I’m writing this as I sit here on New Year’s Day, nursing a mild hangover, and reflecting back on the year that was 2016. We lost many important pop culture icons, a reality TV star was elected President of the United States, and — most shockingly — the Cubs won the World Series. It’s truly been a roller coaster year…
On a much smaller scale, my personal journey in 2016 has taken me up, down, and at times sideways as I try to navigate my own life as a sportscaster. I don’t like New Year’s resolutions. Jon Chelesnik nailed the reasons why here. However, I do think the New Year is a good time to reflect back on what has happened over the last year. It gives you a chance to analyze what has gone right; what has gone wrong; what you can work on improving; and what is completely out of your control. Most importantly, it gives you a chance to metaphorically wipe the slate clean of anything negative over the year and begin 2017 with a fresh start. Here are some of my personal highlights and lowlights from 2016, and my plans for a better 2017.
Put A Ring On It: In July I put a ring on the finger of my best friend, biggest supporter, and love of my life. It’s hard to find someone who can deal with the schedule full of nights and weekends, understand and accept the instability of the business, and deal with my crazy family. I’m lucky to have found my perfect match and look forward to having her as a partner as I continue to work towards achieving my dreams.
New Job: As I’ve written about previously I took a new job this year in Yankton, South Dakota. I’m thankful that after one of the more difficult times of my professional career (more on this later) I was able to land on my feet in an excellent situation. I still get to work full-time in radio, I still get to develop as a play-by-play broadcaster, and I live much closer to my family and support system. I may not have wanted to leave my previous job, but the end result turned out for the best.
Say The Damn Score: Technically, SayTheDamnScore.com launched late November 2015. But I consider that first month or so of existence to be the equivalent of the NFL preseason. It was spent figuring out how to operate the site, what I wanted it to be, and preparing for the start of my “Blueprint to Broadcasting Success,” which I consider to be the foundation of everything I do on this site.
I wasn’t sure if anybody would be interested in reading the thoughts and opinions of some random sportscaster from the middle of nowhere. It’s been rewarding to know that people have related to my sharing of my own trials and tribulations, and the site has consistently grown. I’ve been able to build relationships with sportscasters at all different levels from all over the country. I am truly grateful to everyone who has read a blog post or listened to a podcast episode. I look forward to continuing to build SayTheDamnScore.com in 2017!
Losing Broadcast Rights: This was the most difficult time in my broadcasting career. For reasons that had nothing to do with performance, the broadcast rights to Presentation College were moved to a competing radio group and I was left in the lurch. Despite all the positive things that have occurred since this event, I’ve had a difficult time letting the bitter feelings go.
It’s not because of losing the job, which was about as low level of a college job as you’ll find. It was about being forced to move away from a comfortable life, and a great group of friends that I had developed on that coaching staff. I will likely never be as close with a coaching staff again. At one point I was a roommate with both the football offensive coordinator and women’s basketball coach. Two members of the coaching staff and one former radio station employee will be part of my wedding party. It was, and still is hard to move forward knowing we probably won’t work together again.
Family Health Issues: This was the year that my grandmother passed away, I wrote about that here. My grandfather on the other side of my family went through some very difficult medical procedures. He has since recovered but that definitely weighed heavily on my mind at times.
Enjoy The Journey: Sometimes I get so focused on what’s next and what I’m working toward that I don’t appreciate the moment. This year I want to make a conscious effort towards enjoying what I’m doing as it’s happening.
Let Go: I hold onto perceived slights and disrespect far more than I should. This goes along with being happy in the moment and letting go of old grudges. I don’t want to let the actions of others, either positive or negative, have an effect on my happiness.
Show Appreciation: I’ve never been good about telling people I appreciate them and thanking them for helping me. In this business, nobody gets anywhere on their own and I want to show more gratitude towards the people who help me on the way.