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Pat Fitzgerald takes reporters' phone call, ends with signature 'Go Cats'

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AIRPLANE MODE.

Jonathan Daniel

I got an iPhone in 2010, and started using it to record interviews shortly thereafter, since I'm cheap and didn't want to buy a tape recorder.

It was handy and useful -- because, hey, one thing instead of two things -- but I had one nightmare scenario. Every Monday, I would cover Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald's weekly press conference, and at the beginning, all the reporters would go up on stage and put their recorders in front of him as he talked. A good percentage of people still had tape recorders, and I felt cool for having an iPhone app. I would compulsively put my phone on airplane mode to keep it from getting any calls, but every week, about halfway through the press conference, I would start to wonder: wait, did I forget to put it on airplane mode?

I had to sit and wait, hoping that I had either remembered or that I was unpopular enough that I could go 20-ish minutes without getting a phone call. Because there could have been nothing more embarrassing than hearing a phone buzz, then hearing my stupid ringtone, and then looking around in horror as actual professional reporters watched Pat Fitzgerald talked to, like, my grandma or something, and made a snarky remark and called me stupid.

Luckily, that never happened. However, today I got to live my erstwhile nightmare through somebody else's eyes:

It's funny for the rest of you, but, this is like making an arachnophobe watch "Eight Legged Freaks." I spent years of my life as a PatFitzgeraldAnsweringMyPhoneataPressConferenceophobe, and this is my horror movie.

At least the guy who's phone it was handled the situation well: