Kobe Scales Reflects on his Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic Experience

Photo by Andy Harris

Interviewing Tuskegee coach Reginald Ruffin was part of my first experience being a play-by-play sports analyst for a live football game. This is my dream job.

Kobe Scales, Opinions Editor

Thank you to the City of Birmingham. Prior to my trip there for the Tuskegee Classic football game, when I thought of Alabama I would think of a rural place with back roads, zero nightlife and minimal amounts of money. Contrary to my belief of what the city may have been, the people there gave us 12 Morehouse journalism students and Maroon Tiger staff members a wonderful time.  

What I loved most about our trip was seeing the extraordinary amount of successful African Americans in Birmingham. The type of success witnessed this weekend showed me that not only can you make it big in a small city, but success should not only be measured by monetary value.  

This trip was my first experience feeling like I was a professional sports reporter. Actually, I was a member of the Journalism program’s Play-by-Play Sports Announcing class that was going to produce a simulated broadcast of the Morehouse vs. Tuskegee game. 

Our first event was the Classic’s coaches press conference on Friday. I had interviewed Morehouse coach Rich Freeman once before after the first game of the season. In a different setting, under different circumstances, I questioned what type of energy Freeman would have.  

Although the Morehouse football team had been struggling, Freeman was eager to play this game and hopefully turn the Maroon Tigers’ season around. Per usual, Freeman was nice to reporters and answered all questions.  

My nervousness took over when it was time to question Reginald Ruffin, the head coach from Tuskegee. My nervousness stemmed from it being my first time acting as a reporter outside of Morehouse.  

This was also where I learned my first reporting lesson. Because I was nervous, I allowed some of my peers to ask their questions before me. The two questions that I had prepared were asked and answered. I had to think quickly about new questions to get myself into the action. Although my questions got answered, I learned from the experience.  

The game itself was an exciting experience. To see friends, family and fans supporting our teams was special. It was my first experience at a classic rivalry game.  

Being a part of the play-by-play sports announcing class, I also got my first chance to comment on a live football game as a color analyst. I was very eager to do so as this is my dream job.  

Watching and playing sports all my life, I never realized how much preparation goes into analyzing a game. While it was a great first experience and it was fun, it also was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  

The flow of the game moves very fast when in the booth. You must be laser focused on it or you will miss something. While watching football every Saturday and Sunday on TV, you do not realize just how hard of a job that is.  

Morehouse-Tuskegee Classic weekend was an amazing experience: my first time feeling like I was a true professional, traveling as if I were a part of the team, and attending all the events with other reporters. This past weekend set a fire in me to want to continue to improve as a reporter, as well as a play-by-play analyst. I hope to be at the next opportunity that Morehouse’s Journalism program has for us.  

Copy Edited by Miles Johnson