Christian Odjanski?

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Imagine if you are the one responsible for starting ESPN’s basketball championship week AND their Bowl week for football.  Imagine that many call you “The Father of March Madness”.  Then imagine that you are named as one of the four most influential people in all of college basketball by Sporting News.  Continue to imagine that you are named as the Most Influential Person in college sports by College Sports Magazine.  And, finally, imagine that almost no one can pronounce your name, let alone spell it correctly.  In fact, imagine getting ready to sit down at an affair and your name plate says Christian Odjanski or you are being honored by the Alaska Television Network and presented with a Caribou Antler as a gift and your name is spelled incorrectly again.

This all happened to Tom Odjakjian (O-jack-shee-an), a Lafayette graduate of the class of 1976.  This past week, Lafayette started a new series called Primetime Pards and I had the pleasure to host it and interview Tom Odjakjian, currently the Senior Associate Commissioner of broadcasting and digital content for the American Athletic Conference.  He spent 13 years at ESPN.  He has plenty of stories to tell.

I have attached the interview – my talk with Tom starts at the 4:25 spot on the site.  When he is done, a question and answer segment starts at the 49:45 mark.  More good stories are a part of Tom’s answers.  Enjoy:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17223-UDRJsQxVPPoG90aoVWyrRKNCHp4/view?ts=5f18495e

My next Primetime Pards interview will occur in August with ESPN sports broadcaster and sports journalist Beth Mowins, Lafayette class of 1989.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

  1. As MLB teams began play this week in front of cardboard cutouts, PA announcements, and crowd noise piped in, South Korea allowed spectators to return to professional sports. They allowed 10% of the stadium capacity; fans had to wear masks and remain socially distant.  They could not eat food or drink any alcoholic beverage.  Doesn’t being a fan mean eating and drinking at the ballpark?  Small steps.
  1. ESPN had their announcers in a studio to call the MLB baseball game between the Yankees and the Nationals. It will be interesting to see what the NFL does.  It is much, much harder to announce a football game if you are not at the game.
  1. Who is Phil Gosselin? The little-known Phillie started his first full season with the Phillies by going 3-3 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored in the 7-1 win over Miami on Saturday. If he keeps that up, he will be known by everyone!
  1. Soon, sports fans will have some tough decisions to make: what to watch? The NHL, NBA, MLB, and later the NFL will all be playing at the same time.  Throw in some college football and you may very well overtax both your head and your TIVO!
  1. The only place more fanatical than Pennsylvania about their high school football is Texas high school football. They made “Friday Night Lights” famous.  Their high school season has been pushed back four weeks.  What is next for PA?

 

 

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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