Sportscaster Rich Eisen was on the uptown campus on Monday (Jan. 28) for an hour-long Q&A hosted by associate professor Gabe Feldman and the Tulane Sports Law Program. As Eisen took the stage in the Kendall Cram Lecture Hall in the Lavin-Bernick Center, he told the audience that he did stand up comedy when he was in college. Then he proceeded to spend the next hour showing them that he hasn’t lost any of his chops.
NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen fields a question from a Tulane student during an hour-long Q&A hosted by the Sports Law Program on Monday (Jan. 28). (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)
Eisen, who’s been the anchor and face of the NFL Network since it began in 2003, kept the crowd of students and fans laughing as he fielded questions ranging in topics from how he started his career, to the probability of Tim Tebow winning a Super Bowl, to the state of the NFL and the future of the professional game.
“The NFL has a quandary on its hands,” Eisen said in response to a question about player safety. “What do you do within the rules to make it safer when the job is essentially to blow the other guy up?”
He urged anyone looking to get into the business to pay special attention to the written word, calling it a “crucial aspect” of becoming a television sportscaster. He emphasized the point by saying that he writes everything that he says on-air.
“No one does any writing for me, and it’s one of the pleasures I get, being able to write a sentence and deliver it on-camera,” Eisen said.
Eisen said he grew up idolizing Howard Cosell and Marv Albert, and although he has a graduate degree in journalism from Northwestern, he knew early on that he wasn’t cut out for news.
“I like final scores,” Eisen said. “That’s the kind of thing I like to cover.”