Scott Hanson is the ever-popular host of NFL RedZone and a man whose passion for the NFL is infectious. Every Sunday through the regular season, Hanson will take fans around the world around the grounds with his fast-paced show that prides itself on delivering "seven hours of commercial-free football." When a man has this much energy for the NFL, you could easily ask him 103 questions. Here are three to get you started.
When did you start to dream about becoming an NFL broadcaster?
About mid-high school when I was 16 or 17 years old, that was when I knew the NFL was not going to happen, but I was still a very good high school player. I walked on at Syracuse University – a high-level Division 1 school - but I knew I wasn't going to the NFL. So, a lot of times when we would have things going on around my football team – whether it was practice, before or after games, I used to broadcast it. To pass the time, I would be broadcasting while we were in the middle of practice. Now, I wouldn't be doing it out loud to the point where I would irritate my coaches. But I would be looking for the storylines and I would be building the drama. I would talk to myself and say, 'Yes, Chris Gedney is coming back from that twisted ankle that knocked him out of the West Virginia game. Will he be able to play against Pittsburgh this week? We'll find out.' I used to say these things in my head and it would help sharpen my skills for what I do now.
You clearly love hosting NFL RedZone on Sundays. What can you tell me about those Sundays covering the NFL?
The analogy I use is that when a new day begins and that first ball is on the tee and we're ready to go, and you know the possibilities are infinite as to what we could see. I look at it as weather. We're on a gorgeous beach and the waves are starting to roll in… some of the waves are big, some of the waves are small and they move in different directions and they have different behaviours. And it's time to go out on a surfboard as you and me and we're bringing the enjoyment to the people on the beach who are watching. It's time to get on the surfboard and ride those waves – some of them might crush you, some of them might just be little bumps and then some of them might be glorious where you get on top of that wave and everyone who is watching just looks and marvels at the beauty of it. You can never predict how it will change or what will happen, but you know it will. You and I get romantic about it, don't we? You only get 17 of them each year and that's what I tell our staff on NFL RedZone. 'Guys, I know it's five in the morning when the alarm clock goes off and I know people are tired but we only get 17 of these. And in the middle of June or July or whenever in the deep offseason, you're going to be wishing for just one of these Sundays.' When you get them for five months in a row, it's just something to savour.
Let's talk about the Minneapolis Miracle and how we watched that famous Stefon Diggs touchdown together in the Sky Sports studios towards the end of the 2017 season. Your reaction just proved that we watch the game just like fans. That's what we're supposed to do, right?
Sure. And, by the way, I know people see that video of me waking up dogs across the UK in the middle of the night with my shrieking, but I wasn't on camera at that moment. Now, it ended up getting captured on camera, but I would have ended up being more professional had we been on the air live. I still would have been excited. That was my raw, real, natural, organic reaction to what I deduced may have been the greatest finish in divisional playoff history. And we experienced it and saw it together. I still get excited about it now.
To listen to Neil's full conversation with Scott Hanson download the latest episode of The Neil Reynolds Podcast, which is available now wherever you get your podcasts.