When I got into the rat race called sports media I never dreamed that broadcasting would be part of my career.
I said as much Monday when I accepted the Ty Tyson Sports Media Award that honors a top Detroit broadcaster. I got into this business to be an ink stained reporter that dug for stories and scoops. I looked down on broadcasters because they were pretty boys and girls that did not work as hard.
But life changes. My newspaper wanted me to do more broadcast spots and my radio station asked me to write more. The profession became more integrated and more blurred. That is one of the things I will tell young journalism students when I begin mentoring them at Madonna University in the fall.
You must be a jack of all trades.
I’ve won national writing awards for game stories and columns but stopped entering contests because our reward should be about informing people. If you got something out of a column I wrote that was reward enough for me.
I never expected to win the Ty Tyson Award. That is reserved for guys like Ernie Harwell and real broadcasters. Even during the 13 years I spent yelling at Mike on 97.1 the Ticket I never believed I was a real broadcaster. I was this guy on the radio fighting Mike Valenti.
However, I have a long broadcast career beginning in the 1990s doing The Sports Doctors on WDFN with Art Regner. We began by doing a Saturday show, were moved to week nights and finished up doing mid days before Art left for WXYT to enhance its Red Wings coverage.
I did a few weeks of the show with Eric Pate, who is now Athletic Director at Detroit Pershing High School.
I am retired now and entering another phase of my life, trying to help others in this business. I hope to also get more writing opportunities.
Catch me on Friday as I accept the award during the Tigers pregame show on FS Detroit. I cannot believe I won this award. I still view myself as an ink-stained wretch.