By Nicole Cortese
For football fans, Sundays are for gaining fantasy team points, eating wings with friends, and screaming at a TV all day. For Joe Lincoln, a sophomore digital media major, a video internship with the New York Giants includes traveling halfway across the country with the team, while balancing his homework at a hotel in his spare time.
Although Lincoln is not an avid NFL fan, he follows almost every other sports league and could not deny this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“I love sports and I want to do something in the video field, so it kind of made sense putting the two things together,” Lincoln said. “It seemed like the perfect opportunity.”
During every Giants’ home game this season, Lincoln gets the best seat in the house — on the team’s sideline. His internship began in the summer, working 45 or more hours a week with various responsibilities.
“For training camp we had to set up and take down the equipment every day for the people that film practice,” he said. “Also, we had a rotating basis where myself and the other interns would film certain sections of practice on hand-held cameras.”
Traveling with the team is also included in his responsibilities. All three of the video interns must attend the home games; only two go on the road and they rotate for away games. Lincoln traveled to Dallas for week one of the season, which also coincided with the first week back at Rider.
“I had to do homework at the hotel in Dallas on a public computer,” he said. “You have to work around it.”
Dr. AJ Moore, Lincoln’s adviser and professor in the Communication and Journalism Department, saw strong potential in Lincoln and encouraged him to apply for the internship.
“Joe is a student who impressed me in the classroom with his maturity and his willingness to learn, not just to get by,” Moore said. “Those are traits that work well in the professional world, and he demonstrated that as a student. I was really impressed to see Joe at his classes early in the morning the day after his trip to Dallas. That was exactly the work ethic that impressed me in the first place.”
When traveling, the whole organization, including the players, staff and interns, takes a plane to each city together. They stay in a hotel overnight, then game day comes on Sunday and it is time for everyone to work.
After the first few days on the job, Lincoln became desensitized to seeing the big-name team members, whom many fans idolize. The video office, where all of the practice and game videos are managed, is located directly down the hall from the locker room.
“The players come into the video department all the time because they’re always asking for tape,” he said. “And the whole building eats in the same lunch room, so you’ll see the players just walking around.”
Lincoln is allowed to occasionally interact with the players in a professional manner, even during games.
“We work right behind the bench of the players,” he said. “A lot of times they’ll get done an awesome play and I’ll say, ‘Hey, nice play,’ and they’ll be like, ‘Thanks, man,’ and interact with you. Being on the sidelines is pretty cool.”
After a big play, all of the networks will try to get close-up shots of certain players, and Lincoln has to be conscious of his surroundings, even in the background.
“In Dallas, after one of the plays, I had a major network camera over each shoulder trying to get a close up of Victor Cruz,” he said. “I had to make sure I stood still and not to accidentally walk in front of a camera and block the shot on national T.V.”
Moore has no doubt that Lincoln will be successful in his future endeavors.
“It’s a tough commitment he is dealing with now as a student, but I am confident he will do well,” Moore said. “This experience is teaching him how to balance his schedule and lifestyle, exactly what he and others must do after graduation. Joe has heard me say it in the classroom, ‘It doesn’t come easy,’ and he is willing to make the sacrifices to have a chance at a career he strives for after graduation.”
Lincoln hopes to eventually take his digital media degree and work in sports or Hollywood production.
“Now that I see what it’s like to do video in the sports world, I don’t mind it at all,” he said. “It’s one of the few career paths I wouldn’t mind having.”