Most people who get into sports broadcasting are like me. They do it because, at some point, they realized they weren’t going to get paid to play.
Broadcasting was the next best way to get paid to attend games.
For me, the realization came during my senior year in Jon Robertson’s TV class at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego. Once it hit me, I applied to three schools — Syracuse, Colorado and the Princeton of the Plains, Kansas State University. I ended-up at K-State and landed my first full-time sports broadcasting gig four years later.
The rush of the sportscasting dream fulfilled
Two of the biggest thrills of my own sportscasting career happened in drastically different situations.
The first happened at the beginning of my career — broadcasting three high school state tournament championship games for McPherson (KS) High School. ESPN’s “Coach”, Jonathan Coachman, was a starter on one of those teams. I knew that everyone from that town of 12,000 who hadn’t made the two hour drive to Topeka was tuned-in and relying on me to tell them the story of the Bullpups run to another championship.
The second thrill happened every time the opening theme music would play when I was hosting ESPN Radio Weekend AllNight between 1999 and 2003. I used Peace Frog by the Doors, and every single time that music would play, I felt like I was the commander of the universe — like the entire country had been waiting for hours for my show to start and now, finally, they were going to get to hear what I had to say about the day’s events (Of course, if that had truly been the case I would have been doing more than weekend overnights, but that is beside the point!).
I would not have been able to experience those thrills without the training and reps I received in school.
A new way to get your sportscasting dream
Unfortunately, not everyone has the option of a four-year school like I did.
Some people don’t have the money, others don’t have the time. And the “short-cut” options that have existed for aspiring sportscasters until now — broadcasting school and mentorship programs — are totally insufficient for on-air sports broadcasting careers.
That is why we have launched STAA University. We wanted to provide a viable option for aspiring sportscasters who can’t attend four-year schools — an option that combines elite instruction and career placement assistance.
Very few people get rich doing sports broadcasting. That is well-documented.
However, the payoff is loving going to work every day, calling the big game, getting the adrenaline rush every time you are about to go on the air, being recognized in public, sometimes feeling like a mini celebrity, and countless more reasons.
I’m biased, but I truly believe that sports broadcasting is the most exhilarating and fulfilling career — other than playing the games — that a sports fan can choose. Through STAA University, we are fired up to give other folks this fabulous opportunity.
What is one of your favorite memories from your own sportscasting career? Or if you’re just starting out, what is one of the future scenarios that is fueling your desire to be a broadcaster? I would love to hear your stories in the comments, on Twitter or Facebook.