Editor's note: Like you, NBC Sports Bay Area insiders, reporters and analysts are feeling the sports void during the coronavirus stoppage. They'll share their thoughts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in "What I Miss About Sports." First up in the series: Warriors reporter Kerith Burke.
A career in sports took me away from home. Games brought me to cities I had never seen before -- Miami, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix. When I worked in New York, the time-zone difference meant I was three hours ahead of my family out West in Washington.
My dad could watch the network I worked for, thanks to an awesome TV sports package at his gym. When I sat down to anchor a show at 10:30 p.m. ET, he’d hop on an elliptical machine at 7:30 p.m. PT to watch. We had a routine.
After work, I knew I’d have a text from my dad. “Nice show tonight.” Or, “Good energy.”
Sometimes, “A few stumbles.” Or, “Not your best show.” Oh yeah, he kept it real.
I knew my dad was watching, at a job where it helps to pretend no one is watching to keep down the nerves. It was an audience of one, and he was proud of me. It became reflexive to check my phone to see his messages.
That’s what I miss about sports. The togetherness across the miles. The connectivity. We debated whether Carmelo Anthony should leave the Knicks, and if Mets pitcher Matt Harvey really had the stuff or simply had a moment in time.
When I moved to the Bay Area, my parents ordered NBA League Pass to watch Warriors games. My mom got in on the texting.
“What are you wearing and where are you sitting?” Spotting me on TV was my family’s "Where’s Waldo."
The NBA’s hiatus feels like a broken link to my favorite people. That feeling carries beyond my family, too.
So much of my career has revolved around a sports schedule: Working nights, weekends and holidays. Career becomes purpose becomes identity. Devote so much time to something, and it defines you. I’m fortunate to love my job, so I embrace the definition. I am a sports reporter.
At the moment ... I am adrift.