by Patrick Hoffman on 07/31/12 at 10:00 AM ET
Last week, we were lucky enough to conduct an e-mail interview with Backhand Shelf blogger Cam Charron. This week, it was my pleasure to do an e-mail interview with the Score’s Rob Pizzo.
Rob was kind enough to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got involved with The Score on both the web and television sides of the outlet and much more.
PH: How did you get into hockey?
RP: I honestly don’t even remember being introduced to the sport because I’ve been around it my entire life. I come from an Italian family so naturally my dad had me in soccer cleats right after birth, but he is also a big hockey fan. I also have two younger brothers so even when we were not on the ice, we were playing street hockey, mini sticks, breakaway contests…everything. It really is the best sport in the world in my opinion and nothing frustrates me more than trying to convince someone how great it is.
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player? Why?
RP: As far as players went, I had 2 favourites: Wayne Gretzky and Steve Yzerman. I loved everything they did and tried to copy them as much as I could (yes I went through a “tuck my right side of my jersey” in phase). When I was young, I wasn’t the only one who liked The Great One, so there were a lot of Oiler and King fans. I didn’t want to be like everyone else so I thought “I’ll like the Red Wings because of Yzerman”. Paulina is starting to make me question my loyalty though.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved in sports/hockey?
RP: I always knew hockey would be a part of my life, but it was in high school that I started to look for a way to get paid for it. As many of my close friends and family will tell you, I talk…a lot! Most of the time, it’s about hockey or sports in general. I got into radio in high school and I was hooked.
PH: Tell us about who gave you your start in sports/hockey. What did you learn in your first sports/hockey gig?
RP: I ended up going to Niagara College for Radio and TV Broadcasting. They had a scholarship after your third and final year where one student won an internship to the FAN 590 in Toronto (all sports radio), and they also paid your last year’s tuition. I was lucky enough to win that. The internship was for three months and I made it my mission to impress them enough so that they had to hire me afterwards. On my last day, the sports director told me that he unfortunately had no work for me, so I went home that day pretty depressed.
The next morning I was woken up by a phone call from that same sports director saying they had found some part time work for me and I worked my way up from there. Long crappy hours for little pay, but kept moving up and getting shots (on and off the air). Then I got a job at the Score Television Network voicing highlights and working at their satellite radio station (Hardcore Sports Radio). Again, just kept plugging away and now am doing TV work as well. I think that answer was way longer than what you were looking for, but like I said, I talk a lot.
PH: You are one of the bloggers for Justin Bourne’s Backhand Shelf blog. How did you get that gig?
RP: As I mentioned, I’m a Radio and TV guy, I really have no training or history in writing. However the Score approached me to start doing some work on BS and I thought I would give it a try. Trust me, I made some mistakes! Even though I don’t do it on a regular basis anymore (TV commitments make it tough), it was still a lot of fun. I also gained a new found respect for writers.
PH: What are you trying to bring readers over at Backhand Shelf?
RP: I can’t tell you how many times I have been sitting around with a few of my friends talking hockey and when we were done I ultimately would say “That would be a great Radio/TV/Blog topic”. I wanted to bring those conversations to the readers and have them go to their friends and start the conversation up all over again. If there were resulting fist fights, don’t blame me.
PH: You also help out Justin Bourne with the Backhand Shelf podcast. What are you trying to bring listeners on a daily basis?
RP: Along with what I just mentioned, I want people to feel like they are part of the conversation. If they listen to a show and automatically jump on twitter, or e-mail me (even if they think I’m a moron), at least it has inspired them. We also look to be honest. Justin and I will NEVER say before a show “OK, I’ll disagree with you so it makes better radio”, what you hear are our real opinions.
PH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
RP: First off, I think KK is a great site and I go on it regularly, keep up the good work. Secondly, we live in a pretty cool time where we can communicate with each other pretty easily, do it! If you like or dislike a podcast/post (or just disagree with the opinion), let them know (respectfully of course).
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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