My bout with COVID

So, after 9 months, COVID finally caught me.
And if it can catch me, the guy that washes his hands 28059730 times a day (even before the pandemic) and rarely goes anywhere other than home and work, then it can catch anyone.

I have had great outpouring of love while in quarantine. A number of people have called, texted, Facbooked, Tweeted, and Snapchatted to ask how I’m feeling.

Another thing most people want to know is how COVID felt, what were my symptoms, etc.

Well, since I have the platform, I figured I’d do a day-by-day breakdown of how things happened for me.

So here goes:

Day 1 – Saturday, Nov. 28

  • I woke up with a slight headache, some congestion, and a sore throat. I didn’t think anything of it because I’m good to wake up like that at least a few times a year. Especially when the weather changes from warm to really cold.Well as the day went on, I began to get chills. Bad chills. Like I couldn’t get warm at all. And that was under a heavy blanket, flannel pajamas, and a hoody. Took my temperature and I didn’t have a fever. I still didn’t feel all that bad, was just kind of bleh. At this point, I could still smell and taste.

    As I got ready for bed, the body aches started and that kept me up for most of the night. But during the night I remember that I had bought some extra strength cold and flu medicine when the outbreak first started. I took some of that and my headache and congestion went away and I was finally able to sleep.

Day 2 – Sunday, Nov. 29

  • I wake up with no headache or congestion, but my throat is killing me. It was on fire. I coughed once and felt like fire was going to come out.  Once again, this is nothing alarming, because when you talk for a living, your throat gets sore quite often. The day goes on and I notice that I can’t smell or taste anything.The body aches began to get worse. I felt like I’d been in a car wreck. In my back mostly. I felt like an old man trying to get up off the couch.

    I also developed a weak, dry cough. Occasionally there would be some green phlegm to go with it, but for the most part, It was just a dry cough a couple of times a day.

    And today a new symptom appeared. One that I had not heard from throughout the duration of the pandemic. My skin felt like it was very badly sunburned. It was weird because it wasn’t hot to touch, but it burned. The worst part was taking a shower. When the hot water hit my skin, it felt like it does after you take a shower after a week of laying on the beach. It didn’t really hurt. It was just annoying more than anything. But I powered on.

    Also, the chills were there, but they weren’t as bad as Saturday. I did clock a temperature of 99.9, but that’s as high as it ever got. I

Day 3 – Monday, Nov. 30

  • I woke up today much like the day before. My throat was sore, the body aches were still there, there was still an occasional cough, and my skin still felt sunburned.I made my appointment to get tested today and it ended up being positive. So I got my meds called in and then came home to quarantine.

Day 4 – Tuesday, Dec. 1

  • Pretty much the same symptoms s as Monday, but the body aches were pretty much gone. I never realized how bad that soreness was until I got up off of the couch once and it didn’t hurt like I’d done a 4 hour lower body gym workout.My throat was still sore and it probably didn’t help that I was recording and doing my radio show from home. But I drank enough water to keep hydrated because there was no way I was going to just sit at home and NOT be on the radio.

    The fatigue set in on this day. I would just get randomly tired at points throughout the day and would have to lie down to rest.

Day 5, Wednesday, Dec 2. – Day 9, Sunday, Dec. 6

  • The symptoms for these days pretty much just amount to the random bouts of fatigue and still not being able to smell or taste.At one point, I was getting up to get dressed to take a drive just to get out of the house, and after I got dressed, a wave of fatigue hit me hard and I had to sit down. Eventually, I was able to get up and take a drive around town and that was fun. It did me good to get out.

Day 10 – Monday, Dec. 7 

  • My smell and taste is starting to comeback and I’m not getting as tired when I get up to do thing. I do still have the occasional dry cough, but that’s about it.


All in all, my bout with COVID was very mild.
I was fortunate enough to not have any fever, trouble breathing, or any digestive issues.

The worst part for me were the body aches. That was something I’d never really experienced before because I’ve never had the flu. But those aches were no joke.

However, I can see just how bad this virus could be for those that are older or who don’t have a healthy immune system.

So, my advice is to continue to do what you can to make sure you don’t get this virus. Wear your mask and stay away from large crowds.

Also, you definitely don’t want to be stuck in your house for 10 days….alone.
Trust me.

I can keep myself entertained very well. I mean, I pretty much talk to myself every morning for  3 hours.

But even as entertaining as I am, I was sick of me after about 3 days.

Thanks for all of you who called to check on me or dropped off care packages/groceries on the front porch.

There’s nothing quite like being on the sideline when a team wins its first championship

During my broadcast career, which hasn’t really been that long, I’ve had the opportunity to call a few state championship games: two softball series, one baseball series, one basketball game, and even a soccer state championship soccer game.

Those were all great experiences, but being on a football state championship broadcast had eluded me.

That was until this Friday night.

Leake Academy was playing for its first state title and undefeated season. I was just planning on going to document and take pictures and video for our website and maybe grab some audio from the coach for the news.

Well, we eventually decided that we wanted an on-air interview with the head coach if they ended up winning the game.

So, I dug a wireless mic out of my closet that I’d wanted to try for a while, got it to work, and decided I’d give it a go as a sideline reporter.

Sideline reporting is a lot different than play-by-play. Being right there on top of the action is exciting. You do have to dodge errant passes and try not to get ran over during plays that carry out of bounds.

It’s also quite difficult to hear the broadcast when you’re standing in front of a sold out crowd. It might as well have been a home game for Leake so there were several times when I couldn’t hear the commentary team.

But being on the field….when a team finally captures the school’s first championship….is truly an experience. Hearing the coaches thank each other and be right next to players that are getting emotional as they run onto the field.

I doubt I’ll ever give up play-by-play for sideline reporting, but this was definitely something I’ll never forget.

Highlights of the night:

  • I saw a fellow broadcaster and radio host on the sideline of the game who I just know through social media. He paid me a great compliment when he told me that I was “very funny on Twitter.”
  • I had the privilege of working with veteran broadcaster Melvin Wooten on his final football broadcast. He’s been calling games for Leake Academy since 2003. And he had a great game to call for his last one. The coach even game him the game ball following the broadcast.
  • I owe a huge thank you to Leake Academy head coach Brian Pickens for warning me of the impeding Gatorade shower. I was interviewing him on the field following the game and he spotted the players headed our way with the cooler and warned me to get out of the way. Listen to that audio here.

The weirdest season ever ended with my 90th football broadcast

I finished my 8th season of broadcasting high school football Friday night.
It ended it with my 90th broadcast.

I got my start at the station in 2013 by answering an ad for a color commentator for Friday night football.

Never would’ve guessed when I started just how far I would come. Or how much things would change. Or how much I would change.

But a lot can happen in 7 years.

That kid that started out as a commentator, went on the be voted the Best Associated Press Radio Reporter in MS/LA for 3 years in a row.

He also served a term as president for the Louisiana Mississippi Associated Press Board Broadcasters and Media Editors Board of Directors.

So if you ever wonder why I stress out and probably take a high school football broadcast a bit too seriously, it’s because I owe my career to these broadcasts. So I will always probably take this a little too serious, but that’s worked out pretty well for me so far.

On a different note, this was the most odd season of broadcasting that I’ve ever been a part of.

From broadcasting in the bleachers to having a tailgate party broadcast on a field full of ant beds, it was certainly one to remember.

But despite all the weirdness, our crew never wavered and was always up to the challenge.

We have a lot of support for our team and broadcast. That’s something we, (myself included) take for granted.

So this post is to just say thanks to the people that make our broadcast go:

  • Phillip – Color Commentary, stats, driver to most away games
  • Donald – Studio Producer and recap writer
  • Evan – Camera Operator and production assistant
  • Lora – Broadcast script producer
  • Melissa and Lisa – Sales

Highlights of the night:

  • It was a family reunion at the game. My cousin Jay has been working with Maxxsouth Sports this season and they were there broadcasting the game. Was fun meeting up with him.
  • I also had another reunion with a former lab partner at Mississippi State. My buddy Drew Massey does play-by-play for WLSM. He’s also an aldermen for the city of Louisville. You make all kinds of friends in this business.
  • For the third week in a row, we had a player who wasn’t on our roster. So in the spirit of Wildcats, we took to calling him Jared Snell.

You never know who you’ll meet in a press box

Mississippi is one big high school.

I tell my out-of-state friends that all the time, but I’m not sure they really believe me until they actually come here (Kel knows).

Living in Attala County ups this ante even more, because you can’t go ANYWHERE without meeting someone who was born here, lived here, worked here, or has family here.

When I lived in Jacksonville, FL, I met a man who had dated a girl from KosciuskoI. I met a wrestler in Monroe, LA who has family in Ethel. In Nashville this past December I spoke with a former teammate of Peyton Manning’s who dated a girl from Kosciusko after meeting her a the Neshoba County Fair.

Well, I learned this lesson again Friday night as the clock operator, who was seated right next to me in a very cramped press box, told me that he had a connection to Attala County.

His name was RL Clark. He said he went to school in Kosciusko (Tipton Street) through 10th grade, before finishing at Thomastown.

I told him that I live less than 1/2 mile from the old Tipton Street school and that I’ve played basketball in the gym a few times there recently.

He and I then connected about some people we both may have known. He said that his cousin still lives and teachers in the area and said he went to school with Clemmy Harmon (brother of Clarence and Michael).

I sit close to the clock officials almost every where we go and I love chatting with them.

And as I mentioned above, no matter where we are, they usually have some sort of connection to Attala County.

Highlights of the night: 

  • Phillip and I had a pregame picnic with his daughter and son-in-law before the game. They only live a few miles from the school where we were playing, so they graciously brought us over some Chick Fil A. So a huge thanks goes out to Ruth Anne and Josh Van Drunen.
  • Once again, our opponents did not have a full roster for us, so I was forced to make up more names. And since we were playing the Trojans, I resorted to combining names of famous USC players. There was a Clay Swann and a Reggie Simpson. Sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.
  • New term’s or phrases coined this game: The Gold’s Gym Pose (the muscle flex celebration); The Jennie Finch (when the QB underhand tosses a pass like a softball)

It’s so much more than just a broadcast

“Is it really that hard? All you do is say what’s happening on the field? Anyone can do that.”

Anyone who has ever broadcasted a game has heard that. And anyone who has broadcasted a game knows that there’s so much more to it than that.

My broadcasting colleague and Twitter friend Melanie Newman, broadcaster for the Baltimore Orioles, expressed her own  frustration with that sentiment in a tweet over the weekend:

Now, I don’t broadcast for a professional team, so I know her prep work far exceeds mine. One reason is that I have another full time job (which is like 3 jobs in one) that demands most of my time, so a lot of my prep is done on Sundays and after work hours.

However, I do take pride in the amount of prep I do and have always carried myself as if it were a professional broadcast.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with several pros in the business. I’ve interviewed both Ole Miss’ David Kellum and Mississippi’s State’s Neil Price, the latter of which I’ve sat in the radio booth with during a game call (Thanks to the best engineer ever Ross Swanner).
I worked a TV broadcast spotting for Lyn Rollins, a broadcasting legend who is in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

And they all stress just how much research, prep, and other work it takes to make your broadcast stand out.

If I ever had an excuse to slack on the prep work, it was this past week.

We were finally back to a game week after having two weeks off due to COVID-19 protocols. So that meant prep work, recording with the 4 segments with the coach, producing the video broadcast and all that a normal game week entails.

In addition to that, the news reporter on two of our stations was on vacation, so I had to write, produce, and a record a newscast for all three station this week.
Plus we had live broadcasts for our campaign to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

So my week was already pretty hectic.

But to top it off, during this week’s game, the school would celebrate Senior Night and present the homecoming court.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the huge senior night ceremony. We didn’t do that when I was a senior.

In fact, if we had done it, I can picture an 18-year-old Breck actively voicing his position against it, but still participating anyway for the family.

But even though I have my issues with it, I know a number of people enjoy it. So all week long, I had felt the need to find a way to broadcast both of those events because of the limited ticket situations due to coronavirus. The idea that some grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members wouldn’t be able to partake in those festivities just didn’t sit well with me.

So I decided we would find a way to make it happen. Luckily, I happen to have A LOT of experience in running sound (thanks Dad), so I knew what all I needed to pull it off.

Thursday I went to the field and got it all set up and tested and it worked-ish. So, being the paranoid person that I am, I got to the field at 3:30 Friday to get it all set up again to make sure that it worked, and thankfully it did and it all sounded great during the broadcast.

When it was all said and done, I was awake from 3:30 am – 11:00 pm Friday, with 7 of those hours spent at the football field.

So that’s a look inside what a week looks like for the radio guy leading up to a broadcast.

I didn’t write this post to brag, but to just show what kind of work goes into the ballgames you watch and listen to week-in and week-out.

Mine is just a high school broadcast. You can’t even imagine the work that goes into those on the college and professional levels.

In conclusion, broadcasting is one of those jobs everyone thinks they can do. I foolishly thought that too before I started on this journey 8 years ago. But like most jobs, until you’ve actually done it, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.

Highlights of the night: 

  • I was elated to see Cam Smith back at the game. He spent several weeks in the hospital battling complications with COVID-19. Prior to the game, I got to go down and speak to Cam and his dad George.
  • I had fun as the stadium DJ again this week. I added a couple of Van Halen songs to the playlist as a tribute to the G.O.A.T. I also threw in some “Gloria” by Laura Branigan because it’s just a fun song.
  • The punter on the other team was not on our roster, so I took to calling him William Perry. Shoutout to all the ’85 Bears fans.


Trading the headset for the control panel

Even though my team was off for two weeks due to COVID-19 protocols, I was able to get back to the booth this past week.

With all the high school games moved up to Thursday night because of Hurricane Delta, I was called in to help with our East Central Community College broadcast.

But this time, I would instead be in charge of producing our video stream and occasionally providing color commentary.

It was a nice change of pace for me since I’m usually studying film and memorizing rosters, but this time I was creating pregame and halftime graphics and figuring out a way to get a scoreboard on screen.

Things went very well once we finally got on the air. YouTube decided it wanted to completely redo the way you have to set up video streams, so I had to fix that on the fly and get a new code/link back to our producer in the studio, but it’s nothing that I couldn’t handle.

I quite enjoyed doing a little something different, because I like to get experience in all aspects of a broadcast.

However, I will be glad to return to play-by-play this week….hopefully.

Highlights of the night: 

  • I was able to see a high school friend of mine that I haven’t seen since high school. Amy was senior when I was a freshman and we played on the drumline together. She works at ECCC now, so it was fun to see her and talk drumline for a bit.
  • I think I may have watched the best JUCO punter in the country during the game. Robens Beauplan’s punts are a thing of beauty.
  • I dropped a “Die Hard” reference on commentary. If you know me, then you know.

“If I see a situation pointed south, I can’t ignore it. Sometimes I wish I could.”

Captain America: Civil War
“If I see a situation pointed south, I can’t ignore it. Sometimes I wish I could.” -Steve Rogers/Captain America
“No you don’t” – Tony Stark/Ironman
“No….I don’t.” -Steve Rogers/Captain America

A main storyline in Marvel’s Captain America and Avengers movies is that he just doesn’t know how to stop being a soldier.

Several times throughout the movies, it’s referenced that despite his insistency that he wants peace, he just can’t step away from conflict .

Avengers: Age of Ultron
“Captain America…God’s righteous man…pretending you could live without a war.” -Ultron

In one particular scene, an enemy gives the Avengers a vision all of each of their greatest fears.

In Captain America’s vision, his greatest fear is the end of the war. Steve finds himself in the 1940s with his girlfriend at a party to celebrate the end of WWII.

“The war’s over Steve. We can go home.” -Agent Peggy Carter

I feel like Captain America this week. Now I’m no hero and I’m certainly not comparing myself to a soldier. I just mean that it’s hard for me to “turn it off.”

Someone asked me today why I work so much. It’s an honest question.

The simple answer would be that I enjoy what I do, so it doesn’t always feel like work. That doesn’t mean it’s not difficult or at times I don’t get burnt out because I do.

Another reason is that I take what I do very seriously. My work ethic is something I take pride in. So, it pains me to feel like something isn’t being done or isn’t being done as thoroughly as it could be.

It’s the old adage that “if you want something done right, do it yourself.”

This week I find myself in a rare situation: I don’t have football games to prepare for or broadcast for 2 weeks. The team’s games have been cancelled due to rising cases of coronavirus.

This will be the first time I’ve had 2 Friday nights off in October since 2012.

Now, you would think it would be easy for me to take a step back and enjoy some much needed time off on a Friday night. However, the truth is, I’ve been looking for a game to work.

I’ve talked to a few of my broadcasting friends to see if they need an extra analyst, sideline reporter, or something.

Of course, none of them have any openings.

But, as luck would have it, today I learned that our other football broadcast is in need of a camera operator. Now, I still haven’t decided if I’m going to run the camera or not, but at least the option is there.

I have a ton of other work to do this week as well, so maybe I will take Friday night off.

After all, The Empire Strikes Back is showing in theaters this weekend to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

And if there’s anything that could make me take off of work, it’s Star Wars.

“Breck, you seriously work all the time.” -Everyone
“I know. I wish I could slow down.” – Me
“No you don’t.” -Everyone
“No….I don’t.”- Me

The weirdest broadcast ever

In my 8 seasons of broadcasting football, I’ve never quite had an experience like we had Friday night.

We went on the road to Holly Springs. A 2 hour and 15 minute drive for us.
This would be the first home game of the season for Holly Springs. Because of a ruling by their mayor, the team was not allowed to play any home games this season. However, during a recent city meeting, aldermen overturned the mayor’s ruling and allowed the team to play.

So, this was already going to be a crazy game even before Friday ever got here.
But, I enjoy a good road trip to a broadcast, because windshield time with our crew is always entertaining.

Now the facility at Holly Springs isn’t the best when it comes to accommodating visiting broadcasters. It’s at a city park and there just isn’t any room for more than a handful of people in the press box.

Well, while doing my research,  I saw the visitor’s side had a parking lot that was on a hill overlooking the field. I decided that would be the best place for us to set up because we’d have a decent view and could spread out.

But also, if you know me, you know I have to add a little flash to most things I do. And if I was going to broadcast from a parking lot, we were going to turn it into a tailgate party.

So in addition to our broadcast equipment, we brought snacks (homemade Chex mix and boiled peanuts courtesy of Momma Riley), a cooler full of drinks, some decor for our table (helmet and burlap), and a generator.

We are the first people at the stadium (something I like to pride myself on), and we notice that the set up was a bit worst than we thought, but not for us.
Our spot was just as I had scouted. However, the field is in very bad condition.

And by very bad condition, I mean it was FULL of ant beds.

Remember, this is the first game Holly Springs has hosted this season. So ants had taken the field as their’s during the off season. Someone attempted to put some poison on each ant bed, but it looks like that was done about 2 hours before we got there.

Luckily, we never saw any players have a run in with the ants.

So yes, broadcasting from a parking lot…for a game that was on a field full of ants….while have to use a cell phone flash light to read our stats and rosters….is a night that will be hard for the remainder of my broadcast career to top.

Highlights of the night: 

  • First things first, we have to say a HUGE thank you to Jay Price and Kosciusko Auto Parts for donating the generator for us to use. There is NO way we would have been able to get the video stream online had it not been for having that generator. So thank you Jay.
  • Former Whippet Bobo Miller was at the game last night. It was great seeing him. He plays for Ole Miss now and with the Rebels playing at home Saturday, he and another football player made the short trip over. He told me that he’s been moved to defense, so look for him the next time you watch the Rebels on TV.
  • On the field, it was a great performance for the Whippets. That defense continues to impress. Holly Springs did not get a first down until the 5:30 mark of the 3rd quarter. The offense had another great game, finding the endzone 6 times on the night.



Football takes a backseat

Have you ever been in a stadium that was full of people, but was silent?
That was the scene Friday night in Kosciusko during a 40-minute injury delay.

Football is a tough sport and we’ve all seen our fair share of injuries on the field, but when the stadium is silent and an ambulance drives onto the field, it puts things in perspective.

Now I know most of the kids on the team just from covering the team as much as I do, but the player that was injured Friday night, I knew better than most.

Big Mike used to frequent our weekly basketball game at a local church. And since he and I are usually two of the biggest guys on the court, we often played opposite each other.

Now I’m not a good basketball player by any means, but I can hold my own under the goal and use some leg strength to hold my ground and grab rebounds. But not against Mike.

Every time we play, he pushed me all over the court.

Now I still talked trash. Would never let him know I had no chance of stopping him.  He’d just smile….and keep scoring.

Mike is a good kid and I wish him a speedy recovery.

Highlights of the night:

  • Man, it was fun watching this team finally put it all together. The offense has SOOO many playmakers on the field and this defense is one of the best I’ve seen in my 8 years broadcasting games. This team will be fun to watch downt the stretch.
  • Was happy that Coach Orr got a win over his alma mater. Coaching against a school you went to or from the town you grew up in is kinda like competing against your little brother: You better win or you’re gonna hear about it at every dinner, holiday, or family get together. I guess Coach Orr will be enjoying Thanksgiving and Christmas this year.
  • When I found out it was a blackout night, prior to the game, I hurried back to the radio station to add Ciara’s version of “Paint it Black” to the stadium playlist. Judging from the team’s performance, I’d say it’s a keeper.

There’s no place like home

There really is nothing like a hometown football game.

It’s great to see the parents come out to support their kids on the team, in the band, or on the cheerleading squad.
What’s even better is seeing the fans that really don’t have any parental affiliation to be there, but they come out to support the home team.

And the home fans wanted football. The athletic director told me that there were 200 tickets sold in the first 30 minutes of them going on sale.

Once again, things were different. I got tracked down so someone could take my temperature. We had a plexiglass partition next to our broadcast set up to separate us from the rest of the press box. The visiting radio and video team had to set up in the top row of the bleachers. However, no one complained. We were all just glad to be there.

The game didn’t go how we wanted. Grenada has a good team, but our guys are still trying to get down the new offense. There were marked improvements on defense however. I have confidence that they’ll get it all put together soon.

Highlights of the night:

  • For the 3rd year in a row, I am once again the pregame stadium DJ. I had all of the usual “pump jams” on the playlist, but “Don’t Stand so Close to Me” and “Can’t Touch This” got a few laughs from the crowd. The California Love-Fresh Prince of Bel-Air remix also was quite popular.
  • This was our first video broadcast of the year and it went great. No issues at all. We had a lot of people tuned in due to the capacity restrictions at the games. I was also told a restaurant downtown had the stream on a TV in the bar.
  • This was a crazy hectic week. I had sooo much work to do that wasn’t football related. And Friday I spent most of the day trying to fix a problem with our other football video stream. Ultimately, that couldn’t be fixed so that broadcast was audio only. That irked me a bit because that means those fans that can’t go to the game, wouldn’t be able to watch. So I wasn’t in the best mood when I left the station to go home to get ready for our game, but as soon as I stepped in our press box, all that went away.