12 of the nicest guys in sportscasting

Recently, I heard an old story about a TV producer. He was telling a friend that he had worked a game with a talented young broadcaster who was also uncommonly selfless and a great team player. The young man was quick to ask accommodating questions like, “If I sit this way, does it work for you?”

The broadcaster was Bob Costas. His kindness had made a great impression on the veteran producer.

The story got me thinking about some of the most pleasant sports broadcasters I have met — guys whose kindness I have experienced first-hand.

Here they are in no particular order…

Bob Costas

Costas has spoken at two of STAA’s One Day Ticket to Sportscasting Success seminars (ODT). After one of them, I ran into Costas in the gymnasium where the annual National Sports Media Association awards banquet is held. The event had ended almost an hour earlier; only six or seven people remained in the gym. One of them was Costas. He went out of his way to walk over to me to share a compliment about the seminar. He even remembered my name. I was flattered by such a classy gesture from one of the giants (figuratively speaking, of course) in our industry.

Doc Emrick and Chris Berman

Emrick and Berman shared the stage to close out ODT16. They were scheduled for 40 minutes. I was told they had to finish by no later than 4 pm because they had obligations with sponsors. Shortly before 4:00, I politely stepped-in to wrap things up. Emrick and Berman waved me off. At 4:05, I tried again. Same response. At 4:10 I tried a third time, this time reminding Doc and Chris of their obligations to the sponsors. Berman said, “The sponsors can wait.” The pair ended up staying an extra 20 minutes. They genuinely enjoyed sharing advice with the sportscasting audience.

Bob Carpenter

Bob is a paid advertiser of his baseball scorebooks on the STAA website. I state that only for transparency. It’s not why Bob is on this list. He’s here because every time I ask him for a favor, his reply is always an immediate yes. “Hey Bob, can you do an STAA TV segment?” Yes. “Hey Bob, can you speak at our seminar?” Love to. “Hey Bob, podcast?” You bet. He’s always available.

Mark Boyle

Like Bob, Mark is there every time I make a request. Every. Single. Time. His passion for helping young sportscasters runs deep.

Wes Durham

I can’t count how many young sportscasters I know who have received advice and developed friendships with Wes. If our industry had a mayor, Wes might be it. Before I knew Wes, he suggested to the National Sports Media Association that they invite me to present STAA’s Jim Nantz Award at their annual awards banquet. A year later, he encouraged them to invite me onto their board of directors. Wes always has my back. A wonderful friend.

Ian Eagle

This guy’s humility is off the charts. I first met Ian when he spoke at an ODT seminar. That night, I saw him at the NSMA banquet and shared a relatively short but very pleasant conversation. Ian has a wonderful ability to make you feel like you’ve been friends forever. I enjoy staying in touch with him.

Chuck Swirsky

Several years ago, Chuck contacted me from out of the blue with some kind words about STAA. We’d never met, and frankly, I would have guessed that he didn’t know who I was. His expression of support meant a lot to me and remains unwavering to this day.

Dave Snell

Dave has served on the NSMA board with me and spoken at a couple ODT events. What a genuine, humble guy. Like everyone on this list, Dave cares deeply about helping aspiring sportscasters, whether it is teaching them at Bradley University or sharing advice when seeing them at NSMA’s awards weekend in Salisbury.

Wyatt Thompson

Yes, he’s the voice my alma mater, Kansas State (Go Wildcats!). He’s on this list though because he’s Every Man. If you were to meet Wyatt, you would have absolutely zero idea that he might be the second most recognizable guy in Manhattan, KS. He has a folksy, down-home demeanor that defies you to not like him.

Jay Sanderson

Jay cultivates his friendships. Several years ago, I told him my then four-year old son and I enjoyed the trolley on Mister Rodgers Neighborhood. The next time I saw Jay, he had a wooden model of Trolley for my son. It still sits on a bookcase in my son’s room.

Bill Roth

I hadn’t met Bill when he reached out to me many years ago. He was familiar with me through the STAA website. When he was in town visiting family, he suggested we get together. Our first visit was over burritos but we ultimately bonded over a shared love of In-N-Out burgers. Bill is an extension of his alma mater, Syracuse. It’s hard to meet a sportscaster under 30 who Bill hasn’t mentored. Great dude.

There are MANY others I can add to this list but I have to stop somewhere. It’s time for lunch.

Who is on your Nicest Guys in Sportscasting list? Please share a story about one of them in the comment section below. I’m eager to read them.


  1. Joe Hutzler

    Tony Caridi at WVU. I met him shortly after graduating from college, working at a local radio station. He was at an event for Mountaineer Club members, but still gave me undivided attention for at least 20 minutes. We still connect as I work to improve my portfolio

    • Jon Chelesnik

      One great thing about sportscasters is that most of them are glad to pay forward the help that someone gave to them when they were young. Tony is a great example of that. Thanks for sharing your story, Joe!

  2. Josh

    Carolina Hurricanes TV and NHL on NBC play by play man John Forslund has been the kindest man I’ve met in the industry. When I was in high school, I introduced myself a couple of times while he was a guest on the Hurricanes post-game radio show on the arena concourse — and within 1-2 meetings, he remembered my name and invited me to a practice. The next thing I know, I’m in the Canes locker room. He’s also given me such helpful advice over the years and even now, whenever I want him for a guest — whether he’s got a Canes game that night, or travel or even a nationally-televised gig on NBC — he’s always been accommodating. Everyone who works with him loves him too. He’s a top-notch broadcaster, even better person.

    • Jon Chelesnik

      Hi Josh — wow, that is super cool. The fact that John remembered your name so quickly was an early indication of how sincerely interested he is in people. You must have been pleasantly surprised and pretty fired up when he invited you to practice. Great story!

  3. gailsideman

    I could add several, but let me start with my top 3: Charles Davis (NFL on FOX/NFL Network) and his Madden NFL ’17 booth partner, Brandon Gaudin. Charles will remember members of a crew he worked with years ago and treat them with as much respect as a coach he’s known for decades. I only met Brandon when I joined the EA Sports travel team to officially release Madden NFL ’17. There’s a reason why Charles and Brandon make such a great partnership on Madden. They study hard, have great senses of humor and you don’t find kinder guys. My No. 3 is ESPN’s Adam Amin. One of the best with his play x play skills and study, and nice x forever.

    • Jon Chelesnik

      Hi Gail — great to hear from you and to read your comments. I love listening to Charles Davis’ broadcasts. Glad to know he is as pleasant off-air as he seems to be on-air. I, too, know Brandon and Adam and wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of both of them. Many sportscasters have shared with me stories of how Brandon or Adam has gone out of their way to be helpful.

      • gailsideman

        I should have said that Brandon is with B1G Network and Westwood One ;-)

  4. Kevin Wyart

    The voice of USC football, Pete Arbogast gave me a push forward in this industry when I was a 17 year old kid in high school. We met at a sports industry career seminar that I decided to go to for an excused absence from school. Until then, I was in such awe of the professionals that I didn’t know where to begin. He really simplified everything and convinced me to just go out and do it. He has helped me at times since, like giving me his spotting board. I’ve met some great people so far, but he was the first and most memorable.

  5. Ryan Piers

    Dave has been an important mentor for me in Peoria. And is an amazing broadcaster. Good name for this list. The Bradley women’s play-by-play guy, Ed Hammond, is pretty great too!

    • Jon Chelesnik

      I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Ed. Dave, though, has a deep and sincere passion for helping young sportscasters. I have great respect for him.

  6. John Leahy

    John Rooke. As humble as they come. He’s been a major source of inspiration to me.


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