Former Colorado linebacker Chad Brown never has been one to shy away from an opportunity, but he has been known to shy away from talking about them.
Brown used to have a stuttering problem. It was something he dealt with as a shy kid growing up in California and throughout his career in football with the Buffs and 14 years in the NFL. Brown was once a beehive of nerves before any public speaking encounter, which almost seems impossible now because of the volume of work he does in broadcasting and advertising.
“I just think my thoughts tended to come faster than my mouth could get them out,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t say I had a severe stuttering problem, but I certainly stammered and stuttered a lot when I was trying to speak or even when I got excited.”
Brown is all over the airwaves these days on radio and television, and especially this week with the Super Bowl coming Sunday. He is in Arizona doing segments related to the big game on CNN. He also is taping segments for NFL Films and is doing radio interviews about the game sponsored by Solid Gold, a company that provides food and training for Wounded Warriors service dogs.
He is asked for analysis about everything from football air pressure to the strengths and weaknesses of quarterbacks Tom Brady and Russell Wilson. Brown played for both franchises in this year’s Super Bowl and was a teammate of Brady’s for two seasons. He also played in the Super Bowl for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
And when he’s not dissecting the game, he’s selling game-day food in commercials for Juicy Burgers & Dogs.
“This whole journey I’ve been on has been very interesting and revealing on a lot of different levels,” Brown said. “I’m happy I kind of took the opportunity and ran with it.”
Brown’s first opportunity to step into the world of broadcasting came three years ago when fellow former Buffs linebacker Alfred Williams asked him to fill in for his regular co-host on their afternoon sports talk show on FM 104.3. Brown agreed and came away three shows later with a new confidence in himself.
Brown used to own Pro Exotics, a business he founded that was based in Littleton. He sold reptiles and other exotic animals from his store before a fire in late 2011 cost him the business. His love for animals remains strong but he no longer sells them. Instead, he runs Ship Your Reptiles and Ship Your Aquatics, businesses that help pet owners and hobbyists to safely, efficiently and cost-effectively ship animals around the nation.
But he seems to have found a new passion in what he calls trying to become a better communicator. He hasn’t decided yet if he wants to try to make a second career out of broadcasting or if he wants to be a coach. He will serve an NFL franchise to be determined this summer as a coaching intern and go from there.
“I’ve always had a philosophy in life that you’re always practicing for something,” Brown said. “Some of us practice something and it’s bad stuff and you’re kind of setting yourself up for something bad, and in this case, I’m practicing this with no idea where it’s going to take me, but I think it’s going to be a good thing.”
Starting at the ground level is also something Brown has never been afraid to do. Some 44-year-old former NFL stars would be reluctant to serve as interns on a coaching staff or attend the NFL’s Broadcast Media Bootcamp.
Brown dived in to that experience and he says it helped him realize he needed to slow down his thoughts and his words.
He has worked as a part of the CU game-day broadcast team for KOA radio (850 AM) the past three years, first as a sideline reporter and then as a color analyst for half of last season when longtime CU play-by-play man and color analyst Larry Zimmer suffered a fall and was sidelined.
Mark Johnson, KOA’s play-by-play man for the past decade for both CU football and basketball, said he can count on Brown to always be prepared.
“You can’t always say that about a former athlete, that they necessarily are able to turn their football knowledge that they know instinctively from playing into something that is digestible for a listener,” Johnson said. “So he is very good at that. And the steps he has taken and really grown in the last couple of years is on the broadcasting end of things. That’s not something you can just learn overnight. It takes time and he has made great strides in that regard in terms of knowing when to speak during a game, how to concisely make a point or convey that knowledge to the audience. He has made some great broadcasting improvement the last couple of years.”
Brown, who played on the Buffs’ 1990 national championship team, said he never feels more comfortable than when he is doing CU games because he knows many in the audience recognize him as a former Buff and want him to do well. He said learning to relax and studying the nuances of television broadcasting has been a big area of growth.
He is able to joke about some of it now.
“The first year I was just trying to stop myself from physically sweating every time I came on camera,” Brown said. “I mean, the Albert Brooks scene from ‘Broadcast News.’ That’s a real thing. That’s a real physical reaction that you literally have no control over. A lot of time I was so happy I had a suit on ’cause the suit would cover up the fact that my dress shirt underneath was completely stuck to my body from all the sweat.”
Brown said at some point during his football career he played every linebacker position possible. He said that wealth of experience made him more valuable to his team. It’s no different in broadcasting. His experiences as a sideline reporter, color analyst, guest commentator or panel member have helped make him more well-rounded.
He only recently began to feel like he has conquered the stuttering.
“I’m not immune from it,” he said. “It still comes up from time to time, but I’ve got control of it. It’s in my mind, if I think about it, I can control it. I am and it is still very much a work in progress.”
Credit to Times-Call who originally published this article
Jason Barrett is the owner and operator of Barrett Sports Media. Prior to launching BSM he served as a sports radio programmer, launching brands such as 95.7 The Game in San Francisco and 101 ESPN in St. Louis. He has also produced national shows for ESPN Radio including GameNight and the Dan Patrick Show. You can find him on Twitter @SportsRadioPD or reach him by email at JBarrett@sportsradiopd.com.
Brent Dougherty Signs New Deal At 104.5 The Zone
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Things are going very well for 104.5 The Zone. The Cumulus station is coming off of a strong Fall ratings book, and now it has secured the future of its signature show Brent Dougherty has a new deal that will keep the 3HL host on the station for the foreseeable future.
“I am blessed to be able to work with the most talented people in radio, both on and off the air,” Dougherty told BSM. “I am so excited to have the opportunity to commit long term, again, to continue to help make 104.5 The Zone the best radio station in the country.”
Brent Dougherty has been part of The Zone since 2008. He was well-known to Nashville sports fans long before that, having previously served as the Sports Director at 1510 WLAC.
Dougherty announced his new deal last week on Twitter. On Monday, he told Barrett Sports Media that re-signing was a no-brainer, given his teammates.
“I’m so fortunate to be able to work with Dawn Davenport, Ron Slay, and Joe Hunk on a day-to-day basis. We know that there is always room to grow. We’ve worked hard to get where we are and will continue to do that every day. Win every day – always and always.”
While all of the teams currently in Nashville were already there when 3HL launched in 2010, Dougherty knows the landscape is so much different now with a population boom and the changing options for sports media. He says that he is optimistic that both the show and 104.5 The Zone will play a prominent role in shaping sports fans’ conversations in Middle Tennessee for years to come.
“We as a radio station have tried to grow with Nashville hand-in-hand. 104.5 The Zone is the voice of Nashville sports. It was that way when I came to work at this radio station in 2008. We are blessed to have such loyal and passionate listeners and are so thankful for their participation and their desire to take ownership over what we do.”
David Schultz Out At 105.5 WNSP
“I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions.”
WNSP is looking for a new afternoon show. A source tells Barrett Sports Media that David Schultz has been let go.
Schultz served as the Program Director as well as the host of The Game Plan in afternoon drive. Michael Brauner has been his co-host since last April.
David Schultz came to Mobile in August of 2019, replacing Creg Stephenson and Randy Kennedy, who is now heard on crosstown rival Sports Talk 99.5. Before coming to Alabama, Schultz hosted mornings on 103.7 The Game in Lafayette, Louisiana. He is also a former contributor to WQAM in Miami.
“To the listeners of WNSP, it has been my honor and pleasure driving you home from work since August of 2019,” he wrote on Twitter. “I had a blast covering the Jaguars, Tide & Tigers, Saints, and high school sports and then sharing my opinions. I appreciated your patience as it took this ‘yankee’ a bit to get used to his surroundings. Thank you very much for bringing me into your homes, cars, and phones.”
The station’s permanent afternoon plans are far from solidified. BSM has learned that Mark Heim — who currently hosts The Opening Kickoff on the station — will cover the shift in the interim.
Audacy, New York Mets Announce Addition of Keith Raad, Pat McCarthy
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast.”
Raad joins the crew after spending last season announcing games for the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League. He has also been the voice of Wagner University football and women’s basketball since 2017.
McCarthy — the son of Philadelphia Phillies television voice Tom McCarthy — has served as the voice of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the AAA-affiliate of the Phillies. He has filled in on Phillies broadcasts during the past two seasons, in addition to working as a football, and men’s/women’s basketball announcer for Princeton and St. Joseph’s Universities.
“The Mets are excited to have Keith and Pat join WCBS 880 as part of the Mets broadcast,” said Andy Goldberg, Executive Vice President, and Chief Marketing Officer, New York Mets. “Having Keith called up from Brooklyn, and being a local New Yorker to keep it in the family is what the Mets are all about.”
Raad will serve as the play-by-play and color commentator on the club’s broadcasts, while McCarthy will host the pregame and postgame shows, and step into the play-by-play role held by Howie Rose during select broadcasts.
“As we round the bases towards Spring Training, we’re proud to officially welcome Keith Raad and Pat McCarthy to our popular coverage of Mets baseball alongside Mets Hall of Famer Howie Rose,” said Chris Oliviero, Market President, Audacy New York. “Once again, the Mets offseason has created anticipation and optimism for the 2023 Amazins’ and we’re looking forward to being the audio home for every moment on-air and digitally.”