A year ago, TV channels, newsrooms and radio stations received the information that they had always imagined but no one expected to give. This is how TyC Sports experienced it on a day as sad as it was historic.
The main sports news on the morning of Wednesday, November 25, were split in two: the echoes of River’s agonizing tie against Athletico Paranaense and the previous one from Internacional-Boca, for the first leg of the knockout stages of the Copa Libertadores. And in the country, the start of vaccination against Covid-19 was expected in December and details of protocols for holidays on the Atlantic Coast were being finalized. Everything blew up at noon when Diego Armando Maradona died.
The very sad and precise moment had arrived that every Argentine newsroom, TV channel or radio had seen a thousand times. More than one of them will have heard a “do not call me, unless Maradona dies” when a colleague went on vacation. But yes, that time it was. The Clarín newspaper arrived first, almost by chance. A neighbor alerted to shouts of “no, it can’t be … no …” and the presence of ambulances in the rented house in the private neighborhood of San Andrés, in Tigre. Thus, the editors began to check with various sources and they all responded “died”. From there it was first published that he was in serious condition, at 1:04 p.m. Finally, the scoop at 1:06 p.m. that rumbled around the world.
TyC Sports, on the screen and on the website, he reflected it twelve minutes later, which seemed like an eternity. The same process followed, from ‘suffered a cardiac arrest’ and the contrast with close to Ten to the word that nobody wanted to type. AND the ‘delay’ in confirming it through the socket or pressing the green publish button has an explanation. “It gave us the feeling that he was resurrected a lot of times”, explains Diego Díaz, who was driving. “We thought it would never happen. He got us used to entering the cemetery, waving and leaving“he adds.
VIDEO: This is how TyC Sports reported the death of Diego Armando Maradona
“It was all silence in the studio”, contextualizes Marcelo Palacios, sitting on the left. The silences said a lot, they looked for each other “synonyms, euphemisms”. How to tell that the greatest idol of Argentine sports, the superhero who spent them all, had died? Diaz could not: “maradonitis”, as he defines it, left him speechless and only with tears. “That awful”Leo Farinella managed to say, next to a broken Esteban Edul. “The production told me ‘take care of yourself’. They put the graph and it was necessary to explain how it had come to that situation “recalls MP, who gave voice to the news.
In what sums up as “the worst situation” of his journalistic life, he chronicled – with what little was known until then – the process that had ended with the death of El Diez at the age of 60. She never wanted to see him again. After a while, Martín Arévalo joined by phone. “I’d rather be the last to say it”, He managed to express from his proximity to Fluff. Later it was Horacio Pagani, from his home. “Soccer just died”he could say. “Diego was playing that he never died, and we truly believed that he was immortal”, he finished in the midst of grief.
VIDEO: Horacio Pagani’s crying after the death of Diego Armando Maradona
From then on, everything went to Maradona. From the news, such as Boca suspended his match for Libertadores and returned from Porto Alegre, to unprecedented live programming, with testimonies from former teammates, technicians and friends, family, politicians … Also the memory of his best days behind the ball. And so it ran until closed on Thursday 26, with the massive wake at the Casa Rosada, the caravan and even after the remains of the best player of all time were buried in Bella Vista.
The same effort occurred in digital: the website, social media, YouTube, and TyC Sports Play ran with hundreds of notes, posts, and minute-by-minute coverage from the entire newsroom. TyCSports.com, which had historic audience figures, turned black like Sportia and even the channel’s logo was intervened for the first time in history to replace the ‘O’ by Diego’s face.
All done by football fans and Maradonians, in the midst of pain. The day that we will never forget again.