We stayed in a hotel last week. When I went to grab the iron out of the closet, the entire bracket came crashing down off the wall. It appeared to have been put up hastily, and without the parts necessary to keep it secure. Soon after, I began seeing other things around the suite that we just not up to par. Now I was looking, and I was finding a lot I didn’t like. One mistake had keyed me in and led me to look for – and find – others.
As a broadcaster, we must keep this scenario in mind. Our most valued quality is our broadcast integrity. Fooling listeners with incorrect facts or guesses can only lead to one thing – a loss of trust in you, the broadcaster. If you are caught in incorrect statements, listeners immediately begin to question everything you say. If you are wrong or misleading once, who’s to say you won’t do it again and again.
Sportscasters cannot know everything there is to know about a particular event, team or player. Mike Breen gave me great advice back in 1994, “If you don’t know, don’t be afraid to admit it. Don’t ever fake it.” Once a broadcaster is caught faking it, it takes an awful long time to regain the listener’s trust, if it can be done at all.
The next time you don’t have the answer on air, just say so. Or just go find the answer. Either way, don’t become the iron that crashes to the floor.
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