It’s not everyday someone can spend endless amounts of time talking to professionals in their field. For me, it has become almost routine. My passion belongs to sports journalism and broadcasting. Searching ESPN.com and seeing Pat Yasinskas posting an article about the NFC South, Scott Miller writing a baseball column on CBS Sports, or turning on SportsCenter and seeing Robert Flores debate with Stephen A. Smith about how Lamar Odom gave up with the Dallas Mavericks. These three professionals are fan friendly and cooperative with people like me who are trying to break into the industry and take any possible advice given.
This article belongs to Flores and the rise to ESPN. Would you have ever thought that a current SportsCenter anchor was fired from another job before joining ESPN? All that needs to be said is that he uttered the “f-bomb” and was eventually let go due to a zero tolerance policy as a sports reporter for KEYE in Austin, Texas. Look at where he is now. For someone looking to break into this industry, this is a good life lesson. Flores could have easily called it quits after that incident. Instead he kept pursuing his passion and now you watch him throughout the week as he reports sports stories from Bristol, CT. Phil Hatlem my sport business advisor at Saint Leo University once told me, “Don’t reject yourself from someone or somewhere, let them reject you.” I immediately thought of this quote once I read about Flores’ firing. He didn’t reject himself from ESPN and they clearly saw someone with potential who just happened to make a mistake. It happens, life goes on.
Question: Graduating from the University of Houston with a degree in radio/television, what were some of the courses and activities you participated in to prepare you for where you are now?
Flores: I took some journalism, broadcast journalism classes. However, the most helpful thing for me was being able to work part time at the CBS affiliate in Houston. It gave me “real world” knowledge while still in school. So valuable
Question: Do you enjoy taking part in fan chats? (Sports Nation, etc.)
Flores: I do, I like the immediacy of instant feedback. Good or bad. Sometimes I feel as if we are in a vacuum.
Question: As a sports director before ESPN in Texas, what were some of your everyday tasks that you oversaw for the television stations (KEYE-TV, KWTX-TV)?
Flores: Depending on the size of the market, Sports directors have to organize what events get covered. In my case, that also occasionally included shooting my own material. You wear a lot of hats when you work at the local level.
Question: Anchor for ESPN2 Fantasy Football Now, how many fantasy football teams do you usually manage per year?
Flores: I’m usually in two to three leagues.
Question: What was the transition like, going from a couple of television stations in Texas to the big stage of ESPN?
Flores: The biggest transition coming from a local station was the speed at which everything happens. (I sound like an NFL rookie) Also, there are more eyeballs watching you. It makes you want to focus harder and pay closer attention to detail.
Question: Most embarrassing moment in your sports anchor career thus far?
Flores: My most embarrassing moment, aside from getting fired (google it) was saying shot clock on SportsCenter. Except I said something that rhymed with clock.
Question: What sport do you enjoy to cover the most?
Flores: The NFL is the sport I enjoy covering the most.
Question: Chemistry wise, which sports anchor do you flow with the best on set?
Flores: Because my schedule is a little “sporadic,” it’s hard to develop chemistry with anyone specifically. However, I pride myself on being able to adapt quickly with different anchors.
Question: Outside of ESPN, what is a “normal” day for Robert Flores?
Flores: I play a lot of video games, watch a lot of bad TV and like spending time with my family. Oh I also enjoy playing golf.
Question: Was there any specific broadcaster that you looked up to growing up or even now?
Flores: I was a huge Howard Cosell fan. He’s one of the reasons I got into this business. As for someone now? I enjoy the way Dan Patrick interviews his subjects.
Question: From your perspective, how effective is twitter to get your sports ideas and thoughts out to the fans?
Flores: Twitter is great place to exchange ideas with fans and vice versa. However, one thing that it can sometime lack is context. Sometimes it’s hard to get your point across in 140 characters.