my best yet as a professional free-lancer, it left me with no guarantees and little scheduled work heading into 2015.
While I got some early chances to stay involved, covering the 2015 adidas MLS Player Combine (see me poolside!) and working on the online stream of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft for MLSsoccer.com, one (excellent, top-25) college basketball game on Jan. 16 was my only live sporting event in the first 65 days of 2015.
.@NYCFC draft pick Khiry Shelton joins the set with @joetolleson @johnharkes6 @jtyardley pic.twitter.com/jcYnhSQwrJThis is not a comfortable position for a broadcaster. Not only is covering live events what I enjoy the most, but it’s also what I intend to make the lion’s share of my livelihood. Sitting around without work bums me out AND fails to pay the bills.
— SiriusXM FC (@SiriusXMFC) January 15, 2015
This is a not uncommon problem for me in the spring. In 2013, I went from Feb. 27 to June 1 without calling a major live event. Of course, I was planning a wedding at the time, so I had some things to do, but it was still extremely frustrating. Once I got started, however, I wound up covering a decent set of MLS games that year.
Since 2015 is my second year in the New York sports market, I have felt a little more confident than last year that work would eventually turn up. Don’t get me wrong, I was stressing it. I made calls and sent emails and went to meetings so that I could network. I sat around and waited for responses, agonized when other broadcasters got jobs I had hoped for, estimated the minimum I would make if no other jobs came along, and wondered when something good was going to happen.
Let’s just say it’s not my favorite time of year.
But I truly remained positive, moreso than in years past. My wife, my family members, and various colleagues all helped me to do so, and I fell back on the lessons of years past:
- Something good will happen; I just don’t know when.
- Work will find you when you stop reaching for it.
- Be patient.
- Believe in yourself.
For now, I am happy to say that I am on track for a busy spring schedule calling soccer, baseball, and softball for my usual variety of networks and outlets. My season started by hosting the pre-game show for the Philadelphia Union’s record-setting 6abc broadcast last Saturday, the first time I have covered the opening weekend of MLS play since I was full-time with the Houston Dynamo in 2011.
Soccer will, thankfully and not surprisingly, continue to make up the bulk of my schedule for the year, and I am waiting on several opportunities in the first half of the year that will be very exciting if (when!) they work out.
The work of landing jobs is not done. It never is. Thinking about opportunities and what may be available in the future is never far from my thoughts.
But I've got games to study for and the temperature in New York City is above 40 degrees. That makes me excited to get out of the apartment and start working on 2015!