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My Life As An Intern At 600 ESPN El Paso

Intern Chad Middleton
Intern Chad Middleton

For those of you that don’t know me,  I LIVE for sports. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, I want to watch it and talk about it.

Heck, there are some people that probably don’t like to be around me too much because all I talk about is sports! Ha!

I know it’s a problem, but it’s what I have always loved doing and I am very fortunate to have my wife Rochelle. She understands and accepts this.  That’s why a few months ago when I was at a crossroads on what to do with my life, she said I should go into sports talk  radio.  She said to me “Well, you love sports and you love to talk. So why not go for it?”.

So the next thing I know, I have signed up for a Broadcasting School and I have an Internship at 600 ESPN El Paso under Steve Kaplowitz!

The saying “living the dream” does not begin to describe what I am doing! I get up everyday, turn the TV on Dan Patrick, turn on my computer and visit my favorite sports blog sites and check out my favorite sports apps on my phone. Inundating myself with as much sports information as I possibly can. Why??? BECAUSE IT’S MY JOB!!! That never gets old saying that!

So I am going to do my best to put into words what goes on in my world, as well as what goes on at Sports Talk on 600 ESPN El Paso.

Steve Kaplowitz hosting Sports Talk on 600 ESPN El Paso
Steve Kaplowitz hosting Sports Talk on 600 ESPN El Paso

To be totally honest with you, I  get picked on a lot by Steve and producer Andy Lee and I don’t mind it at all. In fact I might deserve a lot of it. Part of the reason they pick on me is because they call me the “oldest” intern in Sports Talk  history (at 38, they may be right!). The other part is that I am a sponge for learning as much as I can, a nerd you might say, I always ask if I can do more to help and at times, I think I can annoy the crap out of them! God bless them though, they hardly ever show it!

Steve allows me to do a lot, so much that I doubt other people in my situation get to do have as much as I do. If I could do it, I would live at the station.

He brought me in and just let me watch the inter workings of the show for a couple of weeks. Just to see what goes on behind the scenes is amazing!

3 to 4 days a week,  Steve is out on remote doing the show. That can make things tough on both of them. They have to have total trust in one another. Not being able to see each other is the hardest thing to overcome but with the help of  technology (Facebook chat) they make it seem effortless.

Watching Andy run the show is crazy! He is like an octopus and has to be to do everything that makes the show run and sound as perfect as he can. Andy brings the show up, does the Sports Center updates, screens calls, starts the commercials, makes sure the news is current, records the weather before the show, puts Charlie 1 on live when it is time for the traffic updates and oh yeah, also contributes to the show by discussing topics with Steve and the callers that call in! Andy has a small plate with a lot on it and does an outstanding job!

Andy Lee
Andy Lee Producer of Sports Talk

A couple weeks ago,  Andy asked if I wanted to screen the phone calls. I am not going to lie, anything I can do to contribute to the show, I am going to do.  So of course I jumped at the chance. It has been a blast! From getting to know the regular callers, to calling our guests we are going to have on the air with Steve.

Speaking of our guests, Steve also lets me book guests. Talk about a rush! Getting to make phone calls to people you hear on  shows on ESPN or see on TV,  is by far one of the coolest things ever! I have called Bob Ryan and Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe,  Analyst Geno Cappelletti of the New England Patriots and Bob Toledo, the former head coach at Tulane University.

Steve has been taking time out of his day to show me how to use the equipment in the recording studio as well. Because of that, I can now dub things like promos for all the shows on ESPN Radio and Talking C-USA Football, which we run in the last segment of the show on Fridays.

Steve and Andy also let me talk on the air sometimes. They don’t have to, but they do and I really appreciate it. The first time was crazy scary! I was shaking and just hoping I didn’t sound as nervous as I was. Between the two of them, they made me feel comfortable and at home. Now when I get to get on the air it is not as nerve racking and I feel way more comfortable.

Have I made mistakes? Of course! Last week  Brandon Cohn, who produces on Fridays and leaves at 6:30pm to go to the game he has to cover for Football Friday Night, left and I had to end the show running the boards! You want to talk about scared! WOW! When the show came back from commercial, I drowned Steve with the intro music and it took me a few moments to realize it. Then I forgot to count him down on the time we had left in the show and we went over by about a minute and a half.  Let’s just say my producing debut was less than stellar!

Am I learning? Yes! Do I have growing pains like everyone before me? Of course, everybody does but I will tell you that this has been and continues to be one of the best experiences of my life!

I can’t wait to wake up every morning, and watch sports… IT’S MY JOB!!! I love saying that!

 

 

 

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