Updated: Jan 18
Funny how I typically write about sports or sports-related issues but, there is something that I want to cover, something dark, something almost sinister about the sports media world. This is not a sexy headline to grab a reader's attention, and this isn't a "clickbait" title to entice readers into a rabbit hole discussion. It has more to do with my personal experiences within sports media and how it can be a blessing of some sort and a curse in others.
In most respects, I am relatively new to the "Professional" side of sports media, and let me tell you, and it's not anything you think it to be. Long days compiled by many hours in front of a computer screen typing up stories, sitting in a recording studio laying down the latest podcast, or working to grow a fledgling network. It's not as glamorous as it sounds, but I do feel excited about the content that I create. Especially when I run my show, and I am the master of my domain.
When I first started in all this hoopla, I was green as grass, and I had a vision for what I wanted to do but, I needed guidance on what to do and how to get there. I didn't have a platform at the time. Nobody felt the desire to give me an opportunity until Palmer Alexander III contacted me, CEO of the N The Zone Network, AKA The Legend Kil, on Twitter.
I started writing on my WordPress site at the time to get my feet wet in the field, and he told me, "Man, I think you have something." "Keep at it Derek, don't ever let anyone tell you you can't do this stuff." HE gave me a shot, allowed me to hone my craft. I am still learning, and the N The Zone Network is growing and growing fast. Palmer believed in me when very few did, and if it wasn't for him believing in me, I don't think I'd be here, so for that, I am forever grateful.
I also have had the distinct privilege of working with Arlington Lane, AKA The A-Train. We have worked together on a few projects and plan on working together on many more soon. We covered the XFL press conference in St. Louis, and it was fun but, this is where the story changes a bit. We came in severe and excited about our first opportunity to showcase the network on a large stage, and might I say it went very well.
You could tell from the way the room had changed once we were noticed. Not bad, no one said anything derogatory or unpleasing but, you could tell that the others didn't seem to care for another dog in the boneyard.
There was the who's who, the usual suspects of media personalities there, and they were all very business. Then it was more like, "Who are these guys?" personally, it felt like there were a lot of 1000 yard stares in that room that day and some quizzical looks as well. For most people, it would bother them when a thing like that would happen, not me, not Arlington, not Palmer. We've worked too long and too hard to overcome too many obstacles to be run off by some looks.
That being said, some fantastic people in this field have been amazing and extraordinarily helpful. People like Randy Karraker, Maurice Drummond, Howard Balzer, Frank Cusamano, Tim Mckernan, Tom Ackerman, David Hunn, Steve Savard, Matt Berger have given us great information and helped us learn along the way. To those individuals who've helped us, I can't thank you enough.
The significant part of doing your stuff and not being tied down to an organization is you have the freedom to write what you want, talk about what you want, and run your business the way you want. When you have that kind of space, it's a fantastic feeling where some know how to handle it, and others don't.
There are many perks to working with a name brand, a big-time organization like job security, internal support structure, name recognition, to name a few things. The point being is that if you have a dream to get into the reporting business either in radio or television, go for it and don't let anyone stop you from chasing your dream.
I continue my journey into the beautiful world of sports reporting with N The Zone Network, continuing to grow this fledgling network into what we dream it can and will eventually be in the future.
There are so many things I want to tell you, so many exciting things that are coming to N The Zone of the next few coming months but, good things come to those who wait.
Please stay tuned to the Network.