Tuesday, July 23

Press Pass: Daily Bruin Sports covers National Signing Day

The day ended well for UCLA football coach Jim Mora, but the Daily Bruin Sports editors were exhausted. (Korbin Placet/Daily Bruin senior staff)

The day ended well for UCLA football coach Jim Mora, but the Daily Bruin Sports editors were exhausted. (Korbin Placet/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Editor’s note: Sports Editor Claire Fahy details Daily Bruin Sports marathon coverage of National Signing Day.

5:30 a.m.

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Photo of the De Neve housing complex at approximately 5:55 a.m. It was cold and dark. Dark and cold. (Claire Fahy/Daily Bruin senior staff)

I make it a habit not to get up before the sun. In fact, I’m morally opposed to rising at this hour. But alas, here we go. Seeing as I went to bed at midnight with the knowledge that my shrill alarm would be sounding all too soon, I was pretty much awake before the muffled beeping began. Immediately, three questions bombard by consciousness.

Why am I awake?
Can you die from being this tired?
Is Matt Cummings going to make it?

Matt, my beloved assistant editor, has been known to sleep through certain work-related events – occurrences known as “Sleepgate.” This kind of early-morning plan almost guaranteed the fact another Sleepgate would occur.

It takes me about 17 minutes to get dressed and get out of my apartment. There are a shocking number of students out and about, and by shocking number I mean three. But seriously, go back to sleep, you guys.

I make it to De Neve by 5:59 a.m., and the second obstacle after getting out of bed proved to be finding a place to work before the dining hall opens at 7 a.m. After circling the third floor of De Neve with assistant editor Tanner, we settle on two random purple armchairs and get to work.

6:30 a.m.

Our only friends are the De Neve cleaning ladies before our third assistant editor, Korbin, rolls up 27 minutes late (we forgive him because he took the late shift the night before). Still no word from Matt, but we’re pushing through, having published our first post of the day.

At this point, we’ve officially got ourselves another commitment and we’re officially still sitting in these random armchairs.

7:30 a.m.

Matt Cummings’s collection of alarms — all of which failed to rouse him. (Claire Fahy/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Perpetually posted up on the third floor of De Neve, we have both made contact with Matt and finished covering the first round of signings. Seeing as we have a free period between now and the next announcement at 10:30 a.m., it’s breakfast time. Students have already been teasing us by walking past with yogurt parfaits and large cups of coffee, so we anxiously await the arrival of Matt, who brings with him some crucial swipes.

8:06 a.m.

Matt makes his long-awaited appearance and we get down to the most serious matter of the morning – breakfast. In De Neve that naturally means the omelette bar. We settle in front of one of the dining hall’s flat screens, which Matt has to battle to get tuned to the correct channel so we can watch Signing Day coverage.

8:34 a.m.

We add cereal to the mix, because we deserve it. Matt opts for an interesting off-brand Cheerio situation, Tanner goes all-in on some Lucky Charms, Korb is classic with some oatmeal and brown sugar, while I treat myself to some Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

8:46 a.m.

Matt spills his second bowl of cereal on himself, because mornings just really aren’t his thing. While he’s preoccupied, Korbin finds a Sports Illustrated quiz based on what school you would commit to if you were a high school recruit. The results: Tanner and I take our talents to Stanford, Korbin chooses the University of Texas and Matt decides to spend his next three-to-four years at Michigan.

9:15 a.m.

I head home for a nap. Yes, a nap. Because four hours in this day is already too much to handle. We have one recruit announcing at 10:30 a.m. and another at 11:15 a.m., but the true chaos occurs in the afternoon, when Mique Juarez, Boss Tagaloa and Devin Asiasi announce. So, I take advantage of the free time to take a nice two-hour nap before heading back to the office.


Tanner Walters tweets out player graphics as recruits commit to UCLA. (Claire Fahy/Daily Bruin senior staff)

I wake up from my nap to find the world has kept turning in my absence. Mique is ready to officially sign with UCLA and two other recruits have chosen to come to Westwood. Which means our live blog is being updated, graphics are being finalized and Twitter and Facebook need new posts. Back in the office, we stream the ESPN feed of Boss’ and Asiasi’s joint announcement ceremony. Boss takes what feels like half an hour to announce he’s chosen UCLA, but his long speech was impressive (it brought Korbin to tears). We also have ourselves a five-star recruit in Mique, so this long day has yielded some worthwhile results. We celebrate with a lunch break.

7:56 p.m.

Our final pieces of Signing Day coverage are submitted and the bulk of the work is over. We still need to design the layout and figure out the social media posts, but at least the writing, research and press conferences are done. As of this point we are nearing the end of what has been a 14-and-a-half-hour workday, give or take a nap or two.

9:31 p.m.

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Our whiteboard with the names of the recruits and the times they were scheduled to announce. Korbin unscrewed this from a wall in order to steal it for our work. (Claire Fahy/Daily Bruin senior staff)

After wandering around for roughly thirty minutes looking for a place to record, we settle in to chat about our biggest takeaways from one of UCLA football’s biggest days on our podcast, The Huddle. We’re sleep-deprived and functioning at half our usual speed, but we’re almost there. After wrapping up the podcast and double-checking the paper design, I head out, saying goodbye to one of the longest days of the year. By 10:30 p.m., I am in bed ready for a solid night’s sleep.

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