Don’t let haters prompt you to change your broadcasting style

A college football broadcaster was in his second season with a new university. Message board trolls were complaining that he wasn’t enough of a homer on his broadcasts.

“The guy I replaced was not good with the fundamentals of play-by-play,” he said. “He was a big time homer who could complain about the officials and act like the game was a funeral if the team was losing. You could go 20 minutes without knowing the time and score, or even which teams were playing.”

School officials were pleased with the new broadcaster. Still he wondered, “Do I keep doing my thing and hope people get used to it, or should I be more clear than I root, root, root for the home team?”

My advice: stay with what got you there.

When I was hosting on ESPN Radio Network, I would have crumbled if social media been around. I would have ignored the supporters and catered to the critics. I would have changed what got me to ESPN to try to satisfy the haters.

That would have all been wrong.

Like the college football broadcaster, I got the ESPN job over dozens of other candidates because my bosses liked me and my work the most.

Don’t change what got you hired

People with positive opinions rarely share them. It is the negative nellies who go out of their way to publicly criticize. Trust me — their numbers are far less than they appear. It’s like the Great Oz. He seemed almighty and powerful until the curtain was pulled back. It turned out that he was a feeble old man.

One other thought specifically for the football broadcaster: You are the voice of your school. It’s nearly impossible that you wouldn’t pull for them to win. Consider the “professionally biased” approach. Fans know whom you want to win without you being a homer.

It’s okay if you naturally sound a bit more excited when your team does something well. You can still maintain journalistic integrity and professionalism.