The day Roger Federer couldn’t stop laughing at CNN correspondent’s Spanish phrases to ‘get the point’ is the day I decided to become a reporter.
My first day on the floor of the New York office of the U.S. Soccer Federation was April 1, 2012, and I was a mere 19-years-old. It was my second day, I suppose, but for my first few weeks, I was a college student working part-time at a small TV station. It was the first time I realized what a difference having a camera in my hands can make. The New York offices of the Federation, the governing body of professional soccer in North America, is located in the old Stonewall Inn, one of the world’s largest gay bars. I was lucky. There was a cameraman, in fact a guy who worked for ESPN, who worked down the hall on the floor where I would be. He worked for the federation, but he was, like me, still young enough to have only just graduated from college and had no real connection with sport. He would walk into my room before class and invite me over. He was a friendly guy, really. He had a great laugh, and he would say, “Man, this is so funny.” He was just so, so smart and sweet. All these smart and sweet guys are rare in our business. I was lucky enough to have a cameraman in my room that was smart and sweet.
I met him at the beginning of my internship, the summer before my senior year in college, because we were going on a work visit to the U.S. Soccer offices. This was my first opportunity to experience the U.S. Soccer offices as a journalist, because we were given the task of getting the soccer federation to announce the first US national team for a competition against England. We had the video equipment, the camera with it’s tripod, but we didn’t know how to use it. I knew how to use my camera, but I didn’t know how to use my camera to get what I wanted. We would watch this tape, and I would try to get the point of what the US team was supposed to do—what their style of play was supposed to be. And he would point at the camera and he would say