BILLINGS -- As the recent National Finals Rodeo wrapped up in Arlington, Texas, it turned me a little nostalgic reflecting on 30 years of sports coverage that started in college at the University of Oklahoma.
I grew up on Little League fields in Billings. In college I was suddenly shooting sideline video of OU-Nebraska and OU-Texas at the mighty Cotton Bowl. It was beyond cool for me. It was amazing.
My only options to see the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA -- you get the idea -- were on TV as a kid. It's not like Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle were a 45-minute drive. And this was back when the interstate speed limit was 55 miles per hour (eye-rolling emoji) and long before regional networks or online streaming were even fathomable. You couldn't just dial up your favorite team. And don't even think about cell phones.
My greatest joy has always been -- and will be -- covering our Montana grassroots amateurs. Los Angeles, New York City, Miami and Chicago are fun to visit. Billings is home.
That said, it's always been pretty neat to step off the front porch and into that world that was always a world away. Stepping onto fields and into locker rooms of teams that awed me and broke my heart and thrilled me on birthdays or routine Tuesday nights seemed inconceivable when I was 10 years old. And 12 and 16 and 18.
These credentials bring all those long-shot moments back to life. I keep trying to paint the walls with them, but they're not the ideal home decor for my wife and kids. I'm allowed one room -- and, fortunately, the luxury of this work space.