Grant Napear Has Done Everything He Wants To
“Learn the business. Learn the craft. Get as much experience as you can and work your way up the ladder.”
One of the easiest things in life is to detect whether somebody has passion for what they do or not. The passion that Grant Napear has for sports broadcasting and sports in general is more than obvious. One of the greatest compliments I can pay Grant is that he has the unique ability to get the audience to care more. I truly believe that the passion he always displays has a direct effect on the audience being more passionate about sports themselves.
Grant has enjoyed a great deal of success throughout his career. He became the TV announcer for Sacramento Kings basketball games back in 1988. The story he shares about breaking the good news to his dad is second to none. The greatest moment in Grant’s life is a special tale that reveals how his love for sports is intertwined with the deep love he still has for his late father.
As the host of The Grant Napear Show on KHTK Sports 1140 in Sacramento, it might come as a surprise that Grant’s favorite moment in sports radio doesn’t actually involve anything that has to do with sports. Grant also unveils whether he would give up sports radio or play-by-play if necessary, and he details his unique approach to delicate topics that is definitely worth your time reading below. Enjoy.
Brian Noe: Start from the beginning. What was your first break in sports broadcasting?
Grant Napier: My first break was my dad — we grew up on Long Island about 30 miles from New York City right on the Nassau/Suffolk community border. I was very fortunate to have a radio station in my high school. I had a little bit of broadcast work before I even went to college, but my first real, true break was my dad’s mixed doubles tennis partner — her husband owned what back then was the Mizlou Sports Network. The Mizlou Sports Network was basically ESPN before ESPN.
They did a lot of bowl games. The guy that owned that network — his name is Vic Piano. He had always told my dad, “Hey, if there’s anything we can ever do for Grant, let me know.” I went to college at Bowling Green and was doing Bowling Green football. After I graduated, I was working at a radio station in Bowling Green and Bowling Green made it to the California Bowl. They were playing Fresno State. Mizlou Sports Network was doing the game.
I called Vic Piano. He gave me the name and the number of the executive producer — his name was Bill Schwing. I went out on a Friday night before the game to their production meeting. I’m sitting in this room with the staff that’s doing the game and the producer and the director. At the end of the meeting, Bill Schwing goes, “Now, I’m sorry. What are you here for again?” I said, “Well, I’m Grant Napear.” He goes, “Oh yeah, that’s right. Okay, now what is it that you want to do?” I said, “Well, I don’t know. I’m just here to see if there is anything at all that is available.” He said, “Well, you know, this is national TV. I can’t let you just go on TV. We do need someone to do the halftime show. I can’t just let you on.”
He said, “I’ll tell you what, show up at the stadium tomorrow three hours before the game and I’ll give you an audition.” They had a lot of technical problems that late afternoon and they never gave me an audition. So, I’m sitting in the broadcast booth. It is about seven minutes before the half. I asked the stage manager, “Can you please find out if I’m doing the halftime or not?” I really need to prepare something.
With four minutes left to go in the first half, she gets back to me and she goes, “Yes, you’re going to be doing the halftime. You’re going to interview the commissioner of the conference and then you’re just going to do some stats and some highlights.” Now, I had never been on television before. Okay? I have never been on TV, but I had been practicing my whole life to be on TV. Even beginning at age 10 and 11, practicing and making believe I was on TV.
I did the halftime segment. At the end of the game, I’m walking out of the stadium and Bill Schwing comes out of the TV truck and he sees me. He goes, “Grant! Oh my God, you have no idea how nervous we were all in the truck when you came on. But you did a great job and good luck in your career.” I got back to Bowling Green, which is 20 minutes south of Toledo. The ABC station up there is Channel 24 in Toledo. The sports director’s name is Jim Tichy.
I had known Jim because I had done Bowling Green hockey, Bowling Green basketball, and I used to see Jim around. We knew each other. Not well, but we knew each other. He comes up to me and he says, “Grant, I didn’t know you did TV.” I said, “I didn’t know I did TV either.” He said, “Listen, I have six weeks vacation this summer and a weekend sports anchor is filling in for me. We need someone to fill in on weekends. Would you be interested in coming up and doing an audition?”
I went up on June 18th of 1982. The reason why I remember the date is it was my birthday. I did an audition. They hired me to fill in on the weekends at $5 an hour. During that time my radio station in Bowling Green had been sold and it was turning in to a Spanish format, so I moved back home to New York.
Mike Reghi, who ended up doing the Cleveland Cavaliers for many, many years — he’s done a lot of work for ESPN — he was the weekend sports director. I’m not kidding you, Brian, he would call me on a Thursday night and go, “Grant, I’m not working this weekend. Can you work?” I’d go, “Absolutely.” I would get in my car and I would drive 10 hours, over 500 miles, and I would do a five-minute sportscast on Saturday. I would do a five-minute sportscast on Sunday. And I would drive back home. I did that for about eight or nine months until I could get a good tape. Then, I just sent it out everywhere and that’s how I really got the TV portion of my career started.
Noe: What’s something that you remember most while doing that fill-in work early on?
GN: You know what was interesting? I had never been in a TV studio before. I’ll never forget this. The news director comes up to me and he goes, “Just write a couple of scripts out.” I wrote a couple of scripts and I go into the studio and the teleprompter was run by the anchors at this particular ABC station. It was like a sewing machine. There was a foot pedal under the desk and you had to tap your foot to move the teleprompter.
I did the sportscast and the news director goes, “Okay, do you want to do it again, or are you okay with that?” My response was, “Well, you only get a chance to do it once when you’re doing it for real, right?” He says, “That’s correct.” I said, “No, I’m good with it.” They ended up, right after that, hiring me to fill in at the ABC affiliate in Toledo. That’s how I really got my start.
I learned how to shoot a camera. I would go out and shoot highlights of the Toledo Mud Hens. I would go up to the Tiger games. There were all kinds of things in that area. I would edit my own stuff and I would put together my sportscast. I did that until I could get a resume tape. That’s how I really ended up getting my first full-time job was by getting the experience on the air to get a resume tape together.
Noe: I just thought of Howie Long, who won a Super Bowl right away with the Raiders, and some other players who had immediate success at the beginning of their careers. It’s not as if you took early success for granted, but did you appreciate it more down the road when you got a few breaks early on when it just doesn’t work out the same way for some other people?
GN: Yeah, you know, it’s interesting you say that. Was that a break? Yes, but I was very fortunate. I knew what I wanted to do when I was in third and fourth grade. I started doing play-by-play when I was in grade school. I was blessed to grow up listening to Marv Albert doing the Rangers and the Knicks games. In junior high school, whenever we had a class assembly that would run short, they would start chanting my name out. I would have to go on the stage and do a mock play-by-play of a Knicks or a Rangers game. I put commercials in and everything. I was doing play-by-play for many, many years before I even had a chance to do it on the air.
That evolved in to doing Bowling Green hockey and some basketball and football on the campus station before I got an internship where I was doing everything. I was driving literally 10 hours for $5 an hour. Then when I finally got a job in Decatur, Illinois as a “full-time” job, I made $12,300. I was the weekend sports anchor and during the week I was a news photographer because they didn’t have the budget to go full sports.
I worked my way up to being a sports reporter. I really, truly feel like I paid my dues. Did I get a break? Yes, but here’s the other part of that. I always tell students this; did I get a break? Yeah, I did get a break, but I was ready for it. I took advantage of it.
I always tell students when I speak at high schools and colleges — I really believe that people in this industry, if you look hard enough, you will get that one opportunity. But when you get that opportunity, you have to make sure that you are ready for it and that you hit a home run. Because if you don’t, you may never get that opportunity again.
In one sense, I got a break. But in another sense, I had been working my whole life for it. I worked for very little wages. I really feel like I paid my dues so that when I really got into the position that I’m in now at a relatively early age — I started doing the Kings when I was 28 — I felt at that point like wow, I really earned my way to that spot. I didn’t feel like I was ever given anything. I don’t feel like I was ever handed anything. I felt like I was ready for it, prepared, and I feel like I’ve paid my dues.
Noe: Absolutely. Oh, I don’t want to make it sound like you were born with a silver sports broadcasting spoon or anything like that. (laughs)
GN: I wanted to paint a picture for you because I know you talk to people in this industry all the time. If you talk to 50 different people, you’ll get 50 different stories of how people got into this business. With the exception of maybe a Jim Lampley and a Bob Costas — and even Bob started doing minor league hockey — but very, very, very, very few people go from college into the “big time” in this business.
You have to start off in a small town. Warner Wolf, who was a long-time sports anchor in Washington D.C. and New York City for CBS — he also did Monday Night Baseball for a while. He was a phenomenally popular figure in New York. He wrote a book. I’ll never forget this part of the book because I always used to read this when I used to talk to schools. In this book he said, “You know how some people say start at the top? I say don’t even think about starting at the top. You need to get a job in a small town on the radio at six in the morning when nobody’s listening.” He went on and on.
You know what? I did that. My first full-time job right out of college, I was working at a commercial station in Bowling Green, Ohio. I was the morning DJ. I was the account executive. I was also the sports director. During the morning — this is no exaggeration — three times a week I used to have to read the funeral report brought to you by Klotz Flowers on East Wooster Street. Like I still remember the name of the flower company and the street it was on. That was part of my job in the mornings.
Warner Wolf was so right about that. You have to learn this business by doing it. You have to be able to work in a market where if you make a mistake, nobody’s going to kill you for it. It takes a while to hone your skill and get experience. If you work in a small market they understand that you’re going to make mistakes. They understand that you’re up and coming. You can’t go from college to let’s say a network or a big time and make a mistake and hold on to your job. It doesn’t work like that. I’ve always believed that you start small in this business. Learn the business. Learn the craft. Get as much experience as you can and work your way up the ladder.
Noe: It’s been well chronicled how Patrick Mahomes attributes some of his play-making ability to playing baseball. When you’ve done hockey play-by-play and other things in sports broadcasting, how much has that helped your NBA play-by-play?
GN: It’s helped it out a lot. I played lacrosse all my life. I played lacrosse in college. I had to mix in working at the campus radio station with playing a Division I sport. I had to learn how to budget my time and everything, but I’ve always felt this — if you can do hockey, you can do anything.
The only sport I’ve never tried is baseball. I honestly don’t think it fits in with my personality. Do I think I could do baseball? Yeah, I think I probably could, but baseball is more about telling stories. It’s more about what happens in between pitches. That would be more challenging for me because I’m more of a New York Type A persoality with rapid-fire. Hockey is perfect for me.
My dream was always to announce in the NHL and I got my dream in 1995. I filled in doing some Sharks games on TV. I’ve crossed that off my bucket list, but I’ve always felt that if you can do hockey you can do anything. That type of experience of doing a fast-paced game and having to be on top of it has helped me out immensely throughout my career.
Noe: What was that moment like for you when you initially got the nod to call Sacramento Kings games on TV?
GN: Well, the greatest moment ever in my life, and I’m 59, was calling my father and telling him that, “Dad, I am the new TV announcer for the Sacramento Kings.” My dad started taking me to New York Giant football games when I was three years old. We went to games every Sunday. We had season tickets for the Giants and the Jets. I was at an NFL game every single Sunday of my entire childhood.
I loved the Giants and I hated the Jets. The season ticket holders at Shea Stadium didn’t like me because one week I’d be rooting for the Bills, two weeks later I’d be rooting for the Patriots, then I’d be rooting for the Colts. They couldn’t stand me because I hated the Jets.
My sports background is 100 percent from my father. We’d be at college games. We’d be at Ranger games. It was just part of my upbringing. The moment that I found out I was going to be doing the Kings on television in 1988, the thing that I will always remember until I’m no longer breathing was the phone call that I had with my dad. That was probably the most special moment I’ve ever had in my life.
Noe: Do you remember what he said to you?
GN: He broke down on the phone. We both did. It was like a dream. For us to share that moment and to experience that together with all of the games that we had been at and our love for sports and everything else — I lost my dad 10 years ago at age 82. He had a full life.
I’ll tell you a quick story. My dad passed away three hours before I did a Kings-Spurs game on November 2nd in 2007. My brother called me at 4 o’clock and the game was at 7 o’clock. He says, “Dad died.” My dad was in good health. He was still driving. He was still active in his church. But anyway, to make a long story short, they found my father on the couch with ESPN on. We were playing the Spurs that night and my dad had always told me, “Hey listen, if anything ever happens to me, don’t worry about it. Go do the games. Don’t worry about missing a game.”
I did the game as hard as that was. We only scored 29 points in the first half. At my dad’s memorial service a month later I told the story. I said I’m just really happy that they found my dad before the game because if they had found my dad after that game, I would have always had the guilt over the fact that the Sacramento Kings killed my father.
He watched every game that I did. He watched every single game. I was like, okay gosh, that would have been the worst thing in the world to have my brother call me and say, “They found dad sitting with the Kings game on and the Kings poor performance in the first half killed him.” (laughs) But that relationship, I’m sure everyone has their own stories, but that was something that was [special] – and with League Pass it was great because my dad could watch every game that I did.
Noe: I appreciate that story. If you look at sports TV, sports radio, and play-by-play — what are the similarities that aren’t obvious, and the differences that don’t stand out either?
GN: The similarities, to me, are knowledge. I would think this is true in any walk of life. When I’m doing my radio show, I have to know everything. I’m blessed to fill in for Jim Rome a lot. That’s a whole different animal because you get calls from all over North America and you have to really know everything.
My love may not be let’s say college basketball. I like college basketball, but I don’t really get a chance to follow it as closely as I want for obvious reasons. If I’m going to do a national radio show, you have to have the knowledge. When I’m doing an NBA game at night, I’ve got to know not only my team, which I know because I’m watching them every night, but you really have to know everything about the other team.
To me knowledge, homework, and preparation — that’s the one constant between everything. I don’t know if people understand. A Joe Buck who was doing the World Series and doing an NFL game on a Thursday, or a Jim Nantz who goes from doing the Final Four to the Masters to whatever — you just always have to be reading. You can’t take any days off in this business. You don’t want to go on vacation. I’m still monitoring everything that’s going on in the sports world. You don’t really get away from it.
They are completely separate jobs and I don’t know if there are a lot of fans that understand that. What I do on the radio every day is 100 percent different than what I do when I’m doing a Kings game two hours later. I’m opinionated on the radio. I have to present that medium completely different than when I’m doing a basketball game. When I’m doing a basketball game, my job is not to be opinionated. My job is to describe the action and to guide my analyst in and out of certain areas that I think are important.
People think it’s kind of the same job. It’s not the same job and there is a very, very fine line that I do have to walk and I’m sure the other broadcasters in the country like a Michael Kay — who I have the unbelievably utmost respect for — as the TV voice of the Yankees and having a high profile radio job in New York. He can’t duck questions. He can’t, on his radio show, not be opinionated even if it’s critical of the Yankees. But there is a fine line that you have to walk. That is probably the most difficult part of doing a radio talk show in a market and being the professional team’s play-by-play announcer.
Noe: The NBA game moves fast. Hockey especially moves so fast as a play-by-play guy. Does it ever feel like sports radio moves slower for you because of your play-by-play background?
GN: Yeah, sports radio to me is like molasses compared to doing play-by-play. I’ve done NBA play-by-play on radio and I’ve done it on TV. Play-by-play on TV is not really that quick. Marv Albert told me this a long, long time ago — a good TV announcer is judged more by what he doesn’t say than by what he does say. You have to be really in tune, particularly when you’re doing games at home, with what the crowd is doing. On big moments you really need to lay out, but when you’re on the road and your team has a big moment you don’t lay out because the crowd is bad. Then you can talk over it.
There is a fine art. It’s very, very challenging at times. In radio play-by-play you are the eyes and ears of the listener. Everything has to be super descriptive. I love play-by-play because it’s all spontaneous. You really don’t know what’s going to happen from second to second. Whereas on the radio show it’s a little bit more formatted.
For instance, if I’m on the radio and we’re talking about the Chiefs and the Chargers, well there’s really not a lot of spontaneity there because I already know. I watched the game and there’s nothing I’m going to be asked that I don’t know the answer to. Not to sound egotistical, but people that watched the game know. They watched the game. But when I do the Kings and Warriors game, I have no idea what’s going to happen.
I did the Kings-Warriors game a couple of years ago when Klay Thompson scored 37 points in the third quarter. That was probably in my 31 years of doing basketball the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I didn’t walk into the building that night thinking I was going to see the greatest individual accomplishment in the history of the game. That’s what I love about play-by-play — the spontaneity of it. It’s totally different. It’s completely separate than doing the radio show.
Noe: I think the Warriors dominance is a mixture of good and bad for the NBA and sports broadcasting in general. Do you think the Warriors are more on the good side or more on the bad side for what you do as the Kings TV announcer and also as a sports radio host?
GN: I’ll tell you what I think is bad about it. I think it’s bad when a league begins their season, it’s game one of 82, and just about every single person in the country knows who’s going to win the championship barring injury. I don’t think that’s good for the NBA and yet their TV ratings are through the roof. Their money is through the roof. The attendance keeps on going up, but I don’t think that’s good.
Whereas in the NFL in Week 1, look at Philadelphia last year. Nobody had them winning the Super Bowl and they won the Super Bowl. That doesn’t happen in the NBA. Look at baseball. Who had the Oakland A’s winning 97 games and going to the playoffs? It happens in baseball. In hockey, who had the Vegas Golden Knights going and playing in the Stanley Cup Final as an expansion team? That could never ever, ever, ever happen in the NBA. That part of it I think is bad.
I don’t think it’s good for a league when you have legitimately two, maybe three teams that can win a championship out of 30. What do you say to the other markets like Sacramento? Well, we’re different because it’s the only show in town and the team has been so bad for so long and now they look good. The fans here aren’t expecting a championship this year. The excitement is as good as it’s been in over a decade. In this particular market it’s not a big deal.
To me, it’s different when you work in a Portland or a Sacramento where it’s the only show in town. Let me take you to a market that has three other sports.
If you’re in Denver, the Nuggets are relevant this year. When the Nuggets in the past few years weren’t relevant and you have the Avs, people talk about the Denver Broncos 365 days a year — what’s it like for them when they know that their team has no chance of competing because they already know who’s going to win the championship? I think a lot depends on which market you work in.
Noe: What would you say is your very favorite moment broadcasting the Kings and your very favorite moment broadcasting a sports radio show?
GN: My favorite moment broadcasting the Kings was Game 3 of the ‘95-‘96 season when the Kings had their first playoff game at Arco Arena. I’ve been blessed to go to the Super Bowl, the World Series, and the Stanley Cup Final. I’ve been everywhere and I’ve never, ever experienced a crowd response when the Kings ran out onto the court for their warm-ups against the Sonics in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1. That was truly a moment — not moment, moments — that I’ll never forget. I’ve never experienced a crowd response like that ever.
I’ve had a lot of other tremendous moments — some good, some not bad. I was doing the radio call on Robert Horry’s Game 4 shot, which tied the series at 2-2. That was probably the most difficult, hardest thing to digest because the Kings would have gone up three games to one and in all likelihood would have won the series.
As far as my favorite sports moment on the radio — you may find this to be kind of an odd answer, but it doesn’t have anything to do with sports. We were broadcasting on remote after 9/11. I’ll never forget being on the air after 9/11 where you didn’t even think about talking about sports, nor did you even contemplate talking about sports. I’ll never forget every day being out in a parking lot of a shopping center with fireman and literally having people just stop and put money in boots.
Just kind of getting together with people and strangers that you didn’t even know. Just getting through the horrific scene of Washington and New York and Pennsylvania — the bond that our country showed during that time. That week to two weeks on the radio was — when I say it’s my favorite time — I say it’s my most memorable time because our country came together and we were going to do anything that we could for our fellow neighbor, and our neighbors in New York and Washington.
We just went through it here with the Camp Fire and the tragedy in Paradise. This is our neck of the woods. Again, we didn’t even talk about sports for a couple of days. We were talking with victims that had nothing. They had lost their houses. They had lost their jobs. They lost everything and we were all trying to help. What do you need? Can we get up there and give you a blanket? Do you need a tent? Do you need boots?
I had someone call my show who wore a size 17 and they were walking around with nothing. I called the Kings to see if anyone wore a size 17. Kosta Koufos did and so I got some sneakers and I gave them to this individual because they didn’t have anything. Those are the moments. I always say the power of radio. When there’s tragedy and you have a microphone in front of your face, you don’t really realize how many people that you can help. Those are my favorite most memorable moments in all my years of doing radio. It has nothing to do with sports. It has to do with helping out your neighbor and making someone feel good. Giving someone hope. Those are my favorite moments on the radio.
Noe: Building off of that, the times when sports radio gets pretty contentious — if there is a topic about anthem protests or something like that — that’s the other side of the spectrum based on what you were just talking about. Do you think that more times than not sports radio unifies people or divides them?
GN: I think it divides them. I have a really simple philosophy. It’s a very sad philosophy, but I deal in reality. I’m a straight shooter. I don’t talk about that on my radio show. I don’t talk about sex on my show. I don’t talk about race on my show. And I don’t talk about political / social issues on my show. The reason for that is if I do, no matter what I say, it’s going to be misconstrued. I’m going to be labeled either a racist. I’m going to be labeled a bigot. I’m going to be labeled this. I’m going to be labeled that.
I honestly believe in my heart that there are certain issues that you have a no-win situation. I unfortunately cannot talk about those things. You talk about the anthem protest in the NFL. It’s very simple. This is a sports show. I’m doing a sports show. If you want to talk about Colin Kaepernick and you want to talk about kneeling, there are many other stations on the dial. Turn the dial. I’m not talking about that.
It’s sad that we live in a society where you can’t give an opinion without being labeled a derogatory term. So, I stay away from that. I wish I didn’t have to stay away from that because I’m like anyone else — I have an opinion on it, but if my opinion is not popular or my opinion is deemed to have a certain bias, then all of a sudden I’m Grant Napear that has a label attached to him. I don’t want a label attached to me unfairly.
I do a lot of things in our community for at-need students. I spent a lot of my free time on my foundation. I am very proud of that. I don’t even like to go on the radio and have to back up when someone calls me this or calls me that. I’ll give you an example. I made a comment about a year-and-a-half ago about this issue. Someone was calling up and criticizing me and I said, “Okay, I heard what you had to say. Let me ask you a question. What have you done to help out the situation? You have a very strong opinion about this. What are you doing to make your community better?”
There was a pause. They go, “Well, what are you doing?” I said, “Well, I have a foundation. I’ve sent over 60 at-need high school students to college. I mentor the students and we pay for a five-year state funded education.” I said, “So, what have you done? I told you what I’ve done in the community that I live in. What have you done?”
The thing that bothers me more than anything in the world is when people call up and criticize a talk show host’s opinion about delicate issues that I try to stay away from, and I do stay away from, and I ask a very simple question, “You have a very strong opinion Joe, John, Debbie. What have you done?” And they don’t have an answer. I hate people that call up and complain about the issues that are facing our country today and yet they don’t do anything about it other than just call up and bitch on the phone. I don’t want to have a conversation with a person like that. If you feel that strongly, go out and do something about it.
Noe: I hear you. What about Grant’s Rant when you rant about everyday things that irritate you. When it’s way less serious, do you enjoy ranting about obscure things that get under your skin?
GN: Yeah, you know what, at the end of the day what I do on the radio is entertainment. If you’re a talk show host, you really are there to entertain. You’re there to get people to listen through the commercial break and come back and listen again. I’ve enjoyed doing the rants because I think it’s tongue-in-cheek. A lot of it is me trying to identify with the person listening.
I did a rant about an airplane. I had an obese individual sitting next to me on a red-eye to New York. I went off for about 10 minutes. It got the most amazing response. Of course you’re always going to get the obese person who calls up and says that I’m prejudiced against fat people. Again, you can’t win. No matter what you do. No matter what you say. You’re always going to offend a certain group of people.
Unfortunately, our entire society has changed that way. What I could say five years ago or 10 years ago, I can’t say now. Everyone is so damn sensitive that when you’re on the radio, I really believe this; I have a responsibility to gauge where our society is at. Right now our society is ultra, ultra sensitive. If you’re a Democrat, they are going to have an opinion of you. If you’re a Republican, they’re going to have an opinion of you. I don’t tell people which way I vote. I don’t talk about the president. I don’t talk about that because you know what? People are going to form biases about you and I am not a news talk show host. I’m not Rush Limbaugh. I’m Grant Napear — a sports talk show host
My mantra is really simple. I talk about sports and if you want something else, you have the freedom to turn the dial. I’ll give you another example. The protests in Sacramento, are you familiar with those last year?
Noe: Yes, actually I am. Yeah.
GN: They didn’t let the fans into the arena and they still played the game. I’m the TV announcer for the Kings now, right? I started off my show the next day and I said, “You know what? I know that everybody wants to hear my opinion on the protest.” I said, “This is what I experienced. I was getting ready to do the game and at 20 ‘till 7, I was told that the game was going to be delayed. So, I sat there and I waited until I was told to go on and do the game. I then found out that they weren’t going to be letting any more fans into the building and there were about 2,000 fans in the building. If you want to hear my opinion on the protest, if you want to hear my opinion on the purpose of the protest, if you want to hear my opinion about the police department with the management of the Kings not letting people in, I’m sorry, you’re listening to the wrong guy. I’m not going to give you my opinion on that.”
I said, “This is a situation that is unfortunate. It is a situation that everyone is going to have an opinion. If you’re calling up expecting me to give you my opinion on the protest and this Stephon Clark shooting, you’re listening to the wrong guy. I’m not going there. Feel free to turn the dial right now, but this is not what this show is about.”
Noe: When you start thinking about some of the greatest athletes in sports that have retired — Brett Favre has talked about trying to replace that high of being an NFL player. When you’ve been broadcasting the Kings since you were 28 years old, what do you think life would be like without that rush of play-by-play or sports radio?
GN: It would be really, really, really hard for me. I hope, knock on wood, health and the fact that I still am wanted by my employer — that I can do this job until I can’t do it anymore. If you told me, “Hey Grant, you know what? I have a crystal ball and you’re going to be doing the Kings when you’re 75,” I’d be jumping up and down right now. You’re asking me to answer a question that I don’t really think about that often.
I don’t take what I do for granted, but it would be really hard for me not to be around the people that I’ve been around for such a long time around the league. Whether I’m talking to Ralph Lawler or Al McCoy two weeks ago. Al’s been doing the Suns for 45 years. I can’t imagine what it would be like to go to Phoenix and not see Al McCoy. It would be very difficult for me not to go to New York and spend time with Mike Breen. Those are the things I cherish the most about my job.
The high of doing a game — I don’t think I need to get into that — it’s incredible to announce a live sporting event. There’s nothing like it in the world, but the relationships that I’ve built up in over 30 years of this league — my conversations that I have with the referees before the game. I can go on and on. I would miss that so much. That would be a really big void in my life because it is my life. I’ve spent more time with my Kings family than I spend with my own family. I really haven’t thought about it that much. I hope that I don’t really have to experience that. I hope I can do this job forever.
Noe: Based on what you said about the negative feedback that is often associated with being a talk show host, I can’t imagine there’s nearly as much as the Kings TV announcer. With that being said, do you think that you would miss the play-by-play more than you would miss sports radio?
GN: There’s no question. If you said, “Grant you absolutely, positively have to make a choice. You can’t do both.” I would do play-by-play because there’s nothing like doing a live sporting event. I love doing radio so don’t get me wrong, but if you absolutely told me I had to make a choice, there’s nothing like announcing a live sporting event. I would always lean towards that if I had to choose one over the other.
Listen, you are 100 percent correct. There are — and I say this because I live in a relatively small town — there are a lot of people that don’t like me because of how I am on the radio. I’m very opinionated. I’m brash. I’m very in your face and that’s not for everybody, but yet I’ve been doing the show for almost 25 years. I’m obviously pleasing somebody because I keep on getting a new contract.
I also don’t know any other way to do it. That’s how I am. I always tell students when I talk to them you have to be yourself. Don’t try to be anybody else. You’ll never make it in this business. You need to be yourself. When I’m on the radio, that’s me being a sports fan. Play-by-play is completely different. It’s really an art form. You have to develop your own style.
People view me differently in this community as a NBA announcer compared to a talk show host. Not that everybody loves me as a play-by-play announcer, but the point is when you are giving opinions on a talk show every day, you’re going to have much more of a reaction than just doing play-by-play. Does that make sense?
Noe: Oh yeah, absolutely. It makes 100 percent sense. Last one for you, is there anything that you haven’t accomplished that you would still like to?
GN: That’s a great question. I have accomplished the three main goals that I dreamed as a kid was to announce the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL. I’ve done all three. I did the Raiders on TV in the preseason for five years when they had Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, and Rich Gannon. I announced a live hockey game with the Sharks and the L.A. Kings that had Wayne Gretzky playing in it on TV. I have done the NBA for 31 years. I think I’ve crossed off all of my dreams. So no, there’s nothing else in this business that I absolutely am dying to do that I haven’t already done. I’m really, really happy with where I’m at and what I’ve done.
Brian Noe is a columnist for BSM and an on-air host heard nationwide on FOX Sports Radio’s Countdown To Kickoff. Previous roles include stops in Portland, OR, Albany, NY and Fresno, CA. You can follow him on Twitter @TheNoeShow or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ian Rapoport Is Competing Against Everyone
“When I’m working, when I’m not working – my brain is still going on overdrive.”
The 2023 NFL Draft was a weekend filled with speculation, intrigue and musing among football fans and experts alike. After two quarterbacks were selected with the first two picks – Bryce Young by the Carolina Panthers; and C.J. Stroud by the Houston Texans – Ian Rapoport had the inclination that something was about to break at the event in Kansas City.
The third pick of the night was held by the Arizona Cardinals, but through previous intel, Rapoport knew there was a chance the team would trade it. His phone then lit up with a text message from a source that simply read, “Texans trading.” Receiving a message of this magnitude takes years of networking, credibility and immense trust from the people you cover. Rapoport has worked hard to attain all of them.
He replied by asking, “Did the Texans trade up to three?,” as the team was not set to pick again until No. 12 overall. Once he got confirmation of the scenario, he began to visibly shake in excitement and captured the attention of the NFL Network team.
“I sit there with a camera in front of me that’s not always on air – this is during the Draft – and the producer gets in my ear and he goes, ‘Can you go on air with whatever you have?,’ and I just say, ‘Yes.’” Rapoport recalled. “And then I hear Rich Eisen go, ‘Ian, you have news,’ and I was able to break that the Texans have traded up to three to go get Will Anderson.”
This is the craft through which Rapoport has cultivated a successful journalism career, ultimately distinguishing him as NFL Network’s goto insider. He hardly ever separates himself from the job, equipped with an unparalleled work ethic to ensure he can communicate messages accurately and in a timely manner. While some people may argue that he is in direct competition with others in his position, such as Adam Schefter of ESPN, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports, the reality of the situation is that it is Rapoport vs. the world.
“It’s such a small world now and everyone is interconnected – and with Twitter, literally anyone could break a story and have it go viral,” Rapoport said. “Obviously, you want everything first, but really you’re competing against everyone that exists because anyone could get the story at any moment.”
Work-life balance in such a role is usually quite insurmountable in today’s dynamic, interminable breaking news environment. Rapoport strives to find some level of normalcy in his life by playing golf and attending his sons’ sporting events. In the end though, he knows the world of football never sleeps, and it is up to him to remain in the know at all hours of the day, essentially always on standby to break the next big story.
“I do not turn my phone off because that’s actually way more stressful,” Rapoport said. “At least now when my phone’s on and near me, if something crazy happens, I can react rather than having a fake relaxation moment and then being caught off guard with something.”
Rapoport recognized that journalism was the field for him almost immediately after stepping onto the Columbia University campus. He worked his way up at The Dial to ultimately become its associate sports editor. In the summer preceding his senior year, he landed a coveted internship with ESPN where he gained invaluable experience in the world of television production.
By the time he graduated, Rapoport envisioned himself becoming a nationally acclaimed sportswriter, but he knew it was going to require he start small. Three hundred eleven job applications and two interviews later, he landed a part-time role with The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. covering high school sports. It gave him a start in the highly-competitive business – and kept him close to home while trying many new things.
Two years later, he found himself moving from the bright lights of New York City to the quaint town of Starkville, Mississippi for a notable opportunity. He had landed a job covering the Mississippi State Bulldogs for The Clarion-Ledger in the nearby capital city of Jackson and was under the direction of sports editor Rusty Hampton.
“I knew how to write, but I really didn’t know how to report,” Rapoport said. “He was probably the best [at] showing me, ‘This is all about reporting. It’s all about telling people something they don’t know rather than how well you can pen a sentence.’ To be really valuable to society or your newspaper, you really need to inform rather than entertain. I think he was probably the first and best person to teach me that.”
After spending two years in Mississippi, Rapoport became a beat reporter for The Birmingham News tasked with following the Alabama Crimson Tide. Just months into his new role, the program made a coaching change and hired Nick Saban, who has since led the program to six national titles.
Rapoport learned the thoroughness necessary to cover the Southeastern Conference as he rapidly watched the program become a perennial contender. In turn, he became an eminent college football reporter and his work began to be consumed nationally.
Simultaneously, Bill Belichick, another accomplished football head coach in his own right, was in the process of trying to lead the New England Patriots back to championship glory. Known to be stoic and restrained in his press conferences, reporters asking him questions knew extrapolating answers was not the easiest of tasks.
When Rapoport saw a job opening to cover the team with the Boston Herald that required NFL experience, he knew that he was not qualified verbatim per se. Yet he figured the experience he had in covering Saban and Alabama would serve him well in the role, and articulated such in a protracted email to the newspaper’s editors. His strategy worked, proving why Rapoport is considered one of the industry’s best communicators at the micro and macro levels.
“You don’t see a lot of sources within the Patriots or sources within Alabama – there’s not a lot of that,” Rapoport said. “So I learned to report despite that and kind of work the edges and get the information I needed, despite head coaches who weren’t always the most forthcoming with information.”
NFL Network oftentimes has local beat reporters on the air to interact with studio talent and give their perspectives about teams, and it was something Rapoport did while at the Boston Herald. He had no television experience outside of other appearances he made on Comcast New England and certainly no intention to pursue the medium as a career.
In Super Bowl XLVI, the New York Giants overcame the New England Patriots, who were undefeated for the year entering the game. Rapoport was on hand for the proceedings, and shortly afterwards was called into a meeting with NFL Network executives.
He didn’t know he was interviewing for a job until he asked just why he had been summoned. He expressed his lack of television experience to the executives, who said the network would teach him everything he needed to know.
Once the meeting concluded, Rapoport called his wife, who he had met while living in Starkville, Mississippi, and told her what had just happened. She tempered his expectations, warning him not to get his hopes up as he remained optimistic. One month later, Rapoport received a job offer and found himself moving once again – this time to the Lone Star State.
“I hired an agent and moved to Dallas and basically spent the next year reporting on the Cowboys and some other things being very, very bad at TV, but learning and eventually figuring it out,” Rapoport said. “At the time, this guy, Eric Weinberger, who was our boss, kind of mentioned to me the possibility of transitioning [me] from reporter to insider.”
Rapoport acknowledged that he did not have the contacts necessary to effectively work as a league insider for a national outlet, but through his years of experience, he knew how to network and he was ready and willing to take the challenge.
Once he began the new position, Rapoport, along with reporter Michael Silver, was on the road for Thursday Night Football and contributed to its pregame and halftime coverage. While his television skills improved, Rapoport was hard at work bolstering his contacts and took somewhat of a geographical approach.
Every time he arrived in a new city, he would contact anyone and everyone he could conjure up, including general managers, scouts and head coaches. If he could not schedule a meeting time with them, he would introduce himself by roaming the sidelines at practices and before games. He engaged in a similar practice before the NFL Draft Combine, training camps and the Super Bowl along with other premier events, always staying focused on the task at hand.
“It probably took me five or six years to get a baseline of sources where if something happened, I had someone to call,” Rapoport said. “And then it took me a couple more years to get to the point where I would know before a lot of people when something was about to happen. It’s all a multi-step process, and just [the] layering and layering and layering of sources is really the sort of engine that drives this thing.”
Ian Rapoport always attempts to triangulate his sources to verify information before he releases it publicly. There is no guarantee sources are always truthful or acting in a professional manner. Therefore, it is incumbent on a journalist to ensure the validity of content before publishing it themselves.
“If you’re only right some of the time, then none of it is really worth it,” Rapoport expressed, “because then you say something and they’re like, ‘Well, wow, that’s a big story if this is true.’ The whole point of doing this is when I pop up on TV or when people see my Twitter alerts or whatever, they have to know that it’s true – they have to know.”
One day, Rapoport was having a conversation with a source and discovered through their conversation that Rob Gronkowski had informed the New England Patriots that he would return to the game of football under the stipulation he be traded to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady. There had been much speculation pertaining to Gronkowski’s future after he had worked as an NFL analyst with FOX Sports, and now Rapoport realized he had a monumental scoop – that is, if it was true. Within six minutes, Rapoport verified the story with three sources, contacted his editor and reported to the world Gronkowski’s intentions. The story was picked up virtually everywhere.
“I just think about the job all the time, and I make little lists for myself of things that I need to track down, and I just make a lot of phone calls for it,” Rapoport said. “When I’m working, when I’m not working – my brain is still going on overdrive. It ends up just a brain full of football thoughts, and then I spend the rest of the time trying to figure out what I can learn from it.”
Working for a league-owned entity can sometimes epitomize an inherent conflict of interest. For Rapoport however, he has found working at NFL Network to be hassle-free. He knows, however, the nature of his job means he will not be universally liked.
“Whatever you do, you’re going to report and the people you report on are going to be happy or upset or neutral – or whatever it is,” Rapoport said. “I’m never going to criticize a referee, for instance, because that’s a nuanced thing and people might say, ‘NFL criticizes referees.’ I’m never going to do that, but I wouldn’t do that anyway.”
Rapoport continues to appear on a variety of external media outlets, perhaps most notably The Pat McAfee Show, which recently concluded its “Up to Something Season.” The grand conclusion of the proceedings was McAfee announcing he would be bringing his show to ESPN’s linear and digital platforms starting in the fall.
While McAfee is retaining creative control and has expressed on multiple occasions that his show will not be changing, many have wondered whether insiders employed by other networks will be able to continue making appearances. It is an answer Rapoport himself does not know, nor has he asked about.
“When the news broke, my phone blew up with all sorts of people saying all sorts of different things,” Rapoport said. “I have no idea. I really don’t.”
Even so, Rapoport is elated for McAfee and his team taking the next step in their show’s journey and is genuinely glad to see them succeed. He does not think McAfee’s goal was to reshape sports media, but rather to cultivate a distinctive sports talk program built for fans and today’s generation of consumers.
“You get to know someone and you think they’re a good person and you respect the way they work. Some people have success and some people have a little success and some people don’t. It’s really rare to see someone who has every bit of success that’s essentially possible and deserves every bit of it, and that’s kind of how I thought about Pat. It’s really cool, honestly. He’s built it himself.”
It was on McAfee’s show where another prominent football insider – Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports – said it would be a matter of “when,” not “if” the NFL would have games seven days per week. While devoted football fans like Rapoport are open to such a proposition, he is not sure the league would ever go that far.
“I don’t even know that it would affect my schedule that much,” he said. “It sort of doesn’t matter. I’ll report all year round anyway.”
Derek Futterman is a contributing editor and sports media reporter for Barrett Sports Media. Additionally, he has worked in a broad array of roles in multimedia production – including on live game broadcasts and audiovisual platforms – and in digital content development and management. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks, wrote for the Long Island Herald and served as lead sports producer at NY2C. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Face-to-Face Sales Meetings Have Never Been More Valuable
“With the increase in virtual meetings, new buyer preferences, limited time, and better tech, we have our work cut out to get the F2F.”
When did you last attend a face-to-face (F2F) in-person sales call? Let’s imagine for a second.
In New York, Sarah, a determined sports radio salesperson, got tired of chasing a major client for months. Despite her calls, emails, and text, she couldn’t break through to get a meeting.
Throwing caution to the wind, Sarah decided to go for it. She loaded her deck and took her burning desire via airplane to Florida to make the pitch. She showed up unannounced at the client’s office and startled the decision-maker. She was given the meeting and won over the client, getting a substantial annual contract and a movie deal in Hollywood.
We have all seen that storyline. F2F meetings used to be the obvious choice over a phone call, and most buyers were open to that idea. We even conducted market trips to meet our buyers in person and create better relationships.
With the increase in virtual meetings, new buyer preferences, limited time, and better tech, we have our work cut out to get the F2F. Lots of us work and listen from home.
Gartner Research points out that live, in person selling is superior to virtual selling in financial services or, as I think, in radio sales. Now, prospecting new clients F2F is much more difficult. You have never met them, you don’t know who you are looking for, and gatekeepers and remote decision-makers make walk-ins more challenging.
How about getting out and seeing your current or former clients F2F? 65% of outside account executives attain quota, 10% more often than inside reps. Here are some simple strategies to get outside and F2F:
STAY IN TOUCH
Turn the sales faucet on ‘drip’ and contact your current clients with whatever works: phone calls, emails, or texts. Tell them you are checking in to see if anything has changed, give them a local business lead, or share your latest insight on their favorite team. When doing so, tell them you want to meet F2F and go deep into the next quarter’s ad plan or a new idea to get them back on the air. They may start looking forward to your communication.
Schedule an annual review ahead of their busiest time of year to review the upcoming messaging in ads. Go over what worked or didn’t last year. Share a success story of a similar advertiser in another market or show them a new opportunity that fits.
Be upfront that with F2F, we can get more specific, work with better feedback, and partner on hitting their goals. Be the person who looks ahead and helps keep your client focused.
Organize workshops for your current clients. Teach that about streaming, OTT, or Google ads. Get your digital person involved. Let them know you are bringing in other local businesspeople they may want to know or network with and meet F2F! A Mortgage broker may want to meet a realtor who wants to meet a wealthy local businessperson interested in meeting the local head coach. Stand out as a leader in the industry and watch clients brag about working with you.
HIT A TRADE SHOW
Attend trade shows where your current clients will be. This will show you are serious about their business and want to stay current so you can learn and earn. Set up a meeting over coffee or a drink. Share what you learned.
Client Appreciation Events held at your town’s most meaningful events or places. Do whatever it takes to get hospitality tents at big games and concert suites to show appreciation and bond with your current clients. Host a luncheon at the hottest new local restaurant. Focus on providing an atmosphere or experience everyone wants, but not many can attend. Be the exclusive person in town.
GET PERSONAL REFERRALS
Leverage your existing client relationships to seek referrals. Do it in person. Tell them you want to see them and ask for help and advice. Ask for introductions to potential new clients they know, and you will be surprised how much they like working with you.
Bring your Digital manager to them and do a free review of their SEO, PPC, whatever. Working off your client’s pc and bringing them an expert at no charge or obligation is much easier. Watch your partnership grow by providing so much expertise at no extra expense.
Don’t forget the value of F2F meetings. It’s a great way to build trust, connect, and unlock new opportunities. We are in a people business doing business with tons of local directs who still make most of their money serving retail customers F2F. Let’s get out and sell!
Jeff Caves is a sales columnist for BSM working in radio, digital, hyper-local magazine, and sports sponsorship sales in DFW. He is credited with helping launch, build, and develop SPORTS RADIO The Ticket in Boise, Idaho, into the market’s top sports radio station. During his 26 year stay at KTIK, Caves hosted drive time, programmed the station, and excelled as a top seller. You can reach him by email at email@example.com or find him on Twitter @jeffcaves.
All Jason Timpf Needed Was A Moment of Clarity
“I didn’t know it until after I was hired, but they said they played my video for Colin and he knew right away that I could do this.”
There was once a time when Jason Timpf always included Colin Cowherd in his commute to work. As he made his morning drive to a sales job at Verizon, The Herd was appointment listening each morning for Timpf. The ex-college basketball player would marvel at Cowherd’s ability to make relatable references and break down all of the same basketball games he would watch the night before.
One of the unique things Timpf can remember from listening to The Herd during that time was Cowherd saying if FOX ever put someone in front of him, he could tell in five seconds if that individual had the skills to be a host. It was far from a hot take on the Lakers, but still a distinct moment that stuck with Timpf for many years. Little did he know at the time but Cowherd would soon give a five-second evaluation of Timpf’s career.
Jason Timpf was a late-bloomer in basketball. He played college hoops at an NAIA school in Utah, but not until his third year, after being a regular student the first two. After graduating, he pursued a basketball career overseas in India. However, after the league folded, he left the game for a normal job in the States.
There was a real desire for Timpf to get into the sports media business, but he was having difficulties finding the right fit. He wanted advice on the best way to start, but the tips he received just didn’t feel like the right initial path.
“I’d hear, hey, go bang on a radio station’s door and ask if you can work the soundboard,” said Timpf. “Or, try to go to a journalism school. Another big one that everyone was doing was the SB Nation blogs and FanSided blogs. I briefly tried to do that a little bit. But none of it was materializing the way that I had hoped.”
But then the lightbulb went off for Timpf and it happened during the middle of a podcast interview. In October of 2020, Jason Maples of Blue Wire reached out to Timpf to talk hoops on his podcast. It was in the middle of that interview when it all made sense. It felt exactly like the camaraderie he enjoyed with his old teammates and friends talking basketball. It was relaxed, fun and what he used to do for enjoyment. The perfect fit had just found Timpf organically.
“It was, ‘this is it,’” said Timpf. “‘This is how I want to do it.’ It was like a moment of clarity. Like, this is the way I want to talk about the game. Fortunately, I was working in real estate at the time, so I was super flexible, so I literally was just trying to fake it until I made it.”
While Timpf was grinding away on his new platform choice, he was constantly putting out his content on social media. For a handful of years, he had used Twitter as an outlet for basketball talk – not because he was trying to build his brand, but because it was his preferred method of sharing his takes during and after basketball games.
“My wife actually played basketball in college but she, like a lot of people, got out of it and was like, ‘actually I’m so sick of basketball, since it’s all I did growing up, that I’d rather not talk about it,’” laughed Timpf.
As Timpf had built up years of basketball takes on Twitter, he also built up followers. Not a crazy amount, but enough to have regular interactions with several basketball fans. He had no idea at the time, though he remembers occasionally interacting with him, but one of his followers in the beginning was Logan Swaim, who just happens to be Head of Content at The Volume.
Being such a huge fan of Cowherd, Timpf was absolutely familiar with The Volume, a company started by the FOX Sports Radio host. In fact, during his first plunge into podcasts, he quickly took note of how much success The Volume was having with instant reaction and video content. He wanted to emulate what they were doing and would host a Twitter Space after each Lakers game.
Swaim kept up with Timpf’s journey and continued to be impressed with what he saw. He was so impressed, in fact, that a video eventually made it in front of Cowherd’s eyes. It was the moment Timpf had always heard about while driving to his job at Verizon. Cowherd was about to make a declaration on Timpf’s abilities.
“I didn’t know it until after I was hired, but they said they played my video for Colin and he knew right away that I could do this,” Timpf said. “That was a huge boost of confidence for me, because it meant somebody I deeply respected believed I could work in this business.”
Timpf made his dream come true. He was offered a job by The Volume hosting Hoops Tonight. As much of a dream as it was when he was initially hired, the experience since has been nothing but ideal for Timpf. He gets to cover his favorite sport the way he wants to cover it.
“When I first started and Logan and I were structuring out the show, he kinda viewed it as my show would be the slower, more methodical pace, where I work through my thought process of a game. And also that I’d be a guest on other Volume shows for more conversational podcasts. I really wanted to break down pick and roll coverage. It’s just going to take me a while, so trying to do that in a debate show format or conversational format can get hard. It’s a place where I can let more of my crazy depth out. And I can also have a side format where it’s more conversational.”
Timpf has learned prep for podcasts is one of the biggest elements to being successful. As Hoops Tonight continues to draw impressive numbers over audio and YouTube, he’s figured out the best method to prepare for a long-form podcast where he’s hosting solo.
“I digest the game from the simple concept of how the game was won,” said Timpf. “Where was it won? There’s 100-something possessions in this game, there’s seven different storylines and several runs and sequences and sways in momentum, but what’s the one? Usually I’ll target that first in the opening segment of the show.
“While I’m watching the game I’ll take ancillary notes. About five minutes before I record, I sift through everything I’ve written down and limit it down to the things I think are most important. But generally the flow of the show is how the game was won.”
The whole experience has been gratifying and a full-circle moment in many ways for Timpf. Not only has it been vindicating to do things his way and see it become a success, but he’s gotten to do it with someone who he considers an idol.
Sure, Timpf always envisioned growing up he would be talking to Cowherd as a pro athlete, but talking to him as a colleague is certainly the next best thing. So when he got the call to talk with Cowherd during last year’s West Conference Finals, he didn’t hesitate.
“I was so incredibly nervous, as you could imagine,” laughed Timpf. “But I immediately remember him making me feel comfortable and confident. It immediately calmed me down.
“This is probably my favorite part of the entire experience, I think a lot of people think that these networks try to shove people in certain directions and The Volume has given me such freedom to cover the game exactly the way I want to and nobody is telling me to say crazy stuff. Nobody is pushing me in certain directions, it’s like total creative freedom. The way that Logan and Colin have been letting me do me, so to speak, has been so cool. To see my version of what I want it to look like makes me feel vindicated for talking about it the way I want to.”
Tyler McComas is a columnist for BSM and a sports radio talk show host in Norman, OK where he hosts afternoon drive for SportsTalk 1400. You can find him on Twitter @Tyler_McComas or you can email him at TylerMcComas08@yahoo.com.