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TV hockey broadcaster Mike
NBC hockey announcer Mike Emrick shares stories from his career during a March 27 appearance at Point Park.

With 28 years of National Hockey League play-by-play announcing experience, Mike Emrick tells great stories.

Point Park students enjoyed a few of those stories and even video clips during Emrick's appearance here March 27, but they left with important lessons about getting started in broadcasting and sports and entertainment fields and developing a career path.

Tom McMillan, Pittsburgh Penguins' vice president of communications who began his own career with a degree from Point Park University, introduced Emrick and welcomed him to campus.

Emrick was frank in discussing the amount of preparation needed to do his job as the lead play-by-play commentator for the NHL on NBC and other positions related to professional sports.

"You need to be passionate about what you do," he told the crowd of 75+ students. "Getting started you need to work a lot of holidays and weekends. If you are pursuing your passion, whatever it is, you can make it worth the sacrifices."

The Hockey Hall of Fame member says he often gets to a rink at 10 a.m. to watch practice and start preparing for an evening game. He showed students a typical book of up to 100 pages of team and league stats and articles he reads and condenses into notes.

"And I might use 10 percent, maybe 15 percent."

Senior Zach Boslett said he came to hear from a sports legend and gained much from the talk.

TV sports broadcaster Mike "It was interesting to hear how he Emrick prepares for each game and all of the work behind the scenes," said the print journalism major.

Freshman broadcasting major Dyesha Butler said she was also impressed with Emrick's comments about planning to succeed.

"It's clear you must be willing to put in the time and have the mindset to succeed," said the Penn Hills native. Butler says she intends to be a radio talk show host.

Emrick told students to get experience everywhere they can, including campus stations, local radio stations and cable television stations.

"Find opportunities for yourself and don't be afraid to make mistakes," he said.

"Dress up for every interview. And if you are working an internship, ask if there is something you can do every day before you leave. The people who work hard are the ones who will be remembered and offered a job."

Emrick's appearance was sponsored by the Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing, with the assistance of Point Park's National Broadcasting Society.

Student Video

Before Emrick's talk, two Point Park students teamed up to interview him for the campus radio station, WPPJ. Zachary Weiss, sophomore majoring in journalism and mass communication, conducted the interview while Colston Cooper, a sophomore majoring in engineering technology, shot the video.