My name is Matt Holzapfel, and I am a senior at Elon University majoring in Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Business Administration.
My favorite teams are the New York Yankees, New York Giants and Miami Heat. You can catch me watching ESPN just about any time. My career goal is to one day be either a professional broadcaster for a major sports team or television network or be an anchor on a sports talk and/or debate show like SportsCenter, PTI, NFL Today or First Take.
One question that I hear a lot is “why do you want to work in sports?” Anyone could give you the answer “well I just love sports,” and while it’s true, I do love sports, that’s not why I want to work in sports. I’ve wanted to work in sports ever since I was a kid who would mute the games on TV and pretend to broadcast them from my living room. Talking about sports has always been second nature for me ever since I realized that my dream of playing in the NBA wasn’t going to work out.
Two big things come to mind when someone asks me why I want to work in sports. The first is that I believe that sports have the ability to bring people together in a way that nothing else can. For a few hours after every tip-off, kickoff or face-off, nothing else matters. Race, religion, political affiliation and all our other differences fall by the wayside. The only thing we care about is rooting for our favorite team with our fellow fans. Sport is a universal language that’s spoken in more places around the world than English, Spanish, Mandarin or any other.
The second reason is the stories that we can tell through sports. Sure, every game has a winner and a loser. But what about the kid whose mom is watching him play for the first time in seven years. Or the backup quarterback who leads his team to a Super Bowl just a few years after seriously contemplating retirement due to a “lack of love for the game.” Those are the stories that I love hearing, and those are the stories that I want to tell. There’s a reason why ESPN’s 30 for 30 series is so successful, and why Scott Van Pelt is so good as a solo anchor on SportsCenter. Every game, every team, and every player has a story. They’re just looking for someone to tell it.