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And So She Goes
And So She Goes

Episode 15 · 1 year ago

14. Kathryn Tappen, Host and Reporter, NBC Sports

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Growing up and spending all of her career in the Northeast has provided Kathryn really incredible opportunities to cover a multitude of sports, teams, and players. She knew that she wanted to a sports broadcaster from an early age (middle school to be exact) and after playing college sports, she worked hard to get into the business. In this episode, Kathryn and I talk about the NHL's new plan to return to game action, what players and coaches are thinking during this time, and how NBC Sports is planning their broadcast coverage. We dive into the beginning of her career in local news, learning how to take criticism from people you trust, and knowing it's okay to reach the top and still be working on yourself.

Conversations with real women who makesports happen, this is, and so she goes, here's your host, Amanda Borgeous, hello there. I hope you're having agood week if you're new, to the show. Thank you for tuning in the purpose ofthis podcast is to highlight women at the top of their game. In the sportsworld, I've spent the last several years as a sports broadcaster hoppingaround from Florida to New York and California, covering multiple teams andsports and through those adventures, I've been inspired by so many awesomewomen in this industry. So I started this show to share their stories andhopefully inspire a few people along the way. Before I introduce my guestthis week, I want to encourage you to listen to my last episode. If youhaven't already it's a very open and honest conversation with my friend ES PN N SL reporter Kimberley Martin, we talk about race, we talk aboutacknowledging privilege and what to do about it. We talk about becomingcomfortable being uncomfortable, and I'm just so appreciative of honestylike that right now. I hope you've had some encouraging conversations duringthis critical time. In our country, so I want to try something new. This weekI've been seeking positive news lately and I'm sure you could use an upliftingstory as well, so I'm going to start giving out, and so she goes awardsevery week. This is to highlight a woman who experienced hardship or had aproblem, and so she went to find a solution or inspire others through herventures. This week the award goes to Bellin Woodard. She is nine years oldand she started a non profit called the more than peach project. She realizedthat peach was the only crayon color used for skin color, and so she decidedto create kits with a multicle trall palate, so kids of all skin colorswould feel included. How amazing is that you can follow her and donate atmore than peach project on instrogram. Also, thanks to my friend Annakenanhost of the selfmade sister podcast for sharing bellans story. First, so Icould find it okay now for my guess this week, Katherine Tathin is a hostand reporter for NBC Sports. If you're a hockey fan, you watch her in studiohosting PREGAME intermission and post game reports during NHL Games on NBCsports. She also covers noter dame as the Syland reporter for collegefootball broadcasts. Catherine has a contagious personality and she is supersupportive of everyone she meets. We recorded this episode right after theNHL announced its plan to return to play. So we talk about what that willlook like from a broadcastindpoint and also what players and coaches arefeeling ahead of their return. I also want to mention that this interview wasrecorded before the black lives matter. Movement began. So please keep that inmind as you listen, we do not mention anything related to what's going on andthat's simply because it hadn't started. Yet we also talk about her journey,starting in local news working for NL Network and getting to cover countlessamazing sporting events like the Olympics, superbowls winner, classicsand so much more here is my chat with NBC sports host and reporters CatherineTappen, Hey Catherine. How are you I amenda?I'm doing great thank you for asking and thank you so much for having me on.I'm really excited I'm M, I'm thilled for you and the progress you've madewith this. So I'm I'm really honored to just be a part of it today, but I'mdoing great, I'm hanging in there. I think, as best as I can just likeeverybody else in the world right now. Well, thank you for saying that I amhonored that you are joining me M and I'm thrilled to dive in to you and yourcareer and I'm glad you're doing well. I know that you are inte hub of kind ofall the craziness, so I'm sure it's been kind of scary up there for youright yeah, it's been you K, ow. I live in New York City and I I think thefirst couple of weeks were the worst just because every day brought forth adifferent kind of uncertainty, a different kind of fear. You know thesirens, the helicopters overhead, yet the deafening silence on the streets ofnobody around and it was just very eerie and so that took some gettingused to. I n't well, we certainly didn't ever get used to it, but we gotinto this aspect of this is the new norm and m. You know I got my routineand checked it took me a while, and we went from like a hundred and fiftymiles an hour doing the NHL fight to the finish line of the bergular seasonto just dead, stop nothing oer the way. Er O say your house for the next sixweeks. So I ad to find a new normal ANM, a verygroutine oriented person, I'm a very tas oriented person. So when I have toomuch free time on my hands, I I don't...

...even know what to do so. Yeah I got aNvertine just got back to running more frequently in central park. I did havethe Lugury of central parks that kind of became my little oasis and 'm. I'mso grateful that that I had it and that I still continue to have it. I'velearned every little nook and cranny I think of that park, and I justappreciate it so much more than I ever did so. But you know we're through thethick of it. I think we flatten the curve and hopefully heading in thepasive direction of reopening some places in the near future. Definitely,I feel, like we've all sort of fallen into a quarantine, routine n. Ifyouwould ask at the beginning, you'd be like no, I'm ready to you know, go backto work or whatever, but I think we've we're sort of used to this for worse orfor better but you're, not part of the crowd. That's used this quarantine totake a break for wor. If anything, I feel like you might be working morethan you usually do. Can you give us a synopsis of some of the content thatyou've been creating from home for N B C Sports Yeah? I I actually feel likeI'm working harder, because it's more difficult for me to run audioengineering lighting computer. I mean all of that from my living room. Ittook some time to get used to and a lot of orders and shipments fom Amazon toget the proper things I needed and NBC certainly sent me some great equipmentas well, but m. We you know I was, as I mentioned earlier. I was reallyuncertain what my life was going to look like working from home, becausewithout sports and without television, what use am I I just felt completelyuseless professionally and then the first weekend. You know I get a callfrom our producers Ar like okay, we're going to do hockey happy hour everynight on ndcsn and you and leam are going to front some intros and we'regoing to have you record them in your house and and then all of a sudden itbecame the NHL wanted me to partake in this hockey at home series, which runsonce a week. We have an episode, and so every week we record those actually didmine. Today you ov different players, W we come up with a theme each week m.You know this week, it's hockey players and female hockey, players M and therelationship between them. So we've got you know a brother Sister Combo we'vegot a cousin's Combo and we have a husband, wite Cambot, which is reallycoloh yeah. So those you K, ow. Those different things have kept me reallybusy. I continue to make appearances on my TERICO's lunch.Talk, live, show, IE, hosted that once for him just to give him a littlereprieve as well. I've done anything anybody's asked. I mean you reached outand wanted me to go in the hotat o o on it every day, Tae e, you know, and I'mjust trying to give back as best as I can, because you know what I don't havethe time during the year to really you know freely make my schedule availablebecause we're always on the road we're always working so many hours and nightsand weekends and Y W. You always find a way to fit things in, but it's not aseasy. So I'm trying to use this time to really reach out on anybody that needsanything. I'm happy to help, and you know in recent weeks I've done a lot ofum videos for college students and college athletes, as I was as well just trying to reach out tothem and offer them some kind of positive hope for what's going on rightnow, 'cause they they certainly redelt a crummy deck of cards there. So M.really that's been my busy quote. UNQUOTE, I'm trying to read a lot ofthe books on my nights stand an I haven't been able to get to recentlyand I keep a journal and you know staying fit golfing tennis whatever,but I certainly am looking forward to my real routine. I hope it comes backsoon. I think that that's one of the coolestthings I've seen at least in the sports space, is a lot of people just like youreally are to advantage of this time and reaching out to other people togive them advice or like going live with a fellow broadcaster to like giveadvice to recent grads or answer questions, and that's so cool because,like you said, people like you, don't have the time during normal life and itit's kind of cool, because I'm sure you want to have the time to do that. Andnow you actually do get that time to get back yeah. It's true and m. Youknow, that's, you have to find a silver lining, and everything and and I've I'e certainly had my dark days likeeverybody has and you've got to find a way to kind of pull yourself out ofthose weeds, and one of the most inspiring things for me to do is togive back and I've always loved, giving back I've always loved, sharing,whatever I've learned in the industry or just in life, because I had so manywonderful mentors who were able to do that for me. So it's the best way topay it forward and it's the right thing to do, and I also enjoy it. So I m I'mreally grateful that I've had people reach out t. You know that people evenconsider me in such a light to be able to you know, request to have me ontheir codcast or whatever it may be, or their show, and it it's given me hope.It's given me like making me feel my sense of worth is back and that's a bigpart of this quaranting period. I mean people feel lost, they feel alone. Theyfeel you know like. You are...

...professionally just losing time withevery day that goes by what what am I doing to advance my career? I mean it'svery hard to reat or Yam a big research. I research constantly twenty four,seven, all the notes. I get a D, a research, packets and up until the newscame up the nel three days ago, nd some N, F, L, packets, I've got and there'snot much to even research right, nowt, 'cause, there's nothing happening sorig t all of these things. I think we're starting to see the trend upwords, but I've I've really enjoyed chatting with you know. People like youand anybody else in the industry. 's been fun. Well, I know that Iappreciate it so it does. It does go a long way M. I'mso glad that you brought up the Nagel announcement by the way we wererecording this just a few days after this announcement, but the NAL has aplan in place for play to resume. I don't think we ever thought we wouldsee the day. I know there are still some details towork out, but basically the twenty nineteen. Twenty twenty regular seasonis complete and now there will be a twenty fourteen playoff format on thebroadcast side. How are you guys prepping for that? Well, we certainly are prepared for alot of games that are going to happen in a short amount of time. Um we againwithout a very concrete plan in place as to when these Games are going tostart or when our cover jist going to start. You know: Do we start coveringsome of the training camps in different cities? Do we start? You know therewill be two cities with twelve teams. We will have some sort of a presence inthose areas, but very very small. I mean most of what we do at this time ofyear is on the road and that won't be happening this time, we're going toutilize what we've learned with R at home devices try to incorporate as manyof us as we can from home to make it safer. We will also have a small Um.You know small presents in our studios in Stamford, Connecticut, very verysmall. I mean our our numbers are probably a quarter to of what they werein studio I' talking. You know, camera guys, and you know what I consideredessential is now. You know probably part of phase three four beingessential right now, so there will be a limited staff in Stanford, but we'regoing to make it happen. I'm excited for the schedule. I think it's going tobe a lot like a world championships or like the Olympics. where I mean we areworking. Those Olympic Games, like nine, a m until nine P M and you're justgoing one after another after another- and I mean the day- flies by 'cause,it's just such high energy and so much fun, but but we will have yeah we'llhave all of that on NBC and NBCSM and we'll have our team in place and somecapacity, and you know social distancing in studio of course, so it'sgoing to make different, it's definitely going to be different. Ihave a little bit of anxiety thinking about the differences I'm going to haveto learn to adjust to, but I mean anything to get sports back anddoing it in the proper way. I think the leadership group of the NHL has justbeen outstanding from day one in forming fans and forming all of us on aregular basis. Gary Bepman's been doing that and then putting this return toplay in place, even though we don't have a specific date, we at least knowwhat's happening, and that gives people so much hope and something to talkabout. We have matchups ow to talk about, which is really cool. It's veryexciting and th. The one question I have, which I don't even know- if youcan answer this- I mean I just know what it's like to covergames and go in locker rooms, and you know attend press conferences and Ifeel like that's not going to be a reality when play resumes right. Likethings were very different from a media standpoint, they will be very differentand I was listening to Tim Leden, who is one of our outstanding contributorson NBC Sports Com. He has covered everything um every big event, inparticular the Kentucky Derby- and I heard you know him talking to MyeTerico about this and there's so much information you get when you're in thatlocker room, and I know fans probably don't appreciate it as much. But youknow you get so much information from players Um. You know in a very uniquesetting where they're willing to talk or after practice or before practiceyou catch them in the hallway, and you can really get some interesting nuggetsfrom them when you least expect it, but because you're around them or your faceto face with them. This is going to present a totally different aspect ofcovering sports, and you know there will be fiends that everybody in themediais going to hear the same responses from player, so you have tonative with what you're going to interpret from what they say, but I Idon't think that's going to last forever. I think once a vaccene happens,maybe it's a year two years, two months who knows, I think we will graduallysee a lot of what we had before implemented back into the system ofcovering sports, but for now yeah we're going to have to adjust to big time,changes and m. You know there's that human to human contact is so importantwhen you're developing relationships with people that you need to have thoserelationships with there's nothing that beats the face to face and Um it's it'snow gone, so you have to find another...

...way to get it, but I I I've. No doubt Imean we're at the top of our field. We know w. We know we have to makeadjustments. We have to be leaders we have to set Thewe, have basically showhow it's done and that's the big challenge for us right now. Have you been able to talk with anyplayers or coaches who have expressed how they're feeling about returning I'massuming there's a lot of excitement, but there has to be some level ofanxiety right. Yes, I I have I've spoken to a number of players and anumber of coaches and general managers through our shows that we've been doingalso personally, the context that I have that I've reached out to degaugekind of what the pulse is on this, I would say an overwhelming amount, arkswell, they're, all excited to return. There is some hesitation from someplayers, certainly players with preexisting conditions or spouses athome, who are expecting or little ones at home that they're not going to haveto be. You know, removed from for a long period of time, especially if theycontinue to play in this playoff format, but they recognize that this is asacrifice they have to make and if you want to get back to your craft and ifyou want to get paid and if you want to continue to get paid next season, andif you want your sport to continue to be relevant and not take ahead ofmissing a whole season and meet all these things have to be considered.There is nothing normal in any industry anywhere on the planet. Right now you Kow. I have friends a D, a sister who are in the financial world. I have avery good friend who's, an attorney I mean my agent, like everybody, is goingthrough some kind of a challenge where you have to make a sacrifice in orderto continue your business, so the players are going to have to o also andas I think they have full trust in themedical personnel that are enlisted to make sure that things stay safe and theNA JL has an incredible staff in place. That's going to monitor you knowtemperatures, however many times a day, testing whatever needs to be done,quarantinine the players making sure that every single thing that happens,what they're touching? What the're I mean. Ie read the twenty two pagedocument just about everything from water bottles, on the benches, tolouding to all of this means all being considered at such a finite level ofdetail that they have put forth to insure the safety of these players. Soif the players can trust that safety plan and if they can feel comfortableenough with their conditioning after probably a two week or three week,training camp, then they'll be ready to go. I think they're prepared yeah, it's definitely better sweet,like you said T, there's excitement for for everyone to get back to some sortof normal sea, but then it's also a little scary and there's a lot of workthat goes into staying safe. Now before we start rambling about hockey's return'cause. I know we can talk about that forever. I do I want to dive into yourcareer. So let's go back to the beginning, rewind a little bit. Whatwas your first job out of college? My first job, I won a well. Let me justback up a little bit. I was a journalism major. I knew when I was ineighth grade. I want to be a sports broadcaster, Playe sports love, sportslove, pollet speaking, so that's just the path that I thought I wanted. Ofcourse, we all think we want to do something until we get into it, but Iwas also an athlete in college and I was three sports forty four years allfour years I was there, so I didn't have a ton of time to dedicate towardsthe TV program that was at rekers. Like the extracurricular. You know people goand put their resume. Rials together and they'd go to the T v Stationd inthe radio station and get reps after raps after raps, I had zero reps when Igraduated college because of my commitment to my athletics. So when Igraduated I had made this like total boot Lige tape- I don't even know whereit is. I did a couple of standups around campus that my friend filmed forme and then I edited a couple packages on friends of mine who were one of myreally good guy friends Wa an going to be drafted noon o Rof Base Awso like Idid a story on him and I put this tape together and I sent it out there usedto be a website called TV job COM. I sent it out everywhere around thecountry and just that still exists. Is it Oh, my Hotin, so I hope it Oes,because I think it was a good platform, as you could see like where all thelocal jobs were, but I was getting either. I wouldn't even hear back fromplaces. I set my tape to, or I just get a rejection letter and I'm talking likemarket number, one hundred and seventy five and oe go I living at New YorkCity, you know so, but when I graduated the summer I graduated I had had aninternship the year before a B C sports and one of my men tors at a BC sportsTimbernetti who, to this day s one of my closest confidants and friends. Hesaid Hey. He was an executive at CS, T V, which was college force television.They had just launched that summer and they were doing this competition forlike the dream job and they were doing an audition in July. They brought itabout a hundred and fifty people from around the country. Some withexperience a with no experience SOM wanting to be on air. Like myself- andit was a two day- competition and at the end of the second day I won it. SoI became their new honair. You know...

...reporter, but then it was okay. When doI start work and I did such sporadic assignments for them. It was like someweeks I'd Bein on a Friday for quick little updates some weeks. It wouldtake a couple of weeks. They'd asked me to go due. I did a football story athostre university, I remember, but bit by bit I was able to put each one ofthose stories together on a resume real, a new resume real, with beautifulstudio lighting and properly produced and edited and shot and everything. Sothis new resumereal I got after about a year working at CSTV, and I again sentit out to many different M markets and Providence Rhode Island needed aweekend sports anchor week day reporter. So that was the January of two thousand and five andtwo year about a yea and a half af or graduat od college, and so I sent itthere and lone behold. They they hired me frank, arpanol. The longtime sportsdirector brought me up for an interview and offered me the job, and I thinkthat was really the meat and potatoes job that I needed to get into business. And that's what I consider to be thefirst like real T, V job 'cause. You learn how to cut and edit in local news.I mean there's nothing like it so, but the official first job was C S: t DCollege sports out of college, a random audition. I loved that I love it you.It was a competition that you won too, because that doesn't always happen alot of times. It's submitting to a gazillion places and all it takes isone in a place. You've never heard of to just kindof give you a shot well onthe Celevrit ts for the competition were people that I had grown up. A Dlike idolizing, Bonny, Burnsteen, Gole, guss, Johnson, Brian Baldinger and MSid Rosenburg, who was a big P personality here in New York for awhile, and I just remember, standing in front of the floor of them being likeokay, I watchd you on the NFL, an the Sun Watcho in college basketball, and Iwas like my heart- was coming out of my chest and I was just ready to crumbleinto a hole and die. LIKERI ended up. You know winning that audition, but itwas. It was incredibly ner racking and I remember they sent me home in a blacktown. Har It was like midnight was still living at my parents' house, justin in New Jersey, and I remember the Limma like drove me up. The drivewayand my parents came out a d. They were so excited. I felt like I was a rockstar. I was like owel that I know I had not yet made it at all on ago, but itwas yeah. It was really fun really fun. I don't really want to go down thisrabbid hole, but I know if you want to tell one quick story feel free, but int.I never went to the local news routbut. I know a lot of people that did and from the stories I've heard. It is such a character builder that I kneellike a lot of people are so successful because they had to do anything andeverything in local news, and it was such a grind. I remember just beingkind of bright eyed and wanting to do everything and wanting to be a part ofevery event that they were doing. I I don't ever remember wanting to give up,and maybe it's because I've had this inner fire. Since I was a kid to dothis and I I truly feel like I was born to do this, I'm just so grateful that Ihad people give me the opportunities along the way in the stepping stones tomake it happen. But I do remember local news being youknow I was making no money and living in Providence, Rhode, island which isnot cheap. It's you know it's a feter market to Boston and I just remembernot knowing how to balance my finances and not knowing you know when it wouldg when I would be able to reach the next level. You just never know Um, butthe events I got to cover were pretty cool because we had you know the Bostonteams and those big events. So every Wednesday I was at the Patriots, Iwould cover some red sox games, but I was also covering you know: The ptacketRed Soks and the Providence Bruins and all the minor league teams for the bigteams up in Boston. So actually to this day I mean like John Lester- was one ofthe first players I enterviewed for the PASSOK and he's now I mean my gosh, thesuperstar World Series Chan, all star Chicago Cubspec, Pitcher, Dosenpetoria,Atri, bogerot of the Boston Bruins I mean Patrice and I basically started inprovidence together during the lockout year. So it s. You know it's amazing.What kind of relationships you develop in the industry and you look back a'm,like my Gosh I've. I've pretty much followed petrice's career since day,one it feels like and you kN W. You always have that bond. Whenever I seehim you know we know each other, and so I think that's another reason why it'sso important to start at the smaller markets, because you learn a lot andyou learn a lot about you're, enteryingto sports and also you canmake your mistakes at that level. I mean I I I really cautiond peoplecoming out of college that have their sites on ESPN and NBC sports and CBSsports a'm like just be patient. If you want it, you'll get there, but you wantto get your kinks out and you want to get those mistakes out on local T V,because you'll get a second chance of...

...hopeful T v. You won't at the networklevel, and so it's so important. It's like anything in life. You've got T,you got to pay your dues and do it the proper way. If you do do it that way,the doors will start to open and you won't feel like you're tracped in onemarket and you're never going to get out of it totally. Honestly, startingsmall is the way to go. I have experience and that as well and supersmall family owned radio snations and I loved my time there. It was y. Youlearn so much when you get to do everything because you're not going todo everything at big networks. They have people to do everything for you.You need to learn how to do every little thing for yourself. Not onlywill it help, you be more well rounded, but you totally appreciate it more onceyou get to that big network m speaking othe to like you, learn the importance ofthe local fan base now on network television, I'mconstantly bringing in the element of the fan and why it's important that acertain team has whole mice or homefield advantage. You know whythere's such an overwhelming, you know response by the home fans and they holdyou accountable, especially in markets Andnewingtham like providence in Bostonand those fans will tell you they know more about their team than e Se a op asAntountable, and you learn the poles of why those fan bases are so important tothe history of the franchises that yare covering one thousand percent. Ilearned that in New York, firsthand ehour spot on antersmans yeah they'regreat di Har Hard. Do you remember your audition for NBC?So my I guess, you'd call at my audition Um in two thousand andfourteen the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. They needed an extra host for hockey.Leoa mccu was their primary host and with all the Games and all the days andall the events of this condensed, you know two weeklong tournament. Theyneeded an extra host. I was a host at the time on the NAGOL network, hostingan ajell tonight all night long, every night, every day you know all morning,Wong it with loop, so people I had a lot of eyeballs on me in the League. Wewere in every lock room every morning. It's like now an age all network. Imean you turn it on nd, that's where you're geting yoaecel news in theUnited States, so Sam Flood, the M executive producer atmb c sports, had reached out to my agent and said You K, ow we'd like tobring her in. We know she can do the job we'd like to bring our SOCI with us,so that was kind of my audition was, you know, go overseas and I flew overwith T USA and I ended up doing the N B c. That was my first time working withNBC working with the producers, and I got I got some harsh criticism. Imean they it's it's amazing how I thought I wasdoing pretty well on the itell network, and then I mean every pretty much everyday in SOCI I was getting emails from my producer and also Sam Flood, andthey were holding me accountable to the words coming out of my mouth, to youknow, t everything from what I was saying to how I was saying it to theway I was raising. My questions to the analysts, everything so that was a real wakeup call for me,because I got out of Soche and first of all I was so thrilled and over the moonto cover my first Olympic Games. I was so excited to be given the opportunityto work for N B C Sports, hoping that it would lead to a full timeopportunity. My deal was up that following summer with the ANATELnetwork, but also a little bit fearful. I was like wow, you know you don't justget to the top and just kind of ride your rike, the rest of the way andnobody comes up and and holds you accountable. I mean it's, it's actuallyharder because you have so much more pressure and so many more eye balls andso much more money, and I mean there's advertising dollars. ORS marking do anyou really have to be incredibly on point all the time andnot to say that I wasn't at an ancell network. I just think that I got into areally nice rhythm and was super comfortable, and I knew my routine andI had to shift a lot of that when I got to NB c sports and because they wantedsomething different, they needed something different, and I had toprovide that. So it was a great I' d consider that, like my tryout, myaudition was going overseas to Sochi and and working with them on theOlympics and then sure enough that summer of twenty fourteen they offeredme a full time contract come over. That's incredible! Not everyone gets toaudition at the Olympics and use like covering the Olympic thing. Asa, raterOto, reading e Promter, and I love asking this sex question, because it'sdifferent for everyone being good in front of the camera is something thatrequires multiple skills. As you know, was there a point in your career whereit just kindof clicked for you and you, you learned how to be yourself whenthat red light came on HM. That's a really good question. I still feel like.I have worked to accomplish with withonair. U I the One thing: I knowthat I bring on camera. Iswhat you see...

...on camera is really me. I don't try tobe anybody different. I don't I I certainly articulatey, probably alittle bit better, but my voice sounds the same. I'm the same. The way I askethe questions of the guse is the same. I would if I was sitting at dinner withthem, so I think that authenticity is kind of what' allowed me to start to try and develop my otherskills. You know work harder at the more detail, the details, and you knowthe research and all of that stuff, but I don't remember, like I don't rememberit clicking. I just I just remember feeling starting tofeel confident and I'd say that that was even more recent than than not Imean takes a long time. You can be confident, but, like e enoughconfidence to know that I got this no matter what happens I mean that takesyears to develop and it takes a lot of things to happen behind the scenes foryou to develop. It's all about. You know raps and it's all about experienceand I've certainly dealt with so many things that happen off camera behindthe scenes in my earpiece on the set whatever it may be, and we can't letany of it I mean none of that goes on the air. You would never even know it,but that's because we do what we're supposed to do a D and make sure thatyou know those theye. I wouldn't even say mistakes. It's just sometime stuffhappens. You know you hear cheering of the crowd or somebody says something inthe audience that you've got to make sure you defelect. So all of thosethings come with experience and I think the more and more experience you have.It helps boost your confidence and Um. You know it's, it's definitely aprocess. It takes a long long time. So I can't remember like a specific light.Bull point off like I got this, but I think it's a combination of being meand being genuine and being sincere as to who I am on camera and also learninghow to juggle a lot in the mistofe chaos or in the midst of anythinghappening. I can candle it yeah and I love how you said thatyou're still working on it, because I think it's so easy for women inparticular to see another woman on t V and be like. Oh, she has it alltogether. She knows exactly what she's doing like I want to be her and thenyou end up talking to them and and they're more similar to you than youthink as the viewer like. Yes, of course, she's worked really hard to gethere and she does know what she's doing, but you know she's still working on hercrap just like anyone else it doesn't. It doesn't happen overnight, like yousaid, and you can still make it and be successful while still continuing togrow and learn yeah, and I think you know I talk about this. A Lot with withmy Tericos, a dear friend of mine, but we speak to note ame. We speak to oneof ther journalism, classes at least once a year when we're out therecovering games- and you know he reiterates the point allthe time with these students. Just that you know he and I and our producer inour director like we have yet to have a perfect broadcast, and I mea I'meighteen years under the industry, he's you know more than that, and you justalways lead the broadcast thing man I could ave could have done it this way.I should have done that way and that's what makes you great at trying to get better, becauseyou always have something in the back of your mind telling you you know whatdo it? Maybe this way that next time or consider this when you're calling thehighlights and try and weave this fact in there and m you know I work withsome incredible all of them just great producers, researchers and they offersugget they're, not afraid of me. They don't put me Oun a pedestal. They offerme suggestions o' ways to get better. You know I've got one PROUCO that howlsme all the time, because I'm always like. Let's take a look he's like stopsaying: Let's take a look, we know we're going to take a Lo of thehighlight or why I obviously have thes cutch words that I lead on to try andtransition and he's like get rid of them all so they're they're willing tohelp me get better, and I think, every day, if you try to get better, thenyou're going to continue to move forward in the industry. It's just youknow, never accepting that you're great or never accepting. You know that youthink you're in a great position here. I've got my new contract, I'm ready togo a I'm going to be here for four or five years or whatever you can neverget comfortable, because there's always someone behind you, that's better,smarter, F! It's prettier that, whatever you think they are on camerawho's, snipping at your heels. Well, it's also huge, like you said, to justbe open to feedback, because if you think that you can't get better thanyou're right, you can' and you're just going to stay there, but y. You reallyneed to be open to feed back. Even when it's tough to hear therethere weretimes there have Ben Times where I'm like, Oh, like that was good. I didreally well and then someone's like well actually see what you did here andI'm like Oh shoot, you're right, but if, if your clothes minded, I guess whatI'm trying to say is that m you're just going ta stay stagnant and the only wayfor any of us to grow and anything we do is to take feedback and learn how toapply it to our craft right, and I don't think anybody likes criticism, Imean Oly, you certainly don't hear somebody say hey, you know you couldhave done it this way and you didn't...

...you know and and say well, that's allright! I don't care, you know. I mean if you ere, if you're anyy, INTRESTA,bar petter or or human being, you know, you're. Certainly not going to enjoycriticism, but for me what I've learned is you have to take it from the people.You Trust you can't take it from everybody, you can't take it fromtwitter. I mean I have people that love me and hate youtwitter and trust me. Isee the hate comments and I that's what sticks with me for a couple of hoursbefore I'm able to totally shift my attention away from that and that'sjust natural Youd, naturally kind of think about the negatives versus thepositives. So I always say you know, take the criticism from people, youtrust and respect and who have your back. I know the people that are strongenough to come to me and say this was not the way we want it. We would preferit this way, or I think you should have said you know, phrase your questionthis way or whatever it may be. You Know My boss, Mike terico friends ofmine in the industry. I mean m. That is what you need to focus on, or thepeople that you know have your back they're, not just criticizing you. Forthe sake of criticizing you or making themselves feel better because they'redoing it, it's people that you know are doing it for the reason to make youbetter. Yep Yo've got to pick your people for ur Ya. I got oter people,that's a huge oter people, that's yeah, that's huge too, which we could diveinto having a support system is huge, especially in this industry. That's forsure he brought up mytrico a couple of times. He brought up noter damefootball. How would you compare sideline andstudio work? It is completely different, you're working a lot in studio forhockey and then Youe Workin, the Siland for a noter Dame what's the biggestdifference between the two. Would you say, Oh boy, there's so many M. I think the biggest difference is onthe sidelines of a football game. There are so many unknowns, whereas when youare in studio it's a controlled environment, you have your run down.You have your general idea of where you want to go in the intermissions. Youhave your analists next to you. That for me, is kind of. Like my wingman, Ilike having him there, I know I can go to him if I need to or I can control itmyself, your cot pilot, if you will, when I'mon the sidelines, I mean it's chaos, it's football sidelines.There's players, I'm keeping an eye on there's, coaches, there's injuries,there's crowd noise! There's a band behind me. You know I've got my two earpieces in trying to block out the sound so mike and dug, and everybody elsetearing mccolli Arborles analyst they're, like blasting in my ears. You have your storylines that you thinkyou might want to get to. I usually go in with a number of stories from eachteam about different players or really cool aspects of their life or whatthey're doing in their studies- and you know we hardly get to any of them,because the game tells the story and my job on the sidelines to be the eyes andears that Mike and dug can't see because they're not down there atground level. I hear the clinbing of the helmets. I can't tell you how manytimes I winced during the game, because I'm like Oh my gosh- that guy like he just broke all hislimbs, but he doesn't. He gets up place the next snap but UM. You know et'scrazy. How loud it is when you're right there it it's so so I I just think thatthe the unknown on tha sideline are very challenging. Um Studio hasdifferent challenges, but it's not. You don't have to deal with all of that. Inthe background I am physically and mentally exhausted. When that game endsnoter am we goon a flight to come home? I mean I'm really just fried and the weak of prepis tough.You know you're on calls a lot you're on site for a couple o days, leating upto the game or a studio. You know you're in and out, usually in the sameday, so it's different, it's very very different, but I love people always askme to ask me: What do you like more and I'm like I like that I get to do bothbecause I never get bored I'm constantlychallenged in both, and you know when I, when I do a studio, double header on aWednesday night and I'm on a plane first thing Thursday morning, to go toan Oter Dame game. You have to you really have to learn to pit it and toprioritize your time, because I can't obviously pret fer no to am on aWednesday when I'm creping for two hockey games and vice versa. I can'tprefer my hockey games on a friay or Saturday when I'm on Sidt and south bed.Just can't do it. So you learn time management really well doing it thatway. So listeners, if you think you're busy during the fall just remember whatCatherine goes through, we clis gointo be crazy. So I feel like every sport onthe plant is going to start at the SA Ia. I know which is exciting and terrifying,all the Samemore to describe it ye I better enjoy the quorintin which I'mnot enjoying at all, that Betti enjoyit is downtime, because it's just going togo right back up tole, a hundred and fifty degrees exactly what is yourmethod to getting athletes to open up to you and be authentic on camera? Thatis a skill yeah I mean, I think, some guys certainly open up to me and othersthat I've you know covered and talked to hundreds of times still don't it'sall about their personalities. What's really challenging is when you talk toa guy off camera and we do this a lot.

You know, for example, with the NLplayer medeotor. Well, we will sit down twenty eight of the League's topplayers over the course of two days on sight. Wherever the MEDIATORA is lastyear was in Chicago and you usually get the star of each tean. You'll getAliobechkin Sidney Crosbie. Now you name it that anybody is t y ow, NAAMackinnen was there this year, Patrick, can Jonathan Taves and I bant her withthem off camera and they're. Just they're awesome, you know and they'reshooting the breeze of me and telling me about their life and Bah Blah Blahand then like as soon as that red light goes on. It is totally different and sothe way I try to balance it is, I get them comfortable, a little bitbeforehand, a d and also just being genuine. I think you know a lot of guysin the league. In particular, the noter am crew that I'm around a lot. They recognize that you're not out toget them. You know I'm not out there, I'm not I'm, not an insider, I'm nottrying to get information on their contract status. I might ask them thequestion, but they know that I'm not going to be disrespectful and I'veearned the respect of their trust and, at the end of the day, sometimesthey're going to open up, and sometimes they won't. I did a zoom call duringthis quorantine with Wangretski and Alioveckin, and it was we d it we didit for broadcast. It was an incredible interview. I wish I had the opportunityto set them both down in person to do it, but these were the times, and thiswas the opportunity and ungrateful t legue called me to do it, but it wasthe most handid I've ever seen. Alisobechkin and it started with youknow before the call he's trying to log in he had trouble with his visual. Hewas, he was humanized and I think he knew like this is a setting where we'reall t t trying to make it happen and make it work and hey. It's okay, W'llbe like Chang up relog into the log in Forzoum and we'll get you back and Yo.It was almost like he let his guard now 'cause. He realized. You know. This isthe way it is, and this is the setting I'm in my house, and he was great. Healso was so excited to be on a call with Wayn. I know they are theirfriends and they check im with each other from time to time. But you know in those situations it's youhave to take advantage of the fact that you have this. I knew I had O in a verycandid manner, so that's when you can ask some certain questions. It may bewhen he's all buttoned up in a business suit at the player mediator ant- and Iyou know a week before the season starts talking about whatever it may be,it's a totally different setting. So it's just you really have to gaugeyour environment. You've got to gauge that players' mood. That day, I mean Tit's a challenge, and I mean I certainly don't have it masterdthereare times where I don't get anything out of players and it's superfrustrating, but a lot of it. His personality based a lot of it. Hisguies just don't want to open up and that's fine. You know they're not paidto open up to the media, they're play to play a sport and do it well and youknow, win championships. So it's it's always a constant thing. Itry to improve and I think you know just certain guys- it's harder than others absolutely, and I totally share yoursentiment of frustration when you're ch chatting with a guy and you're like Oh,this is going to be great, he's he's opened up and this is awesome and thered light comes on and do the interview and you ended and you're like, but wewere just having fun and chat like. Where was that during the interview Iknow and y? U W alow has to do when you're intervewing a player right aftera game. Their mind is not they're celebrating their win. They're, likeyou know, ifiving with their teammates and all of a sudden they turn and lookat you and you're ready with like two hard pressed questions. I mean that atthat's a big one, eighdy that a player has to do to go from this, likeeuphoria too. Okay, where am I? What am I doing? Can you get a towel to help mewipe off my face, and so you really have to learn to craft your questions,suscinctly Yo, no extra words, don't tee it up and give it to them. Don'task a yes or no question, and so that certainly helps but you're getting aguy. In the heat of the moment, you have to embrace that, but alsorecognize that their mind is not you asking the question. I their mind is onthe game that just happened right once you work in this industry for a while,I'm sure this goes away and I've been askd. This question a few times to when you're interviewing incredibleathletes that either you yourself ha have looked up to, or you know that thefan's watching look up to them. Do you ever get star Struck, I mean I just sawyou interviewing Billygan King, which is amazing. You know you've talked toall these incredible athletes and celebrities throughout the years. Howdo you put the like fan girl aside? If it applies in that situation? Yeah I mean, I think, Um. I think I've been around so manytremendous athletes over the course of my career, that it happens less andless right now, but it definitely like I can remember. I was working at Nessinand I was covering the first series where the Yankees came to Tund my park.An I grew up. A Yankee Fan, dark judor was a and is a god to me an I just lovethe way he played the game. I love the way he held himself with integrity and with respect off thefield, and I had to interview him before the game, and I I literally wasshaking and all I kept thinking about...

...was oh y. Now my sister would Yo. Ifshe' go to this, you knowroomand Um. It was hard and he was likesuperrelaxed and like hey. What's UPPN like act like, I had never met himbefore he didn't know who I was 'cause I covered. You know I was a localreporter in Boston Um and he made me feel like we had known each otherforever. I mean that steric utor for you, but I remember beingsuperintimidated very nervous Um and that was yeah. That was definitely afangral moment, but you know I I kept he professional as I oon the inside Iwas like. Oh my gosh. I can't believe I get to interview Derek Jeeter, so Ithink you know I watched the last da the whole last dance series and Ithought you know I've never interviewed Michael Jordan, and that would bereally really unbelievable to be able to give n th opportunity to do, but Ithink you know it's less and less now t it's funny'cause when I have to interview celebrities like when we getcelebrities that come on the set that you know for different movies orwhatever it may be at different events, we're covering that they're big fans ofUm o. Now I had to interview Bonjova on the sidelines that noter aim, becausehis son was playing for the team, and I remember it was my second year coveriyOter am. I was like wait. What I'm a Jersey, girl, I've, beenoing t e onobelike Simhen. I came out of the wound. I'm like like interview him like talkto Bonto andit was another, you know it. It wasunbelievable, so I think those moments more or less. I say with likecelebrities but athletes. I I'm I'm used to I'm around them all the timeand Um. I guess I don't know it's a littledifferent with them, because I gcovered them forever, but there's definitelymoments where you're like this is pretty cool. Thi Is Pretty Col and it'sso funny how you can separate the two, because two fans athletes arecelebrities but r. When you're in a position like yours, it's not that youdon't recognize how amazing they are at their sport. That's not it you're, justaround them enough. Where you know they're human, you! No, you might knowtheir personality, you might be kind of friendly with them, so it's differentthan Abon Jovi, who you've grown up listening to and you just like see, hemrandomly and you have to talk to him and be well spoken and be on t V. IT'sUm! It's IT'S DIFFERENT! It's very out of French! I'm sure if I was coveringcelebrities on a daily basis, you know I'd, say, actors and actresses, or youknow, musicians. I would probably have a different perspectiveon that compared to sport, so you're, right or Oever, O ra, your environment,that you're used to you're kind of unfazed by it. But as soon as you putte up on jovy in front of me Ou, then I don't even know how to ask the question: What is my name Oa, O o? I you've covered so many cool events. Inaddition to speaking to so many cool people, I mean Stanley Cups, theOlympics win Ar Classic Super Bowls. I don't want to put you on the spot, buthow do you rank those like when you sit down and think about all the coolevents you've covered? Do you have a favorite? Oh right now my favorite isgoing to be my next one, because I'm going to be so itiy o first broadcastback on the AR after this period of time but um you know, for me, growingup the Olympics were the absolute Mount Rushmore of sports events and as alittle girl, I remember, being glued to the T V, every winter and summerwatching those games for those two weeks. I always had a dream. I wantedto one day covering Olympic Games and, of course you know not knowing if Iwould end up an NBC but NB C's. Obviously the network that covers theOlympics, so it would have to take a lot of things to fall into place for meto be allowed, or you know, given the privilege of covering the Olympics, somy first Olympic Games in twenty fourteen and SOCI. I were one of thehighlights of my career and I I remember just B, trying so hard to beatin the moment as hard of the work clote as it was, and as many hours as we wereworking, I tried so hard every day I kept the journal and just tried to putmyself in the moment of you're. Here I mean this was what you always wanted todo, and these are the Olympics. I mean the Olympics are athletes who trainedfor four years to get to this point to be able to perform on a humongousglobal scale, the GOLBOL stage, rather to try in when a gold medal for theircountry. I mean it's, it's it's just bigger than than pro sports, it'sbigger than anything else and m. So I I certainly don't want to rankthem. I'd say just the Olympics are a privilege to cover- and I would havebeen doing my fourth this summer in Tokyo, so we'll push that to nextsummer and do it next year, but and then, of course, you know thesuperbowls, the I love the winter classic M. It's it's New Year's Day.It's usually a beautiful setting. The League does such a good job.Transforming the field to you know highlight the great aspects of theregion that we're in Um. It's it's a holiday, it's fun! It'shockey, it's a game that counts. It's usually two great teams with incrediblefat fan bases and that's a really special game. I look forward to thatevery year too, but I mean theree yeah,...

...there ave been some good ones, my goshyou're, getting me to lag o o e. Now I know I know- and I didn't mean to putyou on the spot but is going through the list. It's it really is cool and Ihope you do take some time to like really just think about all the amazingthings that you've covered- and I know we've talked about the Olympics alittle bit. We don't really have much time to talk about how sad it is thatTokyo did get postponed, but at least it's postponed o next year and notcompletely canceled. So at least we can be thankful for that. Yes, yeah wellLok the orgs doing it next year, and I mean it was the right thing. It was ahunder's right decision and I'm just glad those athletes got got told whenthey did so. They could. You know, figure out they're planning accordinglythey're training and get ready for next year. Yep Absolutely. Can you leave uswith a female in the sports industry that inspires you? It can be someonethat has had a big impact or even a small impact on your life, someone thatI could potentially have on the show. Oh, my Gosh, I have a number of them say you know the top of the top, for meis Leslie vesser Um, you know she's an NFL hall famer. Sheis, you know, I'd, say: Phyllis Georgepaved the way for Leslie Beser, it's kind of one too right there, W Leslieto this day when we had our women's hockey broadcast shortly before th theshutdown she reached out to me- and I hadn't heard from her- I don't know-probably a year or two ithad been a little while, but she reaches out rightwhen it's like the perfect timing- and I remember the first time I met her orthere somebody Olse Star, struck by, but I remember the first time I met herand she's a huge Bosson sports fan and I was in Boston at the time and she wasjust like. Oh my gosh, I'm such a big Fan of yours. I just oealy died it WASB.No Tleslie Bisser is a troublazer. She is perfect at her craft. She is so wellrespected. She has had such a long career. I look up toher in so many ways.You know her career started as a rider at the Boston Globe and I I thinkanytime, you meet a writer who's. Now a broadcastor there's just somethingdifferent about them. They're so articulate they're, so good, so muchbetter than me, and you know what my background was I'll. Take what I haveit's fine, but I mean H, there's something about the writers, they're,so creative and able to formulate their thoughts in a really unique way, andthat's Leslie, and I think, what's so cool about Leslie is that she continuesto reach out to broadcasters like myself. She reached out to Eur producerthat night for the women's game that we did the all female broadcast, anacollgame that we did. She is constantly in touch and makes herself available toall of us who just are like jumping at the opportunity to pick her brain andto talk to her and ask advice and Yo. I know there could be a couple of yearsthat go by where I might not talk to her a couple of months whatever it maybe, and I could pick up the phone and call her and she would answer in asecond and be more than gracious with her time and more than honest with heradvice. So I would say yeah if you haven't already get Leslie on and Iwill be listening, I might have to paying it forward. It'sit's crazy. How impactful that that actually is, I think, sometimes youdon't even realize how your actions and how your kindness canaffect someone else and Um. She seems like a perfect example of that, sothat's azing how true pay forward yeahablolutely Yep. Thank you so muchfor joining me. This has been such a pleasure. I'm so excited to share thiswith everyone, and I'm also excited that we get to watch. You Talk, AcealHockey, Games Li know I'm so excited too O, hopefully in the near future.But thank you so much. His is a great conversation. I loved sharing my timewith you Amanda and I I wish you continued success and you know ifthere's anything, I can do to help them out or there's ever a time. You've gota hole in the shedule and you need another gass if we hap to come back onso thanks so much, it was fun. As of the published date of thisepisode. Paul Pro Sports have a plan to return to play, except for the MLB.Finally, something to look forward to if you don't already and you'd like tofollow Katharine on social, she is at Katherine Tappen, on twiter and atCatherine tappen n BC on Instogram. If you want to be the first to listen tomy next episode just go to, and so she goes pad dotcom and subscribe to get onmy email list. You can wake up to new episodes and they'll be sent right toyour inbox each and every Thursday morning, or if you don't want to giveme your email address, I get it. You can subscribe to the show on Itunes ifyou want to be a guest on the show, or if you have someone in particular thatyou want me to interview, you can leave a message on my website or dem meonsocial. My dms are open and I do read them also feel free to read and reviewthe show on itunes and follow along...

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