Note: Greg Braggs is in Indianapolis this week with the CHGO Bears team and will be filing dispatches each day about his experiences at his first-ever NFL Combine
INDIANAPOLIS — Yes, I was nervous. Actually, I was terrified for today. Why? I don’t know, it seems silly looking back. But when you are living your dream and covering the first day of the NFL Combine, you want it to be perfect.
It wasn’t perfect. Maybe I could fit in my clothes a little better if I lost a few pounds. Maybe I could’ve had the temerity to ask Ryan Poles a question in my first presser. Maybe I could be a little more organized. Maybe I didn’t have to dress like I was going to church!
But I guess you learn along the way like at any job. Being a bricklayer has taught me a few things. To be patient, be consistent, listen, learn, and be a team player. I just try to use those tools and apply it to what I’m doing here.
It was a surreal day. A fan in the stands and now I’m hanging with Bears reporters in the media scrum, many of whom I’ve looked up to for a long time while I yelled from the tunnel up in the first row at Soldier Field. But now I’m here. How? I don’t really know. Some of the media members were just as shocked to see me as well. I joked with them that I saved my Bearman costume for Friday, I’ll keep it classy today!
The process of everything has such a weird feeling of importance. You have to keep reminding yourself that it’s still just sports at the end of the day. I was just about to muster up the confidence to ask Ryan Poles a question when the media personnel yelled “two more questions!” and for whatever reason that scared me back into my corner. I think I just want to do it the right way. Even if I don’t necessarily know what that is or how to go about it.
But I would not be denied when Bears coach Matt Eberflus took the podium. I would be damned if I didn’t ask at least one question. So, I asked a pretty simple question to test the waters and got a simple answer in return. That just wasn’t gonna be good enough for the day. Next, I asked a tougher question the second go around.
I think Eberflus appreciated the thought behind the question by the way he answered it. Who knows. I was just happy to jump in the fire. My friend, Dionne Miller from ABC 7, helped make me feel comfortable while she stood next to me. I made sure to save her a spot. One of the warmest individuals in Chicago Sports media.
It’s an odd thing. The competitiveness to ask the best questions. To ask the first question. To ask the next question. To ask the last question. To get the best spot. To get the best shot. It’s kind of like being on the wall laying brick. You want to lay the most bricks each course. When two bricklayers come together, you want to get that last brick in before he does. It’s a pride thing.
You can already tell how important networking is here at the combine. People having little conversations all over the convention center and at the bars late at night and they all seem to have some significance but probably aren’t really all that important. But it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Something that has helped me get to where I’m at today. So, you gotta play the game. Find the angles, the interesting, the unique.
Today was a good start. Not bad for a meatball bricklayer trying to make it in this crazy competitive media world. I’m gonna keep having fun with it and stay true to myself. Brick by brick. Always.
Tomorrow, we talk to the players, so I’ll check back with you guys for a Day 2 of this Dear Diary with Braggs! Thanks for coming with me on this journey. If not for you guys, I wouldn’t be here.
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