KERRI BROOKS: No easy task to follow UK football

Looking back at the last two weeks, it was not easy figuring out how I was going to catch the Kentucky games. My first dilemma was figuring out how to watch the season opener while working the U.S. Open tennis in New York. (I work as a camera operator for CBS Sports.)

I had coordinated with the engineers on my truck to patch the DSS feed of the game to a television outside the truck. I had also asked for the feed of the game to be fed into a return feed for the cameras. Cameras are capable of receiving two feeds back to them; one is the live program feed that is being aired to the world, the other is used to set up split screens and other technical tricks. Having manipulated my schedule to have a few hours off camera, I sat down at the television outside the truck for opening kickoff. People I work with thought I was absolutely nuts, as my screams were heard inside the trucks, and multiple people stuck their heads outside asking me if I was OK. I gave them the old, "Just watching football!"

As the second quarter was winding down I had to get back out on camera for the Coria-Kiefer men's singles match. Imagine me, flipping the image in and out of my viewfinder in between shooting the tennis match. Our Audio Mixer had been kind enough to send the audio from the game to the cameras as well, so as I was listening, I couldn't help but want to watch!

For the record, that is no easy task! Then as the third quarter was winding down, one of the guys passed on his break to let me get off camera. With a good 1/2 mile sprint ahead of me to my television set up, I took off like a gunner on special teams, running off the court… straight into Kiefer, who was turning a corner coming out of a bathroom on his way back to the court. When I say ran into, I mean I absolutely body slammed the guy!! He was cursing at me in German something fierce!! I thought to myself, "This is going to be a very hard one to explain to my boss!" I wasn't sure if he would appreciate that I had taken out one of the leading tennis players in the world on my way to watch the fourth quarter of my Kentucky game…

Week two I found myself in Miami for the Dolphins-Broncos game. Saturday is typically my second set up day on an NFL game, and normally, by late afternoon the cameras are all operational and I can sneak out of there! Well, this Saturday that was not to be the case! At 5:45 it became apparent due to technical issues I was going to be there for hours. The only good news was that I had brought my satellite radio with me to the stadium and I was not going to be needed until the truck engineers resolved some major issues.

With my truck radio in hand (in case they needed me), I headed out to a car in the parking lot where I would hook up the Sirius radio and listen to the game. My sister, Kasey, called me from my nephew's football game in Oregon telling me she needed updates. (A ritual I have of fingers flying like a madwoman texting the play by play of the game.) Then my brother, Denny, who is traveling on business, calls me and he needs scores. No worries!!! (Or so I think.)

By the third quarter I have almost drained my cell phone battery, and tell my sister I will only be sending scores for the rest of the game. A massive storm is brewing, and as the rain starts falling, the lightning is messing with my radio!!! It is pitch black outside, the rain is coming down with Hurricane force, (Oh yeah, it was Ophelia's outer bands) and Idaho State scores a touchdown to take the lead. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!

The battery light comes on in the car, and within seconds, the radio is gone! In the pouring rain, I sprint into the compound screaming to one of the truck drivers about getting me jumper cables; grab another set of car keys, run back out to the parking lot, move the car next to mine, pop the hoods, get the cables attached, start up the car, just in time to hear Commonwealth going nuts. We just scored another touchdown to take the lead back!!! HOLY COW! On the edge of my sopping wet seat, dripping from the rain, I sweat out the last few minutes of the game before I call the rest of the family and let them know we won. That was a scary game.

We pulled it out, but not without great loss. We have had multiple injuries that are devastating to the foundation of the team. I am sure everyone can relate a major injury to the demise of one of their favorite teams. The freak Achilles tendon injury to Vinny Testaverde which changed the Jets fate in a year when they were picked to be the team to beat… We have suffered multiple losses, and at positions which can ill afford it, but this is not a time to give up. This is an opportunity for some young talented kids to get in and play some football. This is a time for the guys to have heart, and dig deep. The team that played against Louisville and fought back from a certain seat whoopin', showed us they have heart. Now is the chance for some of our young players to make names for themselves. Don't write off the Cats just yet. They have a lot left to prove.


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