(Philadelphia, Pa) — For the second year in a row (June 16-19) at NFL Films studios in Mt Laurel, NJ past and present NFL players learned what it takes to succeed on the other side of the microphone at “Broadcast Boot Camp”. Instead of the players giving the quotes, the group of twenty players including Oakland Raiders Pro Bowl corner back Nnamdi Asomugha, Minnesota Vikings defensive back Darren Sharper, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Max Starks, Buffalo Bills punter Brian Moorman, and others received the tremendous learning experience of working with football broadcasting giants like James Brown (CBS), Ron Jaworski (ESPN), Dick Vermeil (NFL Network), and Rich Eisen (NFL Network).
The program is directed by the NFL Broadcasting Department and covers a wide range of topics with instructors from each of the NFL’s broadcasting partners – CBS, ESPN, FOX, NBC, NFL Network, Sirius Satellite Radio, Westwood One Radio, plus local radio and TV. The invaluable program is one of the NFL’s many “transition” level activities helping to develop players for their post football career. The players were able to get their hands dirty by participating in hands-on activities such as tape study, editing, show preparation, radio production, control room operation, studio preparation, production meetings, field reporting and game preparation. Each player also was able to tape segments as a studio/game analyst, live radio host on Sirius NFL Radio and take part in a networking session with television executives.
The program was so well received in 2007 that twelve of the twenty participants from last year’s class are now working in the industry in some capacity. Three successful attendees from the Class of 2007 (Ike Reese, Ross Tucker, and Roland Willams) even returned this year as instructors and mentors to share their knowledge with the new group hopefuls. Reese, who now hosts his own radio show on 610-WIP called “Ike at Night”, said about the ’07 boot camp, “My experience in the program was phenomenal”. The former Pro Bowl special teams player added, “The exercises were very practical, and I was able to identify my strengths and get in some valuable practice.” Tucker, who has his own Sirius Radio show, added “I’ve been recommending the Broadcast Boot Camp to other players, it was an extremely positive experience.”
With the priceless opportunity to work with so many heavy hitters in the broadcasting industry, here is hoping that the NFL holds a boot camp for aspiring NFL writers that want to make the jump. Who knows with a little training maybe yours truly could be sitting next to JB on the set of CBS’ NFL Today.
Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)