Why I Does It & Why I love It
On the evening of February 7, 2016 I stood on the field of Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara with my nose pointed to the sky. Black & gold confetti rained down from all corners of the arena as I captured video for the Broncos’ social media accounts. While documenting player reactions, I looked over to see safety David Bruton Jr. standing by himself. His eyes were glazed; I could tell that he didn’t know how to feel. See, Bruton had a season ending injury on December 20 against the Steelers in the final game of the Broncos’ regular season. He was a huge reason the Broncos continued into the post-season, but wasn’t able to contribute during their championship run. On February 7, after the Broncos clinched Super Bowl 50, as I walked toward Bruton on that football field, he opened his arms to embrace me and began to cry. The Broncos’ special teams captain chose to share one of the most memorable moments of his career with the bald chick that asks he and teammates for interviews on a daily basis.
People don’t trust the “media”. Athletes don’t trust the “media”. It’s a troubling trend that I constantly have to deal with as I try to do my job. But, there are exceptions and I think those exceptions ride on two things: first being relatable to your subjects and second doing your job well.
Why I Does It
One day during my undergrad career, my friend Allen Bailey, who was a Miami Football player at the time, signed in to his Facebook account on my computer. Just before changing his status to something about myself, I scrolled through his friend requests and found countless requests from Hurricane Football fans. I found it odd. Why are all these people wanting to be Bailey's friend on Facebook when they don't even know him?* There is a clear desire for fans to be closer to the athletes they watch perform on a weekly basis. Fans want to know athletes beyond what they see on game day. That was the moment I decided I wanted to go into sports broadcasting. I wanted to bridge the gap.
I don't like when people refer to me as the media even though that's actually what I am. But I do also think that current temperature of people and athletes not trusting the media is motivation for me to be the exception.
Why I Love It
I can count on one hand the number of times I've been home for Christmas since 2007. I'm actually not sure how many times I've been home for Thanksgiving since then. That sounds crazy, right? But while y'all enjoy your turkey dinner and watch Thursday Night Football every year, there's a 53-man roster and countless staff that had to improvise their Thanksgiving meal. In 2015 while in Denver, I gave thanks with the Miller family; in college, every year we were on the road in Tallahassee one of my teammates' family always prepared a big feast. Everywhere I have gone, my sport and my job have brought people into my life that open their doors and allow me to be a part of their family.
In what I do, building relationships is crucial. For me, it's also the most rewarding part. I often forget that some of the things that I've done and people that I've met are super dope. While I have made huge sacrifices, my job has opened doors into the lives of people that I would otherwise not know. That is actually very dope.
I guarantee that social media has made my journey look way more glamorous than it is. I don't post pictures of myself bawling my eyes out because I'm uncertain that what I'm doing is the route that I should be taking, but trust me, it's happened plenty of times. However, there is a reason I fell in love with what I do. It started in a University of Miami dorm room. I hope I never lose sight of what makes this job special.
*This was before social media turned into the power house it is now. I sound old but I'm not, okay?