If you browse around Binge Magazine, you’ll see some of the things we look for while searching for our next Feature Interview include; passion, dedication, enthusiasm and someone who sets a good example for our readers. This time, we had the honor of getting to know a little about Chris Shearn, On-Air Talent for the YES Network (The Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.) Chris exemplifies everything we look for in a feature interview, and we couldn’t be more excited to share this interview with all of you!
Chris is from a small town in Central Jersey, where he got his start in the sports world like most, by playing sports as a kid. The passion and work Chris put towards playing sports and wanting to become a professional athlete turned into, what he says, is the next best thing. Still playing competitive baseball at 40 years old, Chris shows us how hard work partnered with doing what you love are two of the most important factors in making your dreams a reality…and how one of the best things you can do for yourself is to never give up.
We got to ask him some burning questions that have been lurking around the (mostly NY) Sports World, and got some inside advice on becoming On-Air Talent in the Sports Industry.
For all things sports, follow Chris on twitter!
Binge Magazine: First, a little Chris Shearn fun fact, Favorite Sport & Favorite Sports Team(s)?
Chris Shearn: Baseball, Yankees/Giants, Rangers, Knicks
BM:Out of all things…why did you choose sports?
CS:I always wanted to be a professional athlete. That dream never became a reality. In my eyes, doing what I do, is the next best thing.
BM:How have sports impacted your life in and out of your career?
CS:I think sports impact everyone’s lives. In my case it is my career, so it continues to mold me. I have been playing baseball my whole life and I still learn things when I come to work every day and I am not afraid to admit it. Sports is the great elixir in my opinion. It’s a great respite from the daily grind for everyone. There is no pressure on you to sit back, relax and watch your favorite team, or sport and unwind from your day. They also can be a very useful distraction. 9/11 comes to mind immediately. People in the New York City and Washington DC area needed a break for three hours. A time to decompress. They had sports. Speaking from experience and being involved in that day on the outskirts working right across the river in TV news, when baseball came back, if it was only for three hours, it felt like there was a sense of normalcy in a world of turmoil.
BM:Any thoughts on the retirement of Jeter?
CS:He can’t play forever! Although all of us would probably want him to. We’ve been spoiled over his career with how well he plays on the field, and how well he handles himself off the field. He’s one of those guys that if the Yankees are not your favorite team, and you grew up hating him, you had no choice but to respect how he played the game. The best example I can give being a lifelong Knicks fan, is Michael Jordan. Man did we hate the guy, but did we respect the hell out of him and even though he killed our team, we loved watching him play.
BM:With all of the hype around Tanaka, do you think that was the right choice for the Yankees?
CS:The Yankees really had no choice but to take a chance on Tanaka. The way their rotation was set up without him, they would have had to rely on younger unproven guys that would be going their first full season in the majors. Now the way the rotation looks, it seems as though the back end of it looks like it will be the most exciting part of it to watch with Nova, Tanaka, and Pineda.
BM:Who is your favorite athlete?
CS:You know when I was a kid I probably could have immediately come up with someone, but now I don’t think I really have a ‘favorite’ athlete. I would say I have athletes that I respect. Paul Pierce, Derek Jeter, Brett Gardner, Kevin Durant, Lebron James. The work ethic that is involved in being the best in their particular sport, and how they go about it, is something I value greatly as I get older.
BM:Lot’s of talk about Carmelo coming to the Bulls…do you think that will happen?
CS:That would take the Bulls into another dimension if it does happen. He knows right now the Knicks are what they are for at least another year. They really can’t reload until the 2015-2016 season. He has to make a conscious decision to know that before coming back. It’s probably going to be the same team he sees around him now. If he did go to the Bulls with a healthy Derek Rose and their front court with Noah, Gibson, and Boozer. Yikes. That is a great team.
BM:Thoughts on Phil Jackson to the Knicks?
CS:Time is going to tell on this move. I think its definitely the right thing to do. It will light a fire under the current players on the team, and maybe, just maybe when they can reload come ’15-’16 he can be the reason some top notch free agents want to bring a championship to the Garden.
BM:Do you think there is something different about sports in NYC vs. other cities?
CS:There are a lot of cities with great sports fans. New York is just one of them. Chicago is great. The passion in Philadelphia is unreal. You saw how rabid Pittsburgh could be all year round if they can keep their baseball team competitive. The thing that sets New York apart is the fact that it’s New York.
BM:Advice to people who want to work as on-air talent in the Sports World?
CS:Never give up. Always keep practicing your craft. Learn to take criticism. Too many people nowadays have thin skin. If you are going to get an on air job you have to be prepared to take the critics. Especially in our social media frenzied culture. EVERYONE is a critic now. The best piece of advice I can truly give is advice that I live by on a daily basis from UCLA legendary coach John Wooden. “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.” Always over prepare and know the FACTS.