A New Generation Sits…Waiting


More sports journalists, such as these working at a Yankees game, are working later in life and becoming burnt-out, while a new generation waits for its shot. (Courtesy of JoelRyan/AP)


More sports journalists, such as these working at a Yankees game, are working later in life and becoming burnt-out, while a new generation waits for its shot. (Courtesy of JoelRyan/AP)

More sports journalists, such as these working at a Yankees game, are working later in life and becoming burnt-out, while a new generation waits for its shot. (Courtesy of JoelRyan/AP)

“I just can’t wait till it’s over.” I heard this while sitting in the media room and at the Atlantic-10 championship. I was shocked. Maybe it’s because I’m young and naïve and this is one of the first major events that I have covered as a staff member of WFUV Sports.

Maybe, because I am still a college student I am not cynical or irritated yet, but I thought to myself, why would you wish this event was almost over?

Taking a step back, I tried to see where these people were coming from with their bold declaration. Maybe they were tired. But then I thought, I was here at the Barclays on Friday from 11 to 11, after getting up to work at 5:30 a.m. We all were tired, but when George Washington players went sprinting off the court, smiles wide, celebrating their victory late that night over UMass, I could not help but grin inside.

Sure, Atlantic 10 basketball is not the Big 12 or the ACC, but as I was watching St. Joe’s and VCU warm up to play in the championship game, I could not help but get a little excited. The VCU band — which by the way was one of the most underrated perks of covering the event — pepped up the crowd, making the Barclays center shake. How could you not be excited watching that? Still there were grumblings. “I just came for the free food,” another admitted in passing.

People dream of getting into this industry. There are thousands of us across the country— working, hoping, praying to get a job, just like this one, covering games for a living. And, if you do not want this or you cannot wait for this to be over, please step aside. I am sure that I or one of the many students nationwide who covet these jobs will gladly take it off your plate.

It is a grinding job, that is for sure. Sports journalists work odd hours, from overnights, to weekends, to holidays, but if it is not for you, take a seat. Why waste your time doing something that makes you so miserable you just cannot wait for it to be over, when someone with a much stronger passion can probably do it better?

And here is the thing: It is not about age. It is about passion. There are stars who have been in this industry for many years, such as Vin Scully, Marv Albert and Al Michaels, who do a tremendous job day in and day out.

Ask a die-hard sports fan about his or her favorite broadcaster, and it will usually be an industry stalwart who has been doing what he loves for many, many years. If their answer is Vin Scully, he has been broadcasting games since 1950.

These legends are so good because they love what they do. They go to work excited to call a baseball game, a hockey game, a football game or whatever assignment they have.

They do not sit in the back and grumble about the food or pray their assigned game ends as quickly as possible. They take pride in what they do.

When Marv Albert was asked about his age hindering his career, his response to USA Today earlier this month was “70 is the new 68.” “I feel I’m better now than I ever have been,” Albert said. “You learn so much as you’re doing it. I’m watching tapes, and I’ll see things that get me annoyed and where I know I can improve. I love what I’m doing. As long as I can stay at the same standard, there’s no reason to stop. It feels pretty good.”

But unfortunately, not everyone in the business is the same. There are many that mumble and grumble about their assignments, even if it is a championship basketball game with an auto-bid to the tournament on the line.

That is unacceptable. There are many talented people who are almost, if not actually, turned away from the industry that for people to take advantage and bemoan their jobs is not right.

Take Kevin Burkhardt, for example. He was a sales associate at Pine Belt Chevrolet while he was looking for work, because he could not land a full time job in the industry for quite some time. Now, he is one of the lead football broadcasters on Fox Sports, as well as the Mets sideline reporter and fill-in play-by-play announcer. However, he was almost lost before he could even get started.

As a 2008 article from awfulannouncing.com states in regards to announcers who take their jobs for granted, “You have the coolest damn job in the world in sports fans eyes, and while you’re supposed to be serving as the voice of the fans, you act like you’re above the game.” But for a daily sports talk show host and the voice of the World Series to bash sports this way is just wrong and shows how much the game suffers when you continue to put them on air. It’s your job to know what you’re talking about. It’s people like this that give the whole profession a bad name and make those who do their homework and bust their [butt] look bad by association.”

There are of plenty of people who have left the industry due to the demands, and I respect them for that. If you do not love it, get out, because I am sure there is someone that can and will do a better job if all you are there for is “the free food.”

Kelly Kultys, FCRH ’15, is a communication and media studies major from Sayreville, N.J.