EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to Off Camera with. . ., a Front Row series that introduces you to some of the studio anchors and hosts at ESPN. Today, we meet Zubin Mehenti, who joined ESPN in 2011 as a studio anchor.
Favorite quote: “If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.” – Jack Dixon.
Favorite mentor: Melinda Murphy, former CBS News correspondent. My first job out of college was as her producer at WPIX-TV in New York. She changed my life. Her selflessness to help answer my questions and push me in the right direction over the years, long after we parted ways, has never been lost on me. She lives in Thailand now.
Favorite hobby: Running. I love to run. Oddly I do not listen to music when I run. I listen to sports talk radio. Some people listen to Jay Z. I listen to [ESPN Radio host] Paul Finebaum.
What I’m thankful for: Growing up in America. This sounds trite, but if you are a first generation American like me, you understand what that means. My parents grew up in India. It is a wonderful country. But the opportunities here in the United States, while often taken for granted, are not prevalent in many places around the world.
Favorite Team/Sports Moment: My alma mater, Rutgers University, was at one time generally regarded as one of the worst programs in college football. In fact, during my sophomore year, they were 0-11. The following season they were 5-6. And after that finish, head coach Terry Shea was named Big East Coach of The Year. Can you imagine that? A coach winning five games is the Coach of The Year? That is indicative of how low the expectations were.
With that as a backdrop, I thought, I may never see them play in a bowl game as a graduate. To my amazement, Shea’s successor, Greg Schiano, took them to five straight bowl games and parlayed it into an NFL job. I kid you not, if Derek Jeter, Landon Donovan, Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning and Greg Schiano were all on campus visiting the same day, I would rather spend one minute with Schiano than an hour with any of the others.