A very candid Adam Schefter joined Marist students this morning. Texts, calls, and emails came streaming in from agents, GMs, and players to Schefter’s phone as he spoke on the thrill of his career and offered advice to those seeking industry experience.
Schefter has been covering all things football since 1990 and began working with ESPN as an NFL Insider as of 2009. He was able to reflect on his college and post college experiences that got him where he is today. Schefter, an alumnus of the University of Michigan, didn’t go into school with aspirations of news reporting. His passion came after getting denied from working with the football and basketball teams, as well as not joining a frat.
“Every rejection along the way was just another opportunity somewhere else,” Schefter emphasized. Although he majored in Political Science, he noted to stay busy and gain experience, you have time to go and live your life and experience what you like.
The passion and determination Schefter has for his job shows the real care and grit that goes into reporting stories in the fast-paced sport industry. Noting that he doesn’t go on vacation because new stories are constantly coming out. “You give up your life for it” Schefter said.
The grind of his job always has something new to offer. After being asked if he feels any pressure to break the news first based off of his position, Schefter replied, “My job is reporting information…being right and being first.”
He talks about one of his most memorable and nerve wracking memories of reporting, detailing the story about Andrew Luck retiring. After being called during a family member’s birthday celebration, Schefter took the information regarding Luck and ran with it. Minutes later, Matt Hasselbeck, a close friend to Luck, calls Schefter explaining that himself and Luck had just been together for the past few days and nothing of that sort came up. In turn, in this moment Schefter describes his stomach dropping in fear that he had reported misinformation.
He knows his job can be stressful and draining, but most of all important and worthwhile. “I still get the rush, that heart-pounding feeling, on reporting big stories. If I don’t get that anymore then it’s probably time to switch paths,” Schefter said while describing his commitment to his job and the sport.
In similar fashion Schefter says his favorite part of the job, “is the job.” There is nothing like the adrenaline rush of breaking a story. Before social media had taken storm, stories would be reported with newspapers and if someone beat you to it, you’d be beaten for 24 hours until the next morning. Now with Twitter, there is something new happening every 24 seconds, so in the words of Schefter, “you snooze you lose” if you don’t break the story.
Although he wouldn’t change it for the world there are certainly aspects of the job that can feel extra frustrating. There have been times where he is waiting for hours to finalize the story and break it; there are times when he’s worked on a story for months and nothing comes of it, and there are times where you can’t trust people and sometimes even your own reputation can be put in question. This feeling can be noted as holding your breath after breaking a story.
Schefter spoke on his own credibility and reputation saying, “If you are another network, you can get something wrong and nobody will notice. If I get something wrong everyone can notice.”
All in all, with Schefter’s experience and professionalism he was able to leave students with the confidence and advice that he preached the most which can be reflected in a variety of facets, “If you want something bad enough go and get it.”
As of now, Schefter was the final guest of the semester for the center of communications.
Edited by Nicholas Stanziale
Photo Credits: Marist Sports Communications Twitter