Editor’s note: Welcome to Off Camera with. . ., a Front Row series that introduces you to some of the studio anchors who have recently joined ESPN. Today, we meet Doug Kezirian, who joined ESPN in July 2012 as a SportsCenter anchor.
How did you choose your profession? My first fantasy baseball draft occurred in the third grade during social studies. We passed around the draft board without getting caught. Journalism surfaced in seventh grade, when I began writing for my school newspaper. I eventually became sports editor and columnist my senior year and we even received national recognition.
Plus, I concurrently wrote for the Los Angeles Daily News as a high school junior and senior. On weekends, I was a paid stringer and covered high school sports. I then attended Brown and majored in economics, as it did not offer a communications or journalism concentration. But I pursued the vocation with a campus radio gig and television summer internships. I was hooked – and still am.
Something we don’t know about you: Growing up, I never watched cartoons. I am the youngest of five brothers, so I never held possession of the remote control. Sports were always on TV, and I was more than okay with the situation. I also never really had a bedtime. . . It was just too much fun horsing around with my brothers and their friends. I was the only little leaguer who could oversleep and show up in the second inning with bedhead.
Something else we don’t know about you: I played water polo for 10 years. My high school coach was also the U.S. Olympic coach, so we practiced before and after school. And in the offseason. Somehow this pain was insufficient. I also played in college [Brown]. More 5:30 a.m. workouts. I concede the games made it all worth it. . . even the Speedos.
Favorite team: I grew up in Los Angeles and was fortunate enough to experience the Showtime Lakers. I absolutely loved the Lakers. There is nothing like rooting for an exciting team that also delivers championships. Magic. Kareem. Worthy. Riley. Jack. It was a Hollywood blockbuster. Then, in 1996, my family adopted two puppies a few months after the Lakers acquired two future superstars. So we got ahead of the curve and named them Shaq and Kobe. Ours got along – and never aired their differences through the media.