Loving What You Do

I’m 30 years old and happy with my life. It isn’t quite how I expected it but I am content with what I have and don’t focus on what I don’t have.

Looking back to when I was 18 years old, I wanted to do play-by-play for sporting events. I hoped to do it as a career and called games in high school and college. I wondered if I would go from small high school gyms to larger press boxes. At that point in my life, calling games was fun for me and I wanted to do it every opportunity I could get.

College rolled around and calling games still continued to be a passion of mine, however, moving away from my hometown of Solon opened other doors for me. I could put behind any frustrations I had growing up in Solon behind and start over. Not many people knew me when I stepped onto campus my freshman year and it was an opportunity for me to start a new beginning.

After not getting the Assistant Sports Director position at the campus radio station, I continued to call games but other avenues opened up. I eventually became and Assistant Promotions Director for this station and found I was good at event planning, organized and knew more about marketing than I anticipated. It taught me how to work with others and be a leader.

I never pictured myself as a leader at all before that point. Leading people, taking charge and working towards a goal was never something I believed I could do until I took that Assistant Promotions Director position. I found talents I never knew I had and my confidence grew.

I eventually became the Promotions Director for this station and realized even more that I had a business side in me. I never pictured myself at all as being someone who was good at marketing and promoting a product before I started college. In just two years away from home, I proved myself wrong.

While doing this, I continued to call games on a part-time basis. I still get a thrill out of announcing and managed to still call football and basketball games my senior year in college. One of my favorite memories was calling a play known as “The Shot Heard Around the Rike Center” when Otterbein, my alma mater, beat rival Capital in Women’s basketball on a half-court shot at the buzzer. I recall a smile on my face after calling that one and realized how much I loved it.

Graduation from college came and with a slow job market for young professionals, I decided to move back home and entered the “business world.” There were no games for me to announce as I started my first 9-5 job where I reported to a cubicle in an office instead of a small college or high school sports venue. For the first time since I was 15, I didn’t have a single opportunity to announce again.

A couple years passed and an opportunity fell into my lap with the help of Facebook. A neighbor of mine whose son was on the Solon hockey team asked me if I would be interested in calling the hockey game for Solon Educational Television (SETV). I had called games for SETV in high school and it took me a minute to realize an opportunity fell into my lap. I knew the Solon hockey team played at the Gilmour Ice Rink, which didn’t have a pressbox or media area. It also has a reputation of being cold inside but I didn’t care; I wanted a microphone and a game to call.

That hockey game has turned into opportunities to announce football, wrestling, volleyball and basketball. Viewing it more as a hobby, I still get the same excitement going into the same gyms and high school sports venues I frequented as a teenager. The venues aren’t as big as the ones in the multimillion dollar venues professional and big time colleges use that doesn’t matter to me. What matters most is I still get a chance to do something I love.



~ by jeffrsabo on February 14, 2015.

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