3 steps to surviving a solo football broadcast


The first time I had to broadcast a football game by myself was 1989, McPherson (KS) High School versus Ark City. For a reason I don’t remember, my regular analyst was unavailable that night. What I do remember is what I felt.

Sheer. Terror.

football broadcast

At that point, my football play-by-play experience was limited to a handful of games. Carrying a two-hour broadcast by myself seemed impossible. I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. As it turns out, the things I learned that night carried me though the rest of my football play-by-play career.
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How to burn bridges with employers


Most job applicants feel qualified for the jobs for which they apply. Nearly as many are confident they will get it. On the occasions when they don’t, applicants might feel emotions ranging from disappointment and frustration to downright disbelief. How can this employer be so short sighted as to not see my greatness?

burning bridges

Those emotions are fine. They’re understandable. I have felt some of them myself in the job market. Keep them to yourself.

Expressing your disappointment to the employer who doesn’t hire you burns bridges.
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3-point plan for nailing the job interview


A sports broadcaster interviewed for a play-by-play job at a university earlier this year. The process included meetings with the athletic director, assistant AD, marketing staff and coaches of the various sports the person would be covering.

job interview plan

This individual was nailing the interviews – making a great impression in each of them. He was feeling good about his chances for getting the job when he was told there was one more coach to meet. He was warned, “this one is going to be tough to impress.”
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7 tips for broadcasting a new sport


I will be broadcasting lacrosse for the first time next week. I’ve never broadcasted lacrosse before. Any advice?

I got the nod for some Division I field hockey play-by-play and I’m coming up on my first game soon. Any advice?

broadcasting new sport like lacrosse

These are the kinds of questions I receive often from play-by-play broadcasters who are getting ready to call a particular sport for the first time. It is wise say yes to the work because it might open new doors, but if you’ve never broadcast the sport before, how to you go about sounding your best?
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4 tips for healing your confidence after losing a job


The most discouraging phone call of my career was in July 2003. I took that call while sitting at the desk in my home office in Carlsbad, CA. After four years of hosting Weekend AllNight on ESPN Radio, I was being replaced. I felt shock, disbelief, anger, despair, betrayal, bewilderment and a loss of confidence. Maybe I wasn’t as good as I thought. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be replacing me, right?

I was 36. I sobbed.

losing a job

After several days I was able to sort through most of my emotions. The one that remained, though, was my lack of confidence. I wondered if maybe I had been fooling management for the past four years. Maybe they never listened to the show. After all, it aired in the middle of the night on weekends. Maybe when they finally listened, they realized it sucked. Or maybe the person who hired me thought of weekend overnights as a throwaway shift. When new management came in, I reasoned, they put new emphasis on the time slot and thought I wasn’t good enough.
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Want to sound like Scully and Emrick?


Early in my play-by-play career I was reviewing one of my recent basketball broadcasts. What I heard made me cringe. Every time the ball was passed, I said “over to.” “Jones, over to Smith, back to Jones, over to Cameron.”

It drove…me…nuts.

vocabulary

I knew I had to find a way to make my play-by-play non-repetitive. I needed to find new ways to describe plays – to vary my vocabulary.
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5 nuggets for veteran sportscasting job seekers


“ESPN and Fox are hiring much younger these days.” That is one frustration shared with me by a long-time play-by-play broadcaster. Another veteran who is struggling to find work laments that sportscasting “is a young man’s game now.”

veteran sportscasting

For these sportscasters, both in their late 40s to early 50s, age has become the biggest challenge to advancing their careers. “Being cast as an ‘old school’ broadcaster is probably a detriment,” says one of them.

If your perception is that it is harder for older sportscasters to find work, your feeling is accurate. It IS harder. However, understanding employers’ trepidation about hiring older voices can help you better present yourself in the job market.
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3 keys to selling yourself in your cover letter


Are you sending a form letter with your sportscasting job applications? If your answer is yes, stop it immediately.

3 cover letter keys

If an employer is reading cover letters, your form letter will not get you the job. Instead, invest the time to customize your letters and dramatically increase your chances of receiving a favorable reply.

Here are three keys to successfully selling yourself in your cover letter:
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Minor league broadcasters might be getting a raise


“Overworked, underpaid” is a common lament for broadcasters in minor league sports who double as their team’s media relations director. In-season, 40 hour work weeks are the exception rather than the rule, and small salaries make it hard to pay the bills.

minor league raise

Good news might be on the immediate horizon.

Thanks to a new law going into effect in December, salaried workers earning less than $47,476 will qualify for overtime when they work more than 40 hours per week.
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