The Voice of Sports
Jim Nantz began his dream job as a sports commentator right out of college, and to this day is thrilled by The Masters, March Madness and his NFL broadcasts
From the Print Edition:
Jim Nantz, May/June 2011
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“Travel is all-consuming but I can’t forget to look at it in the most positive light. I don’t deal in negativity. I’ve got no margin for complaining. When I was a young boy, I identified what I wanted to do, right down to the network. So I get my dream job—how is there any room for complaint? You’ve got to embrace it—to look at it with gratitude.”
Asked what they could see Nantz doing were he not one of the country’s top sports commentators, his friends almost unanimously point to another career: “If Jim was not a top sports broadcaster, he’d be a politician,” Sean McManus says. Adds Mike Krzyzewski, “I can see him doing something in service of people or some cause.”
Nantz, however, demurs: “I’ve been encouraged to run for office but I’m not qualified,” he says quickly. “I’ve been around politicians at the highest level. I admire what they do. There’s definitely a side of me that wants to be involved because, among the greats that I’ve met, they’re all people who, in their heart, want to do what’s best for people. But I don’t feel qualified to be in politics.”
Instead, he admits, if he had to choose another career, he’d indulge his love for fine wine: “Hopefully, I’d be a vintner. My guilty pleasure is that I love the wine industry. It’s a serious business that’s very competitive. I do want to get involved in it.”
A winner of multiple Emmy Awards and National Sportscaster of the Year awards from the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association, Nantz has always been a much-sought-after speaker for charity appearances. But he took on what he considers his most important charity role this year, with the January launch of the Nantz National Alzheimer Center at Methodist Hospital in Houston, named for his father, who died of the disease in 2008. Nantz wrote Always By My Side to celebrate the influence that his father had on his life and career.
“I’m committed to that for the rest of my life,” Nantz says. “That’s where my time, my financial resources and a percentage of my future income will go. Every time I do media, every time someone interviews me, I try my best to work the conversation around to it, to mention Nantzfriends.org. It gets a tremendous amount of traffic. People are finding hope with the NNAC.
“I have a full-time life with my work. But the NNAC has become almost full-time for me as well. I really want the Nantz Center to make a huge difference, to be on the frontline of research to find an answer for ways to treat and cure Alzheimer’s.
“Ever since puberty, people told me, ‘You sound just like your dad.’ I’ve been given my father’s voice. Now it’s time I took his voice and let it be channeled through me into this research. In a way, I’m keeping my father very much alive because of what I hope to do and the message I’m trying to send. How could I not do that?”
Contributing editor Marshall Fine writes about movies and entertainment at www.hollywoodandfine.com.
Comments 1 comment(s)
Tracy Rowe — KS, USA, — November 20, 2011 5:32am ET
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