It's natural to cry at the end of a goodbye story, but, at the beginning? "We haven't even started yet," said a choked-up Emily. "You're crying already?" we asked. "I'm just anticipating it," she said. That's Emily Jones, trying to get a jump on the story, even if it's her own.
It begins in Plainview, where she 'root, root, rooted' for the home team. "I was a career cheerleader in high school," she said.
At Texas Tech it was Broadcast Journalism, which led to an internship at NewsChannel 11. "I grew up watching NewsChannel 11, so, it was like Karin and Abner was one word," she said. Her first day as a reporter, was overwhelming. "She started crying," remembered Abner Euresti. "She got tears in her eyes, we were like, 'What's wrong?" he said. "I said, this is going to make you guys feel old, but I've been dreaming about saying, 'Karin and Abner back to you,' for a really long time," said Emily. "And she was thinking about that and she started crying and we almost started crying, it was just really emotional," said Abner.
But underneath the waterworks was a young reporter ready for business. "Early bird gets the worm," said Mayor Marc McDougal. City election, 1998. Emily camps outside the court house trying to get a jump on the results. The mayor gives her the inside scoop. "I got a lot of calls from other reporters complaining that NewsChannel 11 had them early, but Emily was the only one camped out down there," he said.
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She was also the only one camped out when a new basketball coach arrived on a private jet. "Oh wow! This is so exciting!" she said as Bob Knight got off the plane. "That to me was like seeing a movie star," she said. And it showed. "I think you're great, you're really tall," she said. Objectivity - out the window. "I was like a kid in a candy store," she smiled.
She waited at the airport for 12 hours that day, and when the moment of truth came, did she ask about Knight's Indiana troubles? Or even his plans for Texas Tech? Nope, something sweeter came to mind. "Orange juice," she said. Minute Maid to be precise. Bob Knight's role as a pitchman for OJ. "The Minute Maid people have really enjoyed it and uh, and I hope there will be some more enjoyable things in the future," he said. "Ok? Got that? You did well!" he added. "Ok," she said. And just to show him there were no hard feelings after such a gruelling grilling, she gave him a hug. "Your first hug with the local media," she chirped. Probably the first and last time Bob Knight hugged a reporter.
And that's the kind of person Emily is - tenacious but tender. Which makes saying goodbye, hard. "It'll be sad, it'll be sad. A good sad," she said.