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