One thing I hear a lot about my job from people who punch the clock and hate going to work every day -- "Man, you're so lucky! You get to go to the games for FREE anytime you want! I'm JEALOUS!!"
It's true. Going to sporting events for free (and eating for free at Texans games!) is a really cool perk of doing radio at 610 and writing for the Houston Press. I have no complaints.
But here's a little inside secret for you, Mr. Jelly McJealous -- It's not all that hard to get access.
Seriously, start a blog, write a little bit, and if you make nice with the right people, you will get access. (To be clear, most of the team-oriented blogs provide even better coverage than the so called "mainstream media." My point is not to denigrate blogs. Most -- almost all -- of the ones with access are great. My point is that you don't have to have gone to Northwestern's journalism school anymore to eventually get credentialed.)
And here's the other thing -- the bigger the event, the more slots they have for media, and sometimes that means that really, really clueless media members find their way behind the velvet rope.
Like this dude, Bobby Ramos.
I had no idea who Ramos was until the post-game press conference after the San Antonio Spurs' systematic dismantling of the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Nor, I'm guessing, did you. Well, according to Ramos's bio (which Deadspin had to dig up from one of those Internet cache sites that feel like a web version of the DeLorean in Back to the Future), he is the CEO and founder of Bottomline!!!, LLC, proving that the only thing easier than getting an NBA Finals credential is to be named CEO and founder of something. (Also, more exclamation points, Bobby!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!)
Here is the bio:
Bobby Ramos is the CEO and founder of Bottomline!!!, LLC. Mr. Ramos has a deep knowledge of sports and entertainment and is committed to delving and delivering the truth, all with a twist of humor, candor, quick wit, but most of all deliciously entertaining. Kind of like a second helping of grandma's apple pie; hearty, filling and always tastes like...MORE!
Born and raised in Connecticut, Bobby has played sports and talked issues his whole life. As the most decorated police officer in his department, Bobby is a certified Connecticut police instructor, FBI trained Hostage Negotiator, Field Training officer, along with heading the DARE/Community Affairs Office in his exemplary 25 years of service as a police officer. Founder and former president of the police union the Stratford Guardians.
On the community tip, Bobby has given back with his own time for many years, to start or work with too many organizations to name.
Bobby has letters of praise and accomplishments, not only from his own Chief, but from several Chiefs from neighboring cities and from Governor Jodi Rell, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, several mayors, Superintendents of schools, principals and students.
So I guess as radio hosts go, Bobby Ramos is a damn good police officer, on the "community tip," that is.
So Ramos was the star of the press conference Tuesday night, and putting his hostage negotiator skills to work, he asked the following hard-hitting question of Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra:
I'm not sure if the question is more ridiculous verbally or in print, so here is the transcript:
RAMOS: Coach, you gave San Antonio the credit, and you mentioned a couple times that you're in The Finals. How does a team in their fourth Finals come out in The Finals, their first home game and get beat to the ball to get stomped the way they did? The kind of heart that your championship team has, to come out tonight like they did mentally has to be something that's a problem.
Um, it's definitely a tie.
But wait, there's more! Somehow, Ramos, using the same stealth negotiating skills he uses to liberate hostages, managed to get ahold of the microphone for another question, and got off this beauty for LeBron James and Dwyane Wade:
RAMOS: This is for both of you, you have a great defense. They're averaging 104 points a game. You have a lot of offense, you haven't broken a hundred yet. Is the problem your lackluster defense or is it the problems you're having offensively, lackluster offense?
WADE: The problem is we're down two games to one. That is the problem. We've got to figure out how to tie it up.
Damn, Ramos got LeBron and Wade to laugh after the worst postseason defensive performance by their team since LeBron arrived back in 2010! You really get a feel now for why Bobby Ramos was so skilled at negotiating with bad guys. He butters them up with his sense of humor, and then they melt in his hands!
LIKE GRANDMA'S APPLE PIE!
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(Wait....needs more exclamation points....)
LIKE GRANDMA'S APPLE PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!