yourself, but your employer. In sports, that’s magnified 1,000 times over because the sports world is a lot smaller
Even before Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and a 24-hour society of spreading news in a viral fashion, you still had to watch your behavior. Whether it was at a restaurant or sporting event, you represented not only yourself, but your employer. In sports, that’s magnified 1,000 times over because the sports world is a lot smaller than you think. No matter where you go, you’re being seen under the microscope and should behave accordingly.
You never know where you might run into someone again, so you’ve always got to be on your game. This could be a post about networking, but at the same time, it’s about your behavior.
When I was with the Washington Glory of National Pro Fastpitch, there was a visiting General Manager who was behind home plate, screaming at the umpires and trying to cheer on his team. When something happened against his team, he’d flip his lid and take matters into his own hand, even though it wasn’t his stadium. What makes this different from the fans who gave us the finger at the end of the series? That he was the GM and we knew his name.
After one of the games, I talked to one of the umpires who knew the GM’s name, but couldn’t have cared less about the fans because the GM is an official with the team. The fans, well that was our area to provide security.
You may think that by buying a ticket, you’re allowed to go in and be just like every other fan. Not true. Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine wore an Orioles hat in the front seat at Yankee Stadium? Yankee Stadium security, in the show, asked her to change her hat or take it off. They’d do that in real life too because it’s their stadium. But it also caused an issue at work. That happens in real life.
When you start having people recognize you, you can burn bridges by simply being a fan. As the P. A. announcer, emcee, or any other role that puts you in front of the people, you need to hold yourself in the highest of regards with those around you. It can come back to help, or haunt you later.
A couple of examples from my life in baseball. In 1999, I helped Orlando with some announcing, in 2002 I went to work for Modesto whose GM and AGM of Sales knew me from Orlando. A good network there. In 2005, I was in Portland, Oregon, and one of the interns there wound up working with me in Potomac in 2006. A couple years later, he’d call me to announce at a college he was working for in Washington, DC. Another good network.
I was able to land the announcing and music for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference basketball tournament and the NCAA Division-III men’s basketball national championship by networking at a high school state championship soccer game. Because I held myself in a professional manner and delivered a professional product, I was able to make some good connections that led to more events.
If you’re at home, yell and scream at your TV all you want. If you’re in a closed environment, it’s still ok to cheer on your team, just don’t get obnoxious about it. But remember, people are always watching. It may not help you get a job, but it can truly cost you getting a job.