What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2016 I had just been let go by Detroit Sports 105-1 and quite honestly, I wasn’t happy. There was a small sense of relief being shown the door off a sinking ship, but I took pride in my work and I didn’t get a chance to finish what I started. Plus, I had never been fired before. I also didn’t fully grasp the concept that there was more out there in this world for me to experience. Broadcasting is all that I’ve ever known professionally and I felt it was always my calling. Not many people can boast that they were on the air calling games at Madison Square Garden in college or covering a Stanley Cup run at age 23 in a top ten market. Radio and broadcasting was fun and I just went with it. Little did I know that working with really good people and making a difference, well, makes a difference.
I have spent the past ten months working with some really terrific individuals. From the USPBL in Utica to Oakland University, and every day now at University of Detroit Jesuit High School, I’ve found that I am smiling again. There is something about being at a place with communication, trust, honesty, and an inviting culture. What did I know about in-game hosting at a new minor league ballpark? Not much. I was new to it and really had fun last summer. Oakland hired me to handle color commentary beside their excellent voice Neal Ruhl. Had I done analyst work in the past on a broadcast? No. I was new to it and really had fun. In addition, I have joined the faculty at U of D High teaching 21st Century Communications and Media and Journalism and have fallen in love with it. You want to talk about an inviting culture, this is the spot. It is a place that features a terrific group of young men and adults that care about each other and set goals that we all try to achieve every day. Again, I’m new to teaching and having a blast. I’ve seen that surrounding myself with the right atmosphere and culture is making me happy again professionally. My family can see it in my face when I get home each day and I am no longer dragged down by trivial little distractions that I used to think were important.
You know what else is cool? I’m out of the day to day communication business and I can see that communication is actually better in “the real world.” My e-mails get returned, my questions get answered, and there are manners that come into play at my new opportunities. When I have a question for Theresa Doan at the USPBL, she gets back to me. Scott MacDonald at Oakland is always eager and willing to provide me whatever assistance I need and the same goes for Andy Roth, the Program Director at 92-3 FM The Fan in Cleveland whenever I fill in there. Furthermore, I wish I could explain in words what it is like having the teammates that I have at U of D. I’m just the new guy that wanted to come in and make an impact and teach the kids. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being so blessed to be a part of a place like this. I owe so much to Principal Tony Trudel and the crew with the Cubs for letting me be a part of the team. To hear the words “nice job” or “that was really good” is so refreshing and it is a big part of what I tell my audiences during my speeches about winning in the work place. There is no negative to positive reinforcement. Treat people like you would want to be treated. I just recently watched an interview with Bill Belichick on CNBC where he said the same thing. He has stopped practices at times to commend an individual player for a job well done. He added that this helps in team-building and morale. I couldn’t agree more.
It is fun being at work again and a playing a role in a winning culture. What a novel concept.