Best Seat in the House

John Patrick/Idaho Sports Talk Producer  @JPktik

For the past seven years I have had arguably the best seat for Boise State football games. To my immediate left sat Paul J. Schneider. The same Paul J. whose name is on a plaque outside the press box door. I wouldn’t trade that seat for a sideline pass or a spot in the swankiest suite in the Stueckle Sky Center. Paul J. has been a fixture in the Boise media for 50 years. His place in Boise State lore as their play-by-play announcer is undisputed. Paul J. Schneider deserves all the accolades that have come his way in recent weeks, and now, a heartfelt tribute from me.

I have known Paul J. for about 15 years. It’s a small part of his long broadcasting career, but nearly half of mine. Simply put, Paul J. is one of my favorite people. Sitting next to him in the press box that bears his name is as fun as you could imagine. We joke, laugh, criticize, predict plays and occasionally bring the other a brownie from the media buffet.

As friendly as we have been over the years, I recall making Paul J. pretty mad two times. Both times it was like I had disappointed my own dad by doing something stupid. One time, we were conversing in the hallway at work. He had a bunch of coins in his hand and was swishing them around. He held out his hand almost daring me to do something. I slapped his hand upward and the coins went flying all over the place. As I laughed I could tell he was not happy. I scrambled to pick up the coins. I apologized profusely for two days.

The other time I was being my sarcastic self by calling him out on Twitter to “spellcheck” any time his tweets had a spelling error. Again, I spent two days apologizing. I learned my lesson.

Almost every day, Paul J. and I greet each other with our own unique one finger salute. In some workplaces it wouldn’t be acceptable, but for us it has become habit. Many people in Boise have their own stories about Paul J. Schneider, but these are a couple of mine. I hope I get many more years of sitting next to Paul J. at Bronco football games.