Tales from the Beat: The long-awaited phone interview

By Tom Hardesty | Assistant Sports Editor Published:

In the fall of 1996, Mogadore's Chuck Moore was putting together a historic football season that saw him score 51 touchdowns -- one shy of the Ohio record -- in leading the Wildcats to the Division VI state championship. Needless to say, Chuck got a lot of ink in a lot of newspapers, especially the Record-Courier.

I had the good fortune of doing some of those stories on this record-setting running back and first-class student-athlete, and on one particular day I had a phone interview set up with Mogadore head coach Scott Pollock and Chuck, both of whom would be at Mogadore High School.

The interview was scheduled during the school day when each had a break at the same time, and for their convenience, I gave them the Record-Courier sports department phone number they could call at the appointed time.

So I prepped for the interview at the R-C sports desk in Ravenna and waited for the phone to ring. And waited. And waited. And waited. First, five minutes went by. Then 15. Then 20. Then a half-hour. I had known Scott a long time and knew this wasn't like him -- nor was it like Chuck, an extremely mature high school kid who was always gracious and humble during interviews.

Still, the phone didn't ring. It was almost 45 minutes after the designated interview time, so I figured I had better call the high school to see what had happened and if the interview was still possible.

I got patched through to Scott, who proceeded to tell me that he and Chuck had been trying to call the R-C for 45 minutes. I told him I was sitting right next to the phone and it never rang. Scott replied, "Well, I've been calling ..." and rattled off the R-C sports phone number. He said all it did was ring and ring, no voice mail or anything. Only one problem: the number Scott had been calling wasn't the R-C phone number.

Two digits had been inverted. I looked down at my notebook, and to my horror I realized I had given Scott the wrong number to call. For some reason I wrote it down wrong in my notebook, and that's the number I then gave to Scott.

To their credit, Scott and Chuck soldiered on and went through with the belated interview as if nothing had happened. To this day, I wonder who Scott was calling for those 45 minutes. Good thing they weren't home.

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