Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Spy Museum By Connor Smith

Over Thanksgiving break, I went to the Spy Museum in Chinatown of Washington, DC.    The museum opened to the public in 2002, and I had a great time looking around. I spent four hours looking around all the exhibits the museum has to offer, and I felt like I needed more time. When first entering, you go up a elevator and enter a room where you pick a secret identity. I was Billy Henderson, a 14 year old boy from Spain, who was on vacation in London for nine days. The next area is very cool, as you get to see many gadgets spies used and videos about different spies. Another thing I liked was all the hands on things you could to do. In other areas you can learn about George Washington spying career, and what pigeons could do as spies. The museum is most known for the James Bond exhibit. In 2012, the museum opened up “50 Years of Bond Villains”, and being a big 007 fan, I found the exhibit very neat. In the exhibit, you can watch videos on certain villains, as well as you can see certain gadgets. Javier Bardem’s costume as a police officer in the 2012 film, Skyfall can also be seen. The gift shop also has some things you might need, such as Emergency Underpants. The burger restaurant, Shake Shack sits right next door, making a great lunch spot. All in all, if you are bored and want something to do around the holiday season, I highly recommend visiting the Spy Museum.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014: What to Do

Turkey Day. The day to give thanks. The day for apple pie and potatoes and turkey. The day for football. The day to spend time with your friends and family. Whether you're stuck in the car going to see family, staying at home with your family, playing football outside, or stuck inside watching TV, Thanksgiving will be fun in some way. Personally, I will be watching my sister play in the annual ATS Turkey Bowl on Tuesday. All my family will be coming throughout the week. Some on Sunday, some on Wednesday, and some on Thursday. I will likely watch the Macy’s Day Parade, watch some football, and cap it off with an awesome dinner.

On Wednesday night, I advise you to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving episode at 8PM on ABC for probably your 1000th time. Even after all these years watching, my sister and myself find it hilarious. The 88th annual Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade will kick off Turkey day at 9AM on NBC and CBS. It will run from Central Park to Macy’s Herald Square in New York City. There will be many new and old performers, along with cool floats and of course Santa to end it at noon. Directly after the parade, NBC will turn you over to the National Dog Show in Philadelphia. John O’Hurley hosts the two hour event, that showcases the top dogs from almost every different breed. Some people may not find it exciting, but for all you non-football fans, this is the thing to watch on turkey day. After the parade you can also turn some football on and watch the Detroit Lions host the Chicago Bears at Ford Field in Detroit on CBS at 12:30PM. The Lions are 7-4 and the Bears are 5-6. The Lions have played on Thanksgiving every year since 1952. At 4:30PM the Dallas Cowboys play host to the Philadelphia Eagles at At&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Fox. This will be a great game as both teams are 8-3 and in contention for the NFC East title. The Cowboys have played on Turkey Day every year since 1966. Other sporting events you can watch mostly include College Basketball early season tournaments in Hawaii, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Anaheim, and Orlando. Thanksgiving dinner is usually eaten earlier than dinner’s on most nights, so before the Cowboys game, head upstairs for some dinner.
Turkey, potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, pie, the whole shabam. This year, my dad is grilling us a turkey outside, so that will taste amazing. After saying grace, dig in. Whether you’re eating at home or at a restaurant, your food will taste amazing and you will be stuffed after eating. After you finish eating, sit down, take a break, and watch some more football. At 8:30 on NBC, the Seahawks will battle the 49ers in San Fran. Both sides are 7-4, and the Hawks won the Super Bowl last year. Also, Fox, NBC, and CBS will each give out awards for their games. Fox will give out the Galloping Gobbler, CBS will give out the All-Iron Award, and NBC will give out the Madden Thanksgiving Player of the game.
There you go, that is my guide for what to do on Thanksgiving this year. Some people may view Thanksgiving as a long break off from school or work, or a lame holiday before Christmas. But giving thanks is something everyone should do every single day of their lives, not just on turkey day. However, enjoy your five day weekend, watch some tv, eat some food, and most of all have lots of fun.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tim Brant
By Connor Smith

On Monday November 10th, I shadowed legendary sports announcer Tim Brant at WJLA ABC 7 news in Arlington. Brant has been an announcer since his football days ended way back in 1973. Brant was a defensive captain linebacker at the University of Maryland, and was drafted by the Washington Redskins. After he hurt his knee while with the Washington Redskins, he got lucky when he found out there was an opening for the Maryland radio announcer job at WMAL radio. Brant eventually moved on to the local ABC station, WJLA. In 1982, Brant moved up the ladder, joining ABC sports. Brant was known for working Keith Jackson on college football telecasts. From 1987-1990 Brant worked for CBS Sports. In 1991, he returned to ABC where worked for until 2007, and after that he came back home to WJLA. He has also called the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament since 1993 with Raycom Sports. He calls ACC football games every Saturday for Raycom as well.
While I did have to write a report on my day, some of the questions I had to ask did teach me some things. Brant said that some qualifications for the job were to have a degree in journalism, and that the size of the market you are working in matters. Some personal qualifications were being able to communicate, having experience, and being able to persevere. His major responsibilities are the sports staff, and the sportscast on the news. He finds it frustrating that he doesn’t get enough time on the news. Brant says that the biggest keys to success in the business are to communicate, being kind, and to “treat every work day like it’s your first and every day with your family like it’s your last.”
Brant usually doesn’t get into the office until 2:30PM. I arrived at 3PM, and the sports staff, a group made up of four-five people, had a meeting to decide what to air on the sports. The sports airs usually at 5 and 6, as well as the 10 and 11 news hours. After deciding what to air, one of the members of the sports staff, Alex Parker, met with the editor to edit the sports clips and videos. I watched the 5 and 6 o'clock news next to the news desk (off camera) and in the director’s room. I met longtime broadcaster Gordon Peterson, as well as weather man Doug Hill. I was also able to meet Leon Harris and Maureen Bunyan and the directors, producers, and most of the staff at WJLA. I also went for a tour around the studios, and everybody I met was very nice and complimented me on my wardrobe, as I was wearing a blazer, khakis, and a tie. I wish I could’ve stayed longer, but in the end I learned a lot about the life of a sportscaster, a job I hope to have when I grow up.

“Treat every day at work like it’s your first, and every day with your family like it’s your last.” -Tim Brant

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kids Run the Show
My Day as a Washington Nationals Junior Reporter
By Connor Smith

On Sunday, September 4, I went to the Washington Nationals game. But this wasn’t just a regular Nationals game; it was the Kids Run the Show Day and I was the junior reporter!

On Thursday, September 1, I got a call that I was selected to be the reporter for the Washington Nationals. Earlier in August the Washington Post had an application for Kids Run the Show. Kids Run the Show is a day where kids are picked to work at the game. There is a kid that throws out the first pitch, or says, “Play Ball!”, or delivers the lineup card to the umpires, or is the game announcer or, in my case, is a reporter. I filled out the application and my mom sent it to the Nationals. I couldn’t believe it when they called; I was so excited!

To prepare for game day, I wrote three questions for every Nationals player, in case I got to interview them. On Sunday, my whole family came to the game. We checked in at the media entrance and then my chaperone met my partner (who would be the Public Dress Announcer) Graham and me. First we went down on the field to see the Mets batting practice. We were able to get Tom Milone and Collin Balester’s autographs. They are pitchers for the Washington Nationals. Next the three of us went from field level all the way to the Press box where all the announcers and media members do their job. We had lunch in the Press dining area where all the media members eat, and then my chaperone and Graham dropped me off with the radio announcers Charlie Slowes and Dave Jageler. They announce the game for 106.7 The Fan—my favorite radio station! I listened to them do their pre-game coverage and I met the Mets Radio announcer. Once the game started, I didn’t talk for the first two innings on air but talked with Charlie and Dave during commercial breaks. In the top of the 3rd inning I spoke on the radio for my first time ever! They asked me, “How did you get to do this?” I said “My mom and I filled out a sheet in the Washington Post and sent it to the Nationals and then they picked me.” Then Charlie Slowes asked “Did you have to write an essay or say why you think you should be here?” I said “I didn’t have to write but I did have to say why I should be the Reporter.” Then they asked, “So why do you think you should be here?” I said “I have a blog.” They laughed, looked it up and found it and then they asked some questions about the blog.

After the 3rd inning my chaperone took my down to my parents and sister. Even though the Nationals lost 6-3 I had a lot of fun going on my favorite radio station 106.7 The Fan, and meeting two big baseball guys in Charlie and Dave. I had a lot of fun at Kids Run the Show at the Nationals game!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Big East tournament

The Big East tournament starts Tuesday March 9th. All 16 teams are going to make the tournament in Madison Square Garden in New York. My Dad's friend Mr.Weber will be going too is what my dad said. For the first round The South Florida Bulls will play Depaul the winner will play Georgetown. The winner of that game will play Syracuse. Also UCONN will play St.Johns the winner will play Marquette, the winner of that game will play Villanova. The teams that get play Villanova and Syracuse will be in the quartirfinal round, the winners of the games that Syracuse and Villanova are in will get to go Semifinals. Seton Hall will play Providence in the first round the winner will play Notre Dame, the winner of that game will play Pittsburgh. Also Cincinatti will play Rutgers, the winner will play Louisville, the winner of that game will play West Virginia. The winners of the games that Pittsburg and West Virginia are in the quartifinals. They also will go to the semifinals. The winners of the semifinals will go to the Final the winner will win the Big East. I can't wait to find out who wins the Big East tournament.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Georgetown Syracuse game

When your play is the next day, you don't susspect you would go to a baskettball game. Well I did. And it was fun! Around 5:30 I arrived at my Dads office. (my mom had drove me.) I brought my camera with me. We parked in a garage near the Arena. We walked till we found my dads freind Mr.Snyder. He was one of the people who came to the pancake breakfeast when I was 3. HE brought a special freind to. THen we went to Ruby Tuesday to eat. Then we went to the game. We were sitting very high. I was rooting for Syracuse.Pretty much all the Syracuse fans were sitting in the uper level. Syracuse led 44-31 at halftime. We went to get beers (exept for me.) and then satt down for the 2nd half. Syracuse had a rough 2nd half, Georgetown made lots of threes and big points. With the final seconds Georgtown was in with 1. THe atmisphere was crazy loud, and then Syraucse got a 2 from Rick Jackson to make it 73-70. THen Georgetown fouled Andy Rautins who made both free throws to seal the game with 5.0 left. Chris Wright missed a 3 and Syracuse had won! Andy Rauntins led the Orange in scoring with 26 points. We came home and I went to bed.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Catching a Puck


Me and the trainer..

Last night we went to the Caps Panthers hockey game. We went to the game early to watch the practice. Also last night, I caught a puck, it wasn't exactly during the game, but I still caught it. While we were waiting for the practice to start, One of the Capitals trainers saw me and put a puck over the glass. I didn't catch it but got the puck anyways. When the practice started I had one of the practice pucks. When Alexander Semin left, he threw a puck right above me (2 rows above.) I thought he was tring to get a puck to me, but I didn't get it.
The game was really fun and the Caps won 4-1. The players who scored for the Caps were Nickals Backstrom, Mike Knuble twice, and Jeff Shultz. Also Mike Green got a elbowing penalty and was susspended 3 games. Green also got hit and left the game with knee injury.
Also some of the Washington Nationals players were there to sign autographs.