Today’s Original Retro Brand “5 Questions with…” interview features Peter Schrager. Peter is a frequent NFL and college football contributor at FoxSports.com He covered sports and pop culture for ESPN.COM, wrote for ESPN Classic’s “Cheap Seats”, and also appears on the NFL Network, Howard101 on SiriusXM with Scott Ferrall, and Fox News.
Andy: So many sports freaks dream of having a dream job like yours. How does one break through all the clutter and end up on FoxSports.com?
Peter: I got into all this guerrilla style. During my senior year of college, I had a popular campus radio show with my buddy Aaron Luber, a column in the school paper, and a presence on the campus TV station. On a whim, I stood outside an ESPN SportsZone in 120 degree heat for three hours and tried out for a television show on ESPN called “ESPN Dream Job”, sort of an “American Idol” for guys and girls trying to get into the world of sports broadcasting. I wore a “Bill Clement for President” tee shirt, impressed the judges with my knowledge of Dave Krieg and Neil Lomax, and got to the final round of tryouts. Along the way, though, I developed a relationship with the great Howie Schwab (of “Stump the Schwab” fame) at ESPN. Over the next six months, he served as my mentor, giving me career advice and guidance you couldn’t pay for. Eventually, when ESPN.com wanted to hire a young voice for their soon-to-be launched Page 3 site, I jumped at the chance. One thing led to another and I was writing for ESPN.com—the ultimate dream—waking up to 2,000 emails a day, and growing a readership. I made the jump to FoxSports.com and have been contributing for them ever since (check out Peter in latest clip from this past Monday below).
Andy: Of all the sports celebrities you have interviewed, who would you say is the most memorable and why?
Peter: I’ve met several interesting people over the years, but my favorite interview was a sit-down with Dick Enberg of CBS Sports last spring. I’m a sucker for the sports media legends and their tales. They’re always the best. I was like a kid sitting on his grandpa’s lap listening to Enberg talk about the early days of the NCAA Tournament and covering John Wooden in the 60s, before he was—you know, John Wooden. Getting to pick the brain of a guy like that and have him tell you all his stories over a lunch, unfiltered, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Incredible stuff. Of course, meeting Kevin Federline at the Penthouse Super Bowl XLI Party was a thrill, too. Fascinating guy.
Andy: Who are the sportswriters that you read online?
Peter: I have my RSS feeds and my favorites, for sure. I think the guys at FoxSports.com, whether it’s Ken Rosenthal in baseball, or John Czarnecki, Alex Marvez and Jay Glazer in pro football—provide some of the best inside coverage around. Go read Jay Glazer’s article about breaking the Favre-to-the-Jets story in 2008. Dude wrote 1,000 words on stalking Favre out in the airport from one of those massage chairs in a Brookstone. One of my favorite articles, ever. I click refresh on ProFootballTalk.com about 500 times a day and read all of Florio and Rosenthall’s stuff there, too. Bill Simmons went out of his way to lend me a hand when I was a young pup writing for ESPN.com. I don’t always agree with him, but his writing style, his comfort with his readers, and his pushing of the envelope—that opened doors for just about every aspiring sportswriter born after 1975. Will Leitch is flat out nailing it over at NYMag.com; his perspective on “The Decision” won the day that next Friday. It was the perfect column. Growing up, it was Peter King, Dr. Z, and devouring a Sports Illustrated in one sitting when it arrived in the mailbox.
Andy: Any NFL predictions for the upcoming season?
Peter: Summertime predictions with the NFL are ridiculous. Do you know who I had going to the Super Bowl last year? The Bears and the Steelers. Neither made the playoffs. Last season, six teams that didn’t make the playoffs in ’08 made it to the final twelve. This year, I think the Cowboys host a Super Bowl in Jerry’s castle, but lose to the Ravens. Some other predictions—the Lions and Raiders both improve dramatically, Jay Cutler has a monster year in Mike Martz’s system, and the 49ers win the NFC West with a sub .500 record. Have you seen the rosters in the NFC West this season? Heinous.
Andy: You have been a big fan of the Original Retro Brand for a very long time. Do you have a favorite shirt, thermal, hat or hoody?
Peter: I go way back with Original Retro. I go back to the Distant Replays days. I am a throwback to the throwbacks. My favorite tee shirt I own is the Toronto Argonauts one my girlfriend got me this year for my birthday. Though I wore an Ole Miss one, with the Rebel on it, to Ole Miss-Alabama last season and never got so many positive compliments on a piece of clothing. Note to your readers: The women at Ole Miss? Yeah, they’re not ugly.
Many thanks to Peter for joining us today. I highly recommend you check out his coverage on FoxSports.com regularly!
If you are a big fan of the Original Retro Brand, and want to be featured on “5 Questions with…” please forward a picture of yourself wearing Original Retro Brand gear, and a brief description of what you do for a living to firstname.lastname@example.org If we like what we see, you may be contacted for an interview. You don’t need to be a hot shot writer like Peter to be featured – heck, we’ll send you an Original Retro Brand T-Shirt if we decide to post your story!