Being Between: a series about moving from our current day jobs and life situations toward our true vocations and life goals.
Writers aren’t the only people who juggle more than one life at a time. Mark Lieberman tells how he combines his part-time football broadcasting jobs with his full-time job at a bank.
The seasonal jobs start the last weekend in August and last through the week before Christmas. They’re only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I do get paid and sometimes I get free food, but that’s not why I have ’em. I have ’em ’cause I love what I do!
My full-time job is at Chase Bank in the Unclaimed Property department. I work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
My seasonal jobs revolve around football. I’m a football statistician for high school games (radio and tv) and for University of Texas at San Antonio games. I started doing high school football radio stats in 1997 and TV stats in 2009. I started doing UTSA football stats this year.
When football season starts, I make sure I get everything I need for Thursday and Friday on Wednesday. That involves what I wear to work and what I eat for breakfast and lunch those two days. Thursdays and Fridays are extremely long days for me that start at 6:30 a.m. and end around 11:00 or midnight, but I always get a jolt of energy at 5 p.m. I just flip a switch and, voila, I am on for football! Yes, I’m tired when I come home, but I get eight months to recuperate between seasons. Saturday football games are easy since I can sleep in and no early preparation is needed.
Most of the football games I work are not that far a drive from where I work and live. I hit congested areas going to a few stadiums, but when I see the stadium lights, I always get goosebumps.
If I’m available, I work road games, and most of those are in the playoffs. Last year, I worked a game at Reliant Stadium in Houston and Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. That was awesome ’cause I got to run around the field like a little boy and take pictures.
During the games, I can’t get caught looking at the cheerleaders. I have to watch the action on the field and keep track of a bunch of stats–like total plays and total yards, first downs, 3rd down conversions, 4th down conversions, penalties and yards, punts, turnovers, time of possession, individual and total rushing and passing numbers for the offensive players, the drive summary and how long a particular play was (that could be a pass, run, punt or kick-off and also the return on a punt or kick-off).
I use a dry erase board to keep track of everything. Yes, sometimes I forget the number I’m updating so I have to make up a number and pray to the “football gods” that it’s close. I sometimes compare my stats to the official stats and I’m really close to those numbers. I won’t brag, but I am good at what I do. “The Abacus” and “The Human Calculator” are two of my favorite nicknames. Yeah, there are always numbers floating in my brain.
The only time I missed a lot of high school football games was when I worked for the San Antonio Spurs from 1999 to 2002. Even though the Spurs gig was a part-time job for me, a lot of the games were played on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening. My radio bossman knew that the Spurs job came first.
I can’t count how many games I’ve worked. I’m a stat man, so I should know this!
At all of my jobs, I have had extremely generous managers who allowed me to work a flexible schedule so I could work football games.
Last April, I started a blog. When football season started last August, I started to write articles for each game I worked. Now I’m incorporating pictures of each stadium, the press box, the broadcasters, the teams and even the food I eat.
From January till August, I relax a lot, take a bunch of naps, watch television, and blog, but I also enjoy spending time at home with my wife Nina.
Thinking about everything I have on my plate, I find it amazing that I’m doing it and doing it pretty damn good. I’m used to being busy and I’m good on time management. I also don’t wear myself down at any of my jobs and don’t stress out over stupid little things.
Tomorrow, I’m heading to Austin, Texas, about a 90-mile drive, for a high school football playoff semifinal game between the San Antonio O’Connor Panthers and the Houston Lamar Redskins. The winner will play in the state championship game at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington on December 22nd. I hope the O’Connor Panthers win! You can read my recap of that game along with pictures in my Sunday blog post.