As someone who covers high school football for a newspaper, I can tell you that one of the great underrated dangers out there is the high school football press box. Usually, the thing is a wooden shack haphazardly slapped together on top of an already shoddily-constructed set of bleachers.
And to get there, you have to negotiate a spiral staircase that’s tighter than the one in the Statue of Liberty, then creep across a catwalk with a 12-inch-high railing and hope you don’t slip on something and fall 30 feet into the marching band. Each time I go to a new school, a different set of challenges awaits. I’d rather do the Eliminator on “American Gladiators.”
Today, I sadly bring news that one of our brothers in arms has fallen. And since I don’t yet know if he’s going to be OK, I probably have to refrain from making any jokes, however well-intentioned they may be:
The BUFFALO NEWS brings the tragic news that a sportswriter for the newspaper is in critical condition after an accident outside the press box at a game he was covering:
Tom Borrelli, 51, suffered head and neck injuries after the accident at Buffalo’s All High Stadium.
Immediately after the fall, Borrelli was described as badly injured by authorities, though they said he was able to talk to firefighters and rescue personnel.
The culprit was a staircase. Someday, this will be me. I’ll face my destiny.
Authorities said Borrelli fell down a long flight of stairs leading up to the stadium’s press box at about 4:20 p.m. while covering the Harvard Cup game between Riverside and McKinley high schools.
The story claims in its first paragraph that Borrelli was in critical condition on Sunday morning at a local hospital, but later indicated he was in stable condition on Saturday night, suggesting that his status has actually deteriorated.
“There are conflicting reports” on what caused the accidental fall, school district spokesman Stefan Mychajliw said.
To recap, he is somewhere between OK and dead and fell for completely unknown reasons. It’s too bad there wasn’t a reporter on the scene to get the details…oh, right.
No word yet on whether or not the News had received any angry phone calls from mothers who were expecting their kid’s name to be in the paper on Sunday.
Seriously, though, we hope Borrelli is OK and able to get back on the job soon, even if he has to sit down at field level for a few games.