SEATTLE — This week, I got another reminder of just how fortunate I am to be a sports anchor. Actually, let's change that to just anchor because I'm sure fellow TV anchors in this market shared my same feelings of empathy watching their reporters stand in the pouring rain during a weather event known as an atmospheric river.
That's a river in the sky that carries water vapor equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River (Googled it).
In other words, that's a lot of water in a short period of time. This atmospheric river dumped two inches of rain in the Seattle area in less than 24 hours. Anyone standing in it got soaked.
That kind of weather reminds me how lucky I am to have an inside job.
I paused a moment from working at my desk and looked out the window during the peak of today's storm. Yeah, it was really coming down - a real mess.
Then I looked up at one of the many TV monitors in our newsroom and saw two of our reporters on location ready to bring us their weather-related stories at the top of the newscast.
They were both wearing their KING 5 yellow jackets and sporting their own accessories. One was smartly clad in a bucket hat - the pride of Gilligan's Island, although I'm pretty sure if Bob Denver had a choice, he would have opted to stay on the deserted Island.
The other reporter, stationed on the roof of our building, probably could have used a sombrero to keep the rain off his face. Then again, maybe he didn't want anything hiding his fresh haircut, so, sans chapeau, he verbally plowed through his intro.
When I saw his report, I said, "Oh man," (and yeah, I was chuckling, but in sympathy).
A few minutes later, I went to get a hot cup of coffee (it's drafty by the window). I passed his photographer who was drenched after just coming down from the rooftop live shot. He jokingly asked me if I wanted a hug. I laughed and politely declined. Then I saw the reporter he was teamed with on the roof. That's when I started laughing.
I said, "Man, I just want you to know I really felt for you up there."
He fired back with a laugh, "Yeah, sure, Sports Guy. Always sitting in your covered seats, while the rest of us are out in the elements."
I couldn't really argue.
And besides, I had to get back to my desk - coffee was starting to cool.
Now, I could sit here and compare the job of anchors to reporters, the pros and cons, the hours, etc. But what's the point?
The purpose of this story is to give my colleagues across the area a tip of the cap.
Whether it's an atmospheric river, Snowmageddon or Windjammer 2021, the next time you see your favorite reporter out in the elements, be thankful you're inside.
Or you're a sportscaster.