A year ago today I became the 5th Sports Director in the history of WTVY.
It got me thinking.
The history of sports broadcasting here is deeply rooted in the late Al Roberts who was the very first sports personality at WTVY.
Roberts was beloved by viewers for his sports coverage and his legacy still lives on today. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roberts and everyone who held the position before me.
I’m thankful to have been in the right place at the right time with the ideal combination of hard work and preparation helping me earn it.
I think it’s important to recognize milestones and anniversaries.
Life without the recognition of milestones and accomplishments is like the state of Alabama without college football...insignificant.
Insignificant in the sense of without weight of character.
This state without Alabama or Auburn is unimaginable.
The significance of milestones and anniversaries is invaluable.
Think about how much any of the following milestones have affected your life:
-Landing a job
-Earning a promotion
-Starting a family
-Buying your first home
-Winning a championship
Today, for me, it’s about recognizing a promotion.
The hours, the work, the stress, the growth, the journey.
I seldom lift my head to smell the roses.
There’s no need.
Work hard, pay your dues, do what’s expected, treat people right and you will accomplish your goals.
I walked in a restaurant a few days ago and a gentleman said to me, “Hey you’re that guy from that thing.”
I laughed and said, “Yep, that’s me. That guy. From that thing.”
Guy: “I watch you all the time. Good stuff. So how does Alabama look this year?”
That Guy. From that thing: “Good. Those Crimson jerseys with white lettering look good. Away jerseys look good too. They look good.”
Guy: (Laughs) “And their Quarterback? The Tide lost that one guy to the NFL, are they gonna start that other guy this year?”
That Guy. From that thing: “Yeah, they’ll either start that guy from Florida State or they’ll start one of two guys who were on the roster last season.”
(Laughs)--Obviously we were both having fun.
(Insert sarcasm, A.J. McCarron, Jacob Coker, Blake Sims and Cooper Bateman in the exchange above if you weren’t following.)
I’m very appreciative of the people, the viewers, who have welcomed me and expressed their opinions about things I try in an attempt to make sports fun and credible.
Numerous positive emails, encouraging Facebook messages and enjoyable conversations throughout the community have made my first sports broadcasting experience unforgettable.
This past week I did a Maya Angelou-themed sportscast to honor the late author and poet on the day of her passing.
I received a phone call from a viewer in the newsroom late that night.
Usually that’s not a good thing.
This time, it was a phone call that made my week.
The woman called to express gratitude and enjoyment of that tributary sportscast.
She told me she’s been watching our station since the days of Al Roberts. Her words that followed about my work and the job I do were beyond humbling.
In order to appreciate and enjoy the present it always helps to know, respect and understand what came before you. It provides greater perspective.
Hearing her words, as a long-time viewer, was motivating.
Instances of feedback and sincere gestures like that are not commonplace in the business of sports television. They have been by WTVY viewers, something I'm beyond thankful for.
From covering high school sports to the Future Masters.
From the Dothan Pro Classic to Junior College Sports.
From spending a week in Pasadena, California covering the last BCS National Championship in history to being on the field for the "Kick Six" Iron Bowl.
The last year, which flew by, has been the most memorable of my career to date.
My first year as Sports Director brings to mind a quote by author and poet Henry David Thoreau:
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”