The Most Arrogant Thing I’ve Ever Done

If you know me personally, you realize that I don’t toot my own horn very often (unless it’s a self-deprecating clown horn). If I do, there’s typically a pretty good reason beyond my actions. I’d like to think that this post follows those rules.

I’m starting a new series of blog posts that anyone surfing the internet can learn from. I’m not going to beg every single person I know to share it to make that happen, but the idea behind the stories is that any one of the people I admire (and will be writing about) is someone whose work you can appreciate and even use their work to improve your life.

Each person that I highlight in this series will have a quick bio and an explanation of why what he/she does is helpful in everyday life. I’ll share links to some of the work by them that has impressed me most so you can garner the same respect for them that I have. I don’t agree 100% with every opinion each person publishes, but neither will you. I’m sure we’ll differ on many different beliefs and methods, but I look forward to hearing what those are and why. If I just sit here babbling to myself and make it seem like I’m groveling at these people’s feet for a retweet of a link to the post about them, I’ve completely missed the point.

I’m also anticipating the people you bring up in the comments over the course of this series, because I’m sure you’ll find a lot of similar people in your own realm that share the same attributes or accomplishments.

For me to follow through on the title I created, I guess I have to make myself the first one in the series, don’t I? Here we go.

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I can’t say that I’m finished creating the legacy I want to leave my friends, family and the world (digital or physical), because I don’t even know the final bucket it will all fit under. I won’t over-simplify to make everything so neat, because it’s clearly not how the world works (as much as we might want it to).

I have a lot of different interests, and I’d say that I’m fairly knowledgable about a few of them. As a sports broadcaster I could gush on and on about how my story telling abilities pave the way for this and that, but that would be against my ultimate goals of simplicity and transparency.

I enjoy learning about other people, how to deal with them best, and how to create situations that I can help them with. Sometimes that means playing the nice guy in the board game Settlers of Catan so people are more willing to help me at the end, when I’m about to win. Other times it’s a bit more complicated.

The thing I value most about myself is my ability to familiarize with people to earn their respect. Ask any of this summer’s interns with the Worcester Tornadoes and they’ll tell you some story about how I acted a bit eccentric to grab a few laughs (at or with me didn’t really matter), but that I never forgot to wish every single one of them luck before all of our home games.

Although it might not fit the “arrogant” title I gave this article, I wouldn’t be telling a fair story about me if I didn’t mention how important other people are in my success. I’d like to point out one thing I especially like about each of these people. Some of them will have entries to themselves later in this series.

*****

What I Admire and/or Appreciate

In Life/General

The Simplicity of Leo Babauta.

Leo is the author of the Blog Zen Habits, who turned his life around completely by embracing the theory that less is better.

The Foresight of Seth Godin, one of the most down-to-earth marketing minds.

Seth’s daily blog posts always conjure up thought-provoking discussion and/or a realization you didn’t notice you were having.

The Efficiency of Tim Ferriss.

The author of the Four Hour Work Week makes plenty of time to live his dream outside of the office (or wherever he happens to be).

The Practicality of Ramit Sethi.

The author of I Will Teach You To Be Rich makes sure every detail of his financial advice is digestible, useful and often funny.

The No-BS Attitude of Jeffrey Gitomer.

Jeffrey (yup, that’s how you spell it) is one of the most successful sales leaders out there who’s willing to share everything he knows. Most of it is something your mother told you a hundred times growing up, Sparky.

The Passion for Family that Trent Hamm has.

Trent created the blog The Simple Dollar, which combines frugality with purpose to give people the most fulfilling life they can have for their buck

The Quirkiness of Ben Hill, a reporter and blogger for Minor League Baseball.

Ben’s Biz and his stand-alone news stories serve a hodgepodge of fun facts and information about what the most fun minor league teams are up to, with a side of great vocabulary.

The Passion for Work that Gary Vaynerchuk Exhibits.

If the dude loved what he did any more, he might explode. When he shares the secrets to that success with others, you could make the same case.

Athletes

The Will of Dustin Pedroia.

When he Red Sox second baseman had issues with his feet, he took grounders on his knees. Do you know anybody else that is that determined to get better in similar circumstances? Even though he took my dream job, I’m not bitter.

The Hustle of Kevin Youkilis.

Youk might take things a bit too personally from at-bat to at-bat, but it shows just how much he wants to be the best. He’s one of the few people that could have a deserving place in the discussion about determination I just mentioned.

The Anthithesis of Alex Rodriguez. Of course I had to include an anti-Yankees aspect to the post. At least A-Rod is the one guy worth rooting against on a team that is filled with respectable players nowadays.

Sports Broadcasters

The Preparation of Mike Felger, the 98.5 The Sports Hub Talk Show Host, CSNNE Host and all-around limit-pusher.

He’s brash and opinionated, but he’s never afraid to dig up evidence that makes you believe his stance, if you didn’t already.

The Realism of Tony Massarotti, Felger’s combatant in the Sports Hub’s studios and a former beat writer for the Sox.

Tony’s never afraid to tell it like it is.

The Personability of Peter Gammons. (I realize I just made that word up, but Gammons deserves some creative license on his behalf.)

Peter is only the most liked journalist in the sports world. The people he speaks with know they’re going to report what he has to say, and they still tell him things they wouldn’t to anyone else. He’s just that friendly, and I’m lucky enough to know that from experience.

The Forward (and sometimes Backward) Thinking of Jesse Goldberg-Strassler.

Jesse has been a great mentor to me and (I’m sure) many other young broadcasters. When he was on the Brockton Rox broadcast crew, he was creative enough to re-enact a baseball broadcast without seeing the game. He also was one of the few people to support some broadcaster-related ideas that I’ve had to help us all from the beginning.

The Wherewithal of Donny Baarns.

Donny is relentless in his networking, but it never feels forced. He’s a great guy with a knack for calling ballgames as well as his ability to make friends. He has a series of interviews with big league broadcasters that has been incredibly useful for me thus far.

The Simplicity of Mike Gorman.

The Boston Celtics TV play-by-play guy never hoists his voice about the importance of the game and has been putting up with one of the most biased and opinionated broadcasters to join the profession. Mike never interferes with Tommy Heinsohn’s rants, which earns him a lot of Tommy points in my book.

The Storytelling Ability of Vin Scully.

Listen to half an inning of a Dodgers game and you’ll know what I mean. If anyone should be allowed to use the cliche of a broadcaster as a modern-day poet, it’s him.

The Adaptability of Don Orsillo.

With Jerry Remy’s health issues over the past few years, Don has dealt with countless color commentators by his side. Some have been good, but most have been far from it and a bit loony. Don has been able to make every broadcast fun and informative, since he brings out the best of what’s available from each of his partners.

The Versatility of Tom Verducci (and he earned brownie points for answering my broad, career-based advice email way back when).

Tom is a great writer, and you can tell by the way he carries himself on air at the MLB Network. Instead of coming off as a face for radio with no ability to project his voice though, he fits in perfectly. Only his knowledge of the game translates to the screen, which is all anyone wants out of a reporter or columnist during a TV show anyway.

The Scoops Ken Rosenthal gets.

Other than Peter Gammons, I can’t think of anyone else who always knows what’s happening hours or days before it’s made official.

The Interviewing Abilities of Bob Costas.

You could easily interchange “Hosting” with “Interviewing” here, since Bob is a great all-around television personality. There’s a reason he’s so heavily involved with the Olympics every two years, and it’s not just because of the station he works for.

The Excitement of Gus Johnson.

How could I not include the former shining star of March Madness? Although he goes overboard sometimes, he could probably make anything that would appear on ESPN 8: The Ocho seem like the most interesting sport around.

The Rhythm of Jon Miller.

Jon always keeps your attention on the pulse of the game and even the non-vital details that make the story come to life wherever you’re listening (or watching).

The Level-Headedness of Joe Castiglione.

It’s nice to know that someone on the opposite end of the Gus Johnson spectrum can still keep you engaged in the game. He gets excited only when the moment calls for it, which can be hard to do. There’s always a story or two up the sleeve of this radio broadcaster, which makes every time you tune in worthwhile.

The Kindness of Dan Hoard.

The current Cincinnati Bengals’ broadcaster has never let his job title get in the way of being a great person. He was awfully accommodating to me every time I visited the Pawtucket Red Sox broadcast booth in 2011. He seemed just as gracious for my interest in learning from him as I was to do so myself.

The Guidance of Aaron Goldsmith.

The current Paw Sox broadcaster has had encouraging words to share with me at every turn of my career, but he’s never wearing rose-colored glasses. When it comes down to it, he’s all business, but he has willingly shown me how a positive attitude fits into the model for success.

The Brutal Honesty of Greg Gania.

The Erie SeaWolves broadcaster knows in the triumphs and difficulties of working in sports media as well as anybody I know. The balance between his non-baseball life and when he’s calling games is something I’m striving for every day.

The Sincerity of Mike Kelly.

The voice of the Springfield Falcons is always the first person to learn the names of all of the Providence Bruins media interns not because his team visits so often, but because he legitimately cares about everyone he meets. I’m amazed by the way he so easily familiarizes with people, and I’m a pretty good people person myself.

The Technicality of Greg Giombarrese.

The way Greg calls a Lakewood BlueClaws game, you’d think he played baseball for decades. From listening to him myself and learning from those he’s worked with, he’s a great teammate for others in the booth.

The Professionalism of Phil Giubileo.

Phil has what many people would consider the perfect situation. Those of you in the sports broadcast world know it doesn’t pay much outside of the highest levels of play. Phil has a full-time job that flexible enough for him to call Bridgeport Sound Tigers games all winter. He’s always willing to share stories and advice, whether it’s about broadcasting or seemingly unrelated things that can put you in a great position to call your own shots.

The Courage of Carmine Vetrano.

Carmine’s LinkedIn message to me asking for advice for breaking into the hockey world a few years back was surprising. I was the one who envied his position! While still in school, he landed a broadcasting gig at the AHL level from being proactive. I’m happy to have worked with him both in the baseball and hockey worlds.

The Comedic Timing of Tom Grace.

Tom has all the positive qualities of a New England-bred wise guy, but still managed to show plenty of respect for me, despite how young I was in my position. He’s never afraid to crack a joke, even if it’s pointed at himself.

The Essence of a Doc Emrick Broadcast.

There aren’t many people I would consider worthy of being called the Vin Scully of anything, but he and Vin belong in the same discussion when it comes to the best sports broadcasters. He’s one of the few hockey broadcasters that can fit a story or three into his calls without overwhelming his viewers.

The Boldness of Jack Edwards.

Jack is one of the more creative broadcasters in the game of hockey. It’s not too often you can somewhat-relevantly hear about the Revolutionary War during a hockey game and think it makes sense. Though others may think he has cheap tricks, I see his passion coming through with every word, which makes the game more exciting.

The Blog run by Mike Curto.

Mike submerges his broadcast listeners and blog readers in the world of baseball better than most other people involved in new media. His posts delve into the depth of the Seattle Mariners’ organization and where it fits into the bigger picture.

The Historical Diligence of Chris Mehring.

Chris knows more about Wisconsin baseball history than I may ever about baseball history in general. His ability to find parallels in the past to current Timber Rattlers interests is impressive.

*****

There are plenty of other people and traits I admire that I’ll share later. These were the ones I wrote months ago that were begging to be published all along. You’ll hear more about many of the people listed here in the future too.

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I am slightly less arrogant in other posts of this type! Here they are:

Part 2

Part 3

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