Since arriving in Detroit in November of 1997, I have fallen in love with what I believe is the greatest sports city in the United States.
Think about it, we have all four major sports, two major college sports programs and others that dip their toe in the water from time to time. On top of that, we have you. The sports fans in Detroit are second to none. My belief has always been that it is because of the deep roots you have in this community. Unlike other cities or states, people in Michigan are rooting for the same teams as their parents and grandparents. The emotions run deep and that's what sports are all about - emotion.
Before coming to Detroit, I was born, raised and worked in Washington, D.C. My family moved around the Nation's Capital before settling in Northern Virginia where I fell in love with sports. All sports. I grew up in one of those neighborhoods that I wish every kid could experience. We had 8 to 10 kids that lived on our block and we played basketball, football, baseball, whiffleball or anything else we could make up from sunrise to sunset.
My Dad wasn't a sports fan, but he fueled my love for it by taking me to all my games and practices. One of my great memories was a playoff basketball game I played in when I was 12. We were unbeaten but losing by one in the final seconds of the semifinals. For some reason, the coach designed the play to go to me instead of our best player. Well I made the shot after it bounced 36 times on the rim and fell at the buzzer, but what will always stick out was my Dad leading the charge onto the court with his arms wide open as he embraced me after the win. I wasn't even sure he knew how to keep score but he was on it that day. He would take me to Orioles games and Colts games and we had season tickets to the Redskins. Even after I moved to Detroit he would call me after Lions games to talk about what happened. Again, he wasn't a fan but he loved his son and that allowed me to follow my dream which landed me here. I lost my Dad in March of 08 but the gift he gave me was to cultivate my love of sports and it became my career. He was a smart guy and probably realized I had no other tangible skills. I miss him but owe him everything I am today.
I started in this business when I was 18. A good friend worked weekends for Mutual Radio in the sports department. They were hiring college kids to help put together their weekend sportscasts. I went in for the interview, they asked if I could edit audio tape, I lied and said yes and I was hired. I stayed there for 11 years. In 1992 I was hired at Sports Radio 570 in Washington to host their overnight talk show. That was a great experience but one that I'm glad only lasted three months. I was elevated (I guess it was a promotion) to Redskins beat reporter.
From there I hosted numerous shows on the station, learning along the way that talk radio is a grind. Fun, but a grind. In 1994 I was hired by the local Fox affiliate to help with their Redskins coverage, acting as a reporter on their Sunday morning pregame show. I do mean acting. I had no clue what I was doing but they got me through it and I guess nobody died.
I still continued with my talk show and began to do some anchoring for Fox as well. In 1995 I was hired by D.C's ABC affiliate to anchor their weekend sports reports. In August of 1997 I was contacted out of the blue by FOX in Detroit. Somebody had seen my tape and liked it. That process led to my being hired here and my family has found a home in the Motor City.
Since arriving, I've been incredibly blessed to do NFL games for 5 years for FOX and to serve as the radio voice of the Detroit Lions. Regardless of their record, I wouldn't trade that opportunity for anything. To all the people that have asked "how do you do it every week?" The answer is simple. It's an honor and a privilege to be in that booth every Sunday. It's the N-F-L. Records come and go, they move up and down, but opportunities like that don't come along very often.
I've got a great wife, four great kids, four cats and a dog that thinks you're supposed to go to the bathroom on the carpet. Add it all up and I always come back to this - I'm living a dream.