Just what you were DYING to see. Another blogger “Introducing themselves”.
Forgive me for “Hitting the ground” running, speaking about the current state of Baltimore sports in my first two posts (found here and here). I noticed the other bloggers for the WNST Baltimore Sports Media Superstar competition (sponsored by Hooters) took the time to introduce themselves, tout their credentials, and allow you to get inside their heads. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, but in this instance, I think letting you know who I am is in order.
So, allow myself to introduce…myself. More accurately, let me fill you in on what led me here.
It was less than year ago when this really all started. I was managing a gas station/deli in Dundalk, Maryland. I was 31 years old. This was not my “plan”. I made a bold decision to walk away from half a lifetime in retail, a job that paid surprisingly well, to chase a dream: Broadcasting.
Sports has always, and will always be a passion of mine. A younger version of myself always knew my average athleticism would not lead to a career as the second basemen for the Orioles, but I always remember wanting to be involved in sports someway. I remember as a kid, listening to the O’s games on WBAL (my family did not have much growing up. We rarely had enough money for cable TV, let alone HTS). I remember listening to the likes of the legendary Jon Miller, the late Chuck Thompson, and Joe Angel. I remember so much wanting to be that man behind the microphone, painting that picture.
As a young lad in Middle School, I learned about Sports Talk radio. A young local talent would occasionally have an hour of his daily talk-show dedicated to Pro-Wrestling. I would eventually begin listening to the legitimate sports parts of his show. Even the occasional times I might call in, I felt like I was part of the conversation. The hosts name might have been “Nasty”…
Living in Baltimore all my life, I share the same memories of Baltimore Sports you do. Staying up all night to watch 2,131. Banging pots and pans, flying the purple flag out the back of my brothers pick-up the night of Superbowl XL. Tensing my muscles just a bit every time I hear the name “Jeffrey”.
I attended classes this fall at the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland. It might not have the flash of a 4-year school, but I learned so much more there then I did during my 3 semesters at community college, or then I could have learned as a Communications major at a University. While 600 hours at a trade school doesn’t instantly qualify you to be an on-air talent in a top 25 market, it does give you a push in the right direction. While at BIM, I served valuable internships. Paid in experience is always a good motto when breaking into the business. Play by play/color commentator at Loyola, on-field cameraman for Johns Hopkins, Morning Show Intern at a rival sports talk station. Saying I kept busy in the fall and winter only scratches the surface. To say I worked a lot is a lie, because none of this felt like work. To think I could make a career out of this was thrilling after years of ordering supplies, running staff meeting, and balancing books.
Upon completion of my program, I was fortunate to land a job in the industry. Final exam on Friday, orientation at new job on Monday is the most ideal situation I could think of. Even though I currently work an entry level position in the industry, ultimately, I do want more. While I don’t undervalue what I do, running a board is not the way to reach the most people. I want to reach people on a large scale. I want to share my thoughts, opinion, and ideas with them.
I have strong writing. Nobody will read you if you if your writing is not solid, and keep you drawn in (I mean, you’ve read this far already). I agree that blogging is supremely important in the evolving world of sports media. I’ll deliver some facts and analysis, as well as some opinion. I like numbers, and typically use them to support an argument, but stats are then end-all be-all of what works. Will my opinions be on par with everyone else? Of course not. Will you want to engage me because of it? Absolutely.
Additionally, I’ve performed as an Amateur Stand-up comic. There truly is no money in Comedy, but I enjoy getting in a room of total strangers and telling jokes. It requires a certain charisma and nerve to do this. Eagerly awaiting the Joke-off portion of the competition.
The path that led me to this is a bit unconventional, but ultimately, my aspirations are the same as my “competition”. I hope, regardless of who wins, this contest creates some camaraderie among the young, talented folks trying to catch a break in this business. I’m just as much a fan of this process as I am a part of it. I’ve read the other blogs, and there are several others with some true literary skills.
However, on twitter, I’ve followed a few people in this competition, and didn’t get a follow back…but I digress. You can follow me @jamestfinn. I don’t always tweet sports, but it is interesting.
Here’s to the next few weeks. If anything I’ve said resonates with you, please comment below.
note: the Letter “I” was used 465 times during this blog. While I did speak about myself a lot, the most used letter was “T”, with 577 usages.