Former Colorado linebacker Chad Brown never has been one to shy away from an opportunity, but he has been known to shy away from talking about them.
Brown used to have a stuttering problem. It was something he dealt with as a shy kid growing up in California and throughout his career in football with the Buffs and 14 years in the NFL. Brown was once a beehive of nerves before any public speaking encounter, which almost seems impossible now because of the volume of work he does in broadcasting and advertising.
“I just think my thoughts tended to come faster than my mouth could get them out,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t say I had a severe stuttering problem, but I certainly stammered and stuttered a lot when I was trying to speak or even when I got excited.”
Brown is all over the airwaves these days on radio and television, and especially this week with the Super Bowl coming Sunday. He is in Arizona doing segments related to the big game on CNN. He also is taping segments for NFL Films and is doing radio interviews about the game sponsored by Solid Gold, a company that provides food and training for Wounded Warriors service dogs.
He is asked for analysis about everything from football air pressure to the strengths and weaknesses of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. Brown played for both franchises in this year’s Super Bowl and was a teammate of Brady’s for two seasons. He also played in the Super Bowl for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And when he’s not dissecting the game, he’s selling game-day food in commercials for Juicy Burgers & Dogs.
“This whole journey I’ve been on has been very interesting and revealing on a lot of different levels,” Brown said. “I’m happy I kind of took the opportunity and ran with it.”
Brown’s first opportunity to step into the world of broadcasting came three years ago when fellow former Buffs linebacker Alfred Williams asked him to fill in for his regular co-host on their afternoon sports talk show on FM 104.3. Brown agreed and came away three shows later with a new confidence in himself.
Brown used to own Pro Exotics, a business he founded that was based in Littleton. He sold reptiles and other exotic animals from his store before a fire in late 2011 cost him the business. His love for animals remains strong but he no longer sells them. Instead, he runs Ship Your Reptiles and Ship Your Aquatics, businesses that help pet owners and hobbyists to safely, efficiently and cost-effectively ship animals around the nation.
But he seems to have found a new passion in what he calls trying to become a better communicator. He hasn’t decided yet if he wants to try to make a second career out of broadcasting or if he wants to be a coach. He will serve an NFL franchise to be determined this summer as a coaching intern and go from there.
“I’ve always had a philosophy in life that you’re always practicing for something,” Brown said. “Some of us practice something and it’s bad stuff and you’re kind of setting yourself up for something bad, and in this case, I’m practicing this with no idea where it’s going to take me, but I think it’s going to be a good thing.”
Starting at the ground level is also something Brown has never been afraid to do. Some 44-year-old former NFL stars would be reluctant to serve as interns on a coaching staff or attend the NFL’s Broadcast Media Bootcamp.
Brown dived in to that experience and he says it helped him realize he needed to slow down his thoughts and his words.
He has worked as a part of the CU game-day broadcast team for KOA radio (850 AM) the past three years, first as a sideline reporter and then as a color analyst for half of last season when longtime CU play-by-play man and color analyst Larry Zimmer suffered a fall and was sidelined.
Mark Johnson, KOA’s play-by-play man for the past decade for both CU football and basketball, said he can count on Brown to always be prepared.
“You can’t always say that about a former athlete, that they necessarily are able to turn their football knowledge that they know instinctively from playing into something that is digestible for a listener,” Johnson said. “So he is very good at that. And the steps he has taken and really grown in the last couple of years is on the broadcasting end of things. That’s not something you can just learn overnight. It takes time and he has made great strides in that regard in terms of knowing when to speak during a game, how to concisely make a point or convey that knowledge to the audience. He has made some great broadcasting improvement the last couple of years.”
Brown, who played on the Buffs’ 1990 national championship team, said he never feels more comfortable than when he is doing CU games because he knows many in the audience recognize him as a former Buff and want him to do well. He said learning to relax and studying the nuances of television broadcasting has been a big area of growth.
He is able to joke about some of it now.
“The first year I was just trying to stop myself from physically sweating every time I came on camera,” Brown said. “I mean, the Albert Brooks scene from ‘Broadcast News.’ That’s a real thing. That’s a real physical reaction that you literally have no control over. A lot of time I was so happy I had a suit on ’cause the suit would cover up the fact that my dress shirt underneath was completely stuck to my body from all the sweat.”
Brown said at some point during his football career he played every linebacker position possible. He said that wealth of experience made him more valuable to his team. It’s no different in broadcasting. His experiences as a sideline reporter, color analyst, guest commentator or panel member have helped make him more well-rounded.
He only recently began to feel like he has conquered the stuttering.
“I’m not immune from it,” he said. “It still comes up from time to time, but I’ve got control of it. It’s in my mind, if I think about it, I can control it. I am and it is still very much a work in progress.”
Credit to Times-Call who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at [email protected].
‘The Dan Patrick Show’ Criticizes Sound on ‘Thursday Night Football’
“You pay all this money for that game [and] you can’t hear that it sounds like crap.”
Thursday night’s matchup between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers ended up being a compelling game to watch throughout the first several quarters and was enhanced by the stellar images and presentation from Amazon Prime Video. The Thursday Night Football property recently garnered record-setting streaming numbers from its season premiere, according to a custom integrated streaming report by Nielsen Media Research.
Even so, there was critical feedback from many fans watching regarding the sonic experience of watching the game. Viewers complained that there was an inherent lack of crowd noise and field-level sound, making it more difficult to fully immerse themselves in the atmosphere.
“You pay all this money for that game [and] you can’t hear that it sounds like crap,” Patrick “Seton” O’Connor, an executive producer of The Dan Patrick Show, said on Friday. “There’s no atmosphere – you’ve got no crowd sound; the mics are all over the place. It’s terrible.”
Show host Dan Patrick concurred with this point, relaying that his wife walked by the television and thought something was amiss with the sound. When she asked Patrick what was happening, he replied that it was due to the presentation from Prime Video. Although most viewers ended up watching the game anyway, the inadequate soundscape detracted from the aura of the contest and dampened the viewing experience.
“I love [Kirk] Herbstreit [and] I love Al Michaels, but when I have the game on, do you ever have your stereo in your car and you have the bass and the treble set and somehow it gets reset – and everything’s reset to medium?,” Paul Pabst, an executive producer of The Dan Patrick Show, said. “You’re like, ‘Where’s the highs? Where’s the lows? It has that feeling.’”
The lack of dynamic contrast and aggregate timbre caused some viewers to connote that the broadcast sounds flat despite the stellar, highly-experienced commentary team. Improving on the sound and other customer feedback will be critical in incentivizing non-ardent fans to return to the property or try it altogether.
“We’ve created the atmosphere that is so good that you don’t even have to go to a game,” Patrick said. “With the sound of it, the TVs, [and] the quality… it’s almost a better experience sometimes when you’re sitting at home.”
In addition to watching the National Football League, Pabst frequently consumes college football on Saturdays, including the prime-time presentations. When he is viewing those games, he can feel the noise of the crowd permeating through the speakers and be part of the crowd.
“It’s thunderous,” Pabst said. “The crowd noise almost overwhelms [Chris] Fowler, sometimes in a good way, and it’s hard to tell what’s going on there.”
Finding games on Amazon Prime Video has been a difficult proposition for some users, evidenced by O’Connor describing how it took him 10 minutes to begin watching the Giants-49ers game last night. The game was broadcast regionally on FOX for those in the New York metropolitan area, but for O’Connor, he noticed that the network had the baseball contest between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies on instead.
“I look and I’m like, ‘I swear there was a game tonight,’ and I see it’s in the first quarter.’ What the hell is going on?,” thought O’Connor. “Oh, that’s right. I forgot Amazon was a thing; it’s just not a TV destination all the time for me.”
Gregg Giannotti on Taylor Rooks: ‘Send in a 10’ to Get Players Talking
“I also thought, ‘Why don’t we use more attractive women in interrogation scenarios?'”
This week’s Thursday Night Football matchup between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers came off a record-setting week for Prime Video, according to an integrated streaming report by Nielsen Media Research. There were questions surrounding the impending contest off the field pertaining to injuries, and the TNF Tonight pregame show did its best to address pertinent information.
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley headlined the team’s injury report after suffering an ankle injury last week, something the team publicly called a sprain. New information was divulged on Thursday night from Barkley himself after features reporter Taylor Rooks asked him about his injury. He then proceeded to reveal that he was dealing with a mild high ankle sprain, an impediment more serious than originally thought.
WFAN host Gregg Giannotti watched the entire pregame show and watched the desk discuss the state of New York football, including New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. The report from Rooks, a reputable source of information who formerly worked for SportsNet New York (SNY) occurred shortly thereafter. While she has a network of contacts and insider information about the league, Giannotti believes there was another reason she got the exclusive story.
“It’s funny because all we heard was, ‘It’s a regular ankle sprain; not a high ankle sprain,’” Giannotti explained Friday morning on WFAN. “Then Taylor Rooks gets over there and finds out it’s a high ankle sprain. I was thinking, ‘You know what? I’d tell her anything too. Whatever you need to know, Taylor, about me, I will tell you.’”
Giannotti watched the Giants lose the contest 30-12 and fall to a 1-2 overall record, but he also began to ponder over the manner in which Rooks was able to effectively do her job. It led him to make a proposition on the air that challenges the effectiveness of the team’s beat writers because of their collective age and appearance.
“I also thought, ‘Why don’t we use more attractive women in interrogation scenarios?,’” Giannotti said. “This is what I was thinking about after I saw this last night. Art Stapleton couldn’t get that out of Saquon Barkley – I love Art Stapleton, but there’s no way. Taylor Rooks got it out of him right away, so why don’t we send in some of these interrogation scenarios where people are just totally zipped up – send in a ‘10’ in there, [and the] next thing you know, ‘Yeah, it was him. He did it, and I did it. We did it together!’”
Giannotti’s co-host Boomer Esiason was surprised to hear Rooks get that information from Barkley, and has not seen anyone in the media react to the occurrence. The injury update changes the way in which people consider his timeline for a return and was a part of the Prime Video broadcast that Giannotti valued.
“Yeah, of course, great reporting,” Giannotti said. “I’m just thinking about all the Giants beat writers sitting around – old guys who look like me just stewing and trying to hide farts in the locker room.”
Arizona Sports Extends Deal With Coyotes
“We look forward to an exciting season delivering Coyotes coverage on-air, online and on the Arizona Sports app.”
Arizona Coyotes fans can keep their presets the same. The team has extended its relationship with Bonneville in Phoenix.
The new deal is a one-year extension to keep the Coyotes on the company’s two Phoenix-area radio stations, 98.7 Arizona Sports and ESPN 620 AM and on the statiations’ website and app.
“We are excited to continue our partnership with the Arizona Coyotes and the Meruelo Group,” Bonneville Phoenix senior vice president and market manager Ryan Hatch said in a statement. “We look forward to an exciting season delivering Coyotes coverage on-air, online and on the Arizona Sports app.”
As part of the extension, Burns & Gambo will welcome Coyotes president and CEO Xavier A. Gutierrez and general manager Bill Armstrong for weekly segments. Wolfe & Luke will be joined weekly by head coach André Tourigny.
“We are very pleased to extend our partnership with Bonneville Phoenix and are thrilled to have Arizona Sports 98.7 and ESPN 620 broadcast all Coyotes games this season,” Gutierrez added. “There is a tremendous amount of excitement about our team, and we look forward to Arizona Sports 98.7, the Valley’s sports leader, providing our fans with outstanding Coyotes coverage all season long.”