What a weekend, huh? And it’s not even over yet.
While a crew of five Forum employees went down to Frisco, Texas, to cover North Dakota State’s FCS championship appearance, some of us had to stay back. And our nights were no less thrilling and hectic.
With the noon start, I was fortunately able to watch at my house most of Saturday’s 17-6 NDSU victory. I rolled into the office in the middle of the fourth quarter to catch the final minutes and get started on a section that I’m sure will be displayed in the homes of NDSU fans for years to come.
The Bison aren’t unfamiliar with national titles in football, but this was the first of their nine to occur in Division I. In other words, this was historic.
I had the task of putting out the cover, the inside game story page and the photo page, working alongside full-timers Tom Mix and Andrew Gottenborg and part-timers Dayton Schwieger, Glenn Pursley and Don Bitzan.
Our guys in Frisco learned early Saturday that NDSU was planning a rally at the Fargodome on Saturday night for the players if the Bison win. When the game ended, I let sports writer Ryan S. Clark know so that he could head over to the Dome for the 9:30 p.m. arrival of the players. Photographer Michael Vosburg and Forum online editor Rob Beer ended up joining Clark at the rally. Beer shot some amazing video from the event. It’s accompanied here by Clark story, which had my favorite lede of the day.
My pages were very photo-driven, especially with the poster cover technique on the front page. Dozens of outstanding photos poured in from our Frisco photographers David Samson and Carrie Snyder, keeping our guys in Fargo at the edge of our seats as we tried to determine which photos to display big. While the game may have ended at 3:15 p.m., Samson and Snyder plus reporters Kevin Schnepf, Jeff Kolpack and Eric Peterson in Frisco were filing until around 7 p.m. or so. Here’s Peterson’s game story, with links for all of the other columns and stories.
Due to the volume of photos and stories coming in, I opted to clear five pages of space in the sports section instead of the planned four for the big game. Without that, the photo page simply would have never happened. And did you see Snyder’s photo on that page of the young lady who delayed her honeymoon so her husband could go to the game? I couldn’t fathom not running that one.
There was plenty of debate within in the newsroom about the cover shot. It wasn’t an easy choice, because there were too many quality photos. When the headline “HERD HEAVEN” was settled upon, it seemed the picture we did use of game MVP Travis Beck just worked much better with it. The sky provided the perfect heavenly backdrop for that page, even though I initially was hoping to avoid using a celebration photo for the page since I had done that for the last couple of poster covers.
From what I’ve read today, the web hits on InForum.com just exploded. There is just so much demand. And we’re not done yet. Make sure to pick up a copy of next Sunday’s Forum for a special section paying tribute to this season of NDSU football.