When Jason Barrett and I spoke a few weeks ago, the idea of doing a recurring feature for BSM appealed to me. I enjoy writing about the sports media industry and thought it would be interesting to ask on-air talents and executives about five goals they have for the future, and how they plan to accomplish them.
I’ll point out that in addition to writing, I’ve also gotten involved in creating promotional products. Everything from t-shirts, hats, and hoodies to swag like umbrellas, journals, pens, mugs, koozies, water bottles, bags, and anything else you can think of. If you or your company have future needs, email me at Glasspiegel.Ryan@gmail.com for a quote.
The focus of today’s debut edition of ‘Five Goals’ is ESPN MLB commentator Jessica Mendoza. Here are her goals in her own words.
1. One of my biggest goals is I’ve always wanted to reach as many girls as possible.
I guess that’s evolved over time. As an Olympic athlete it was definitely more in the athlete space, and especially getting to a lot more Hispanic girls in terms of getting them access to sports. Having seen what I was able to learn and grow through sports, I was like more girls need to know this. There shouldn’t be economic or gender or racial boundaries for sports.
That involves working on Title IX legislation the last 15 years with the Women’s Sports Foundation in that same regard. Now, in my career, it involves really being cognizant of trying to get more girls to understand the different things they can do — not even within my own job. For example, I just did a piece on Rachel Luba as an agent within the business and I want to continue just spotlighting all the different jobs and access to sports in a variety of different ways for girls and women, and just understanding how that can impact any father or any daughter that’s watching and the decisions they make moving forward to possibly do some really cool stuff with their own lives.
2. Mom goals: Just trying to be as present as possible.
I’ve got seven-year-old and an 11-year-old boys. I’m navigating their worlds. When I say present, literally that can be being a Velociraptor when they’re a T-Rex, roaming all over the couches and jumping all over the place.
Or, it could be my oldest asking me about girls. He’s starting to do that. Mom’s been the go-to for all the questions about crushes and kissing and all of that.
I use the word present because you can get ahead of yourself with what does this mean or what about this instead of actually just really being in the moment and hearing them out, even if some of the things they say may not make any sense.
3. Within work specifically, challenging myself not to just follow the template all the time.
You can get caught up in that. This is how you cover a baseball game. This is how you follow and prepare. You get those routines down. For me personally, I want to continue to grow, and do things differently. I might fail in some of that and hopefully succeed in others, but I’m trying to look at things through different lenses and have career results change and grow as well.
Even within the context of a baseball game, of course you have two teams on the field and nine innings. You have parameters you can’t change. But, we can continue to grow the way we cover it, the way the viewer can see certain things and understand them. I definitely feel that way within broadcasts.
Overall, in what I do career-wise, I never want to, like, just do these X things. What else can I be doing? Ultimately, going back to goal no. 1, if my main goal is to impact others, what can I do within my career to accomplish that? That could be storytelling [like with the Rachel Luba feature]. It could be certain things that I point out within a game. It could be a SportsCenter hit where I have a different take on, for example, a sexual harassment case that’s come up.
Things like that. I’m always trying to look at it, instead of just going with the more cliche answer, the easier road. Okay, maybe I could really grab someone’s attention by being more honest with this answer or having a different approach.
4. In light of COVID, I want to continue to know the world and see the world.
That kind of falls into travel, but even whether it’s reading more books or listening to podcasts that are kind of off my normal radar. It definitely does include going places too, but that’s been on pause.
I absolutely want to understand different cultures and people. You can do that within your own community, but you can also try to see it as much as possible globally. That’s always been a goal. Hopefully, as things open up more …
I also want to educate my kids with that. I was blessed growing up. My father’s from Mexico, so I felt really lucky as a kid to be able to experience that culture by going down there, staying with family, and experience the language. Foods I’ve never heard of. I literally to now don’t blink at trying liver or all these different things because in my childhood I was exposed to so much off the beaten path stuff from what a normal California kid would be.
I want to do that with myself but also my family. Just expose them, again whether that’s books we’re reading or things we’re listening to and ultimately — eventually — let’s go see them.
I turned 40 this last November and I had planned a trip 9-12 months out to Peru. The way I was going to do that, I have friends locally there. I was going to ride the llamas, stay in villages, hike Machu Piccu, but do it in a way that was more diving into the culture and the history of the region. That will definitely have to get back on the list because that got canceled.
I have this whole idea of parts of Southeast Asia that I want to travel to with my family. We want to do Australia, but through some of the aboriginal tribes. There was a thing I saw where kids could have pen pals there and get to know each other, and then we would be able to go and meet them. I don’t even know if any of this still exists. I’m hoping something like that comes back around because it would be really cool.
I’ve been blessed to travel around, just through USA Softball and doing clinics globally. And, I used to work with Hillary Clinton on some of her ambassador initiatives, where we would go to some of the countries we didn’t have great relationships with and do sports clinics to kind of make people a little happier with the US. I’ve been blessed to travel to some pretty amazing places and I want to bring my kids there.
My son just told me he wants to go to Italy. I’ve been there like 10 times. We trained there leading to the Olympics in Athens. So, I’ve been there done that, but no one in my immediate family has been and I was thinking just that. They came to London and Holland and some places that were easy because of the language. With Italy, it’s a little harder but the travel is accessible and food-wise it’s so simple for them.
When I asked my son Why Italy?, he said, “Mom, it’s where pizza and pasta came from. What better place could we go?”
5. Fitness goals: There’s a thing called Pole, Pedal, Paddle …
My family and I recently moved to Bend, Oregon and there’s a competition called Pole, Pedal, Paddle that combines alpine skiing, cross country skiing, running, mountain biking, and kayaking.
Literally, my gold medal doesn’t mean anything. If you can win Pole, Pedal, Paddle — or even finish it — you’re a celebrity here. The people who win this thing are like put on people’s shoulders and marched around the town. If you can ski and bike and row at a ridiculous pace, that’s an athlete.
Five Goals: Rick Cordella
“I think it’s easy to get lost on the day-to-day grind of managing a business, but I try to take a step back every now and again and appreciate how lucky I am to be involved in these sports properties that I grew up idolizing.”
Rick Cordella is the EVP and Chief Revenue Officer at Peacock, the NBCUniversal streaming service which just successfully completed its maiden voyage with WWE with WrestleMania this past weekend. Coming off this accomplishment, we thought he would be the perfect choice for this month’s installment of 5 Goals! Here are his goals, in his own words.
1) Be the best Uber-driving dad I can be.
Work/Life balance is never really a balance as much as it is a constant panic that I’ve misaligned my priorities for the day. My wife and I have five children ranging from high school to preschool, four girls and a boy. It’s a handful.
Working from home these past 13 months has forced me to be around more. Seeing the kids before they go off to school, or family dinner time has been great. But I think some of the best one-on-one conversations I have with my kids are when I’m driving them around to various activities in the early evening and to school in the morning. They can’t skirt away to their bedrooms and avoid my probing questions. And I learn more about what is going on in their lives than I ever did before. “How are your grades? How are your friends doing? What else is going on?”
Moving forward after the world returns to normal and I’m back in the office, I want make it a priority to be there to drive them around town.
2) Appreciate being the kid in the candy store.
I grew up in Foxboro, MA, as a die-hard Boston sports fan, rooting for the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins. I spent the vast majority of my time playing sports, watching sports and thinking about sports. And so when I was lucky enough to come to NBC Sports through a small acquisition of a fantasy sports company, Rotoworld.com, back in Aug 2006, I had to pinch myself. I was so proud to be a small part of Sunday Night Football, the Olympics and all the various sports we had rights to air.
I specifically remember during the 2012 Olympics, walking the Olympic Park in London and taking it all in. And then standing on the sidelines during the pregame of Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix and then seeing my hometown Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks a few hours later in one of the most exciting Super Bowls of all-time. As a lifelong sports fan, how am I possibly getting paid to be here?
I think it’s easy to get lost on the day-to-day grind of managing a business, but I try to take a step back every now and again and appreciate how lucky I am to be involved in these sports properties that I grew up idolizing.
3) Get across the finish line.
I was a college athlete many years ago but now need a goal or fear of humiliation to motivate me to do something about my dad bod. This fall I plan to run the Boston Marathon. I’ve run three marathons in the past, but this will be my first one in my 40s, and I’m much more firmly in the Clydesdale division than ever before.
Finishing with a good time is nice, but just meeting the challenge and getting across the finish line is the goal.
4) Make appointment viewing in an on-demand world.
Many streaming platforms focus their content investment on original and library movies and shows. At Peacock, we have all of that as well and can further differentiate our catalog with programming from across NBCUniversal that plays to our strengths – like sports and live events – that have existing fanbases who follow their favorite team, sport, and athletes everywhere. When a Manchester United/Liverpool game streams on Peacock, those fans show up. When we recently streamed one of the biggest live events of the year — WrestleMania – WWE fans migrated to Peacock.
When the fans come to Peacock, they are watching other entertainment programming we offer. We can drive them to our platform with the content they are most passionate about, and then anchor them in our service by delivering our massive library of entertainment, news, sports, and more. For example, we have seen this happen with Premier League fans, where more than 90% are watching non-Premier League content on Peacock.
Peacock has been nationally available for just over nine months, and sports and live events have been foundational to our service. And we’re very much looking forward to the Olympics and the NFL coming later this year on Peacock.
5) Try something new and keep learning.
I’m not all that musically inclined, but about two years ago, my 10-year-old daughter took up playing the guitar. She has gotten impressively good at it. I’ve always wanted to try it, and I figured it was also a cool way to connect with my daughter, so during the pandemic, I signed up for weekly guitar lessons. I had never picked up a guitar before in my life. So now, at 44 years old, I can play the opening riff of Nirvana’s Come as You Are and a handful of other 90’s alternative rock songs (not entire songs, of course). But I’m really enjoying it, and it’s been fantastic to jam out with my daughter.