EDITOR’S NOTE: An original 1979er and among ESPN’s most-tenured
To my ESPN family,
I find the most appropriate word to describe my journey at ESPN is “blessed.” And, quite a journey it has been. It all started 41 years ago when I walked into the SportsCenter newsroom.
As a 24-year-old and coming from a small cable station, ESPN was my dream come true.
And so it began back in 1979 on a 2:30 a.m. ET SportsCenter hosted by Chris Berman and Tom Mees. My responsibility was to watch games, select and edit highlights. I still couldn’t believe I was being paid to watch sports, and, in that euphoria, my career-long study of sports television began.
Reflecting on my time at ESPN, I find myself holding dear and remembering most the people I worked with. I am still in awe of your dedication to the smallest of details, passion for excellence, and your enthusiasm for each and every assignment. Beyond incredible events, that is what I will treasure the most. To all of you who joined me on this amazing ride, please know that I have the greatest admiration and respect for each one of you. Words cannot express my appreciation to and for you. I hope, as I do, that you hold dear and fondly remember all we accomplished. And how we did it – together. It is because of you that ESPN enjoys its lofty reputation as the most trusted and respected network.
Over the last decade it was a privilege coaching and collaborating with our director team, sharing ideas and experiences that I feel made us all better directors. Personally, it was enjoyable and rewarding and professionally it gives me high hopes for our future.
We lived and worked during a golden era in sports television. It was a time when all of us were deftly guided by inspired leadership, motivated by associates who cherished teamwork and demonstrated respect and compassion for one another. We were all in lock-step to prepare and present the most informative, entertaining, and memorable experience possible for our viewers. No question. Although we covered countless events and many athletic teams, I feel to my very core that our ESPN team was and is the greatest in television.
I am reminded of The New Yorker’s Malcolm Gladwell who wrote, “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.”
So we went to work—across multiple 24-7 networks which aired every day of the year. I am so thankful and aware that I was in the right place at the right time. Fortunate to be a part of teams that covered college football on ESPN and ABC, Big East and ACC college basketball, the College World Series, and 18 years of the NFL. In every venue, I am proud to say that we told stories and painted pictures that will stand the test of time.
I take particular pride that we created new content and new coverage approaches. Our shared credits include: The NFL Draft, the 1988 America’s Cup, the 1994 World Cup, the X Games, The ESPYS, and the Indy 500. Regardless of event, the passion and drive to excel and innovate was part of our ESPN DNA.
And so, I wish you good luck with your experiences and, please, remember to enjoy your journey.