Monday, September 06, 2010

Reading, Watching and Sleeping Sports

Bill Diehl sent us this story about Warner Wolf that was in today's New York Times:

By ALEX VADUKUL

The sportscaster Warner Wolf, 72, wakes up most mornings at 4 a.m. to prepare for his air time; Sunday is an exception. He has been in the business for some 50 years, and settled in 2004 at WABC Radio, where he is now the sportscaster for “Imus in the Morning”; he also has his own show on Saturdays on ESPN Radio in New York. During football season, which starts this week, he spends Sundays glued to the television at his home on the Upper West Side. The rest of the year, he might go to a matinee with his wife, Sue.

"SLEEPING IN Sunday is the only day I don’t work, and it’s the only day I get up later than 4 a.m., or 5:30, like I do on Saturday for ESPN. But my mind is locked into those hours, so I wake up at 7:30 or 8. The first thing I have to do is read the paper. My wife will either fix breakfast at home or we’ll go eat around the corner at the diner and I’ll read the papers while I eat.

Warner Wolf and his wife Sue stop for a light snack and drink at Chez Josephine before heading to the theater. 

NO COFFEE, EVER Sunday is the only day I eat breakfast. I always have the same thing: two fried eggs sunny side up, crispy bacon, a toasted English muffin (they put the butter on it) and no potatoes. I also take iced tea and then honeydew melon if it’s in season. No coffee. I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. Don’t want it. Was never interested in it. I’ve never smoked a cigarette either.

NO GYM Sunday is the only day I don’t go to the gym. During the week, I’m not sleepy, but the gym helps with that. I started noticing that if you get up at 4 a.m., do your work and then finish at 9:30 — if you don’t go to the gym, then the endorphins don’t work in your head and you’re going to fall asleep. The gym is huge for me.


ENTERTAINMENT On Sunday my wife and I will normally either go to a play, an Off Broadway play, a movie, or we’ll go drive to Connecticut and I’ll see my daughter. I love the theater.
PLAY BY PLAY My favorite musical might be “Jersey Boys.” That one’s hard to beat. I like dramatic shows and especially one-man shows where the guy will portray a historical character. I saw Laurence Fishburne do Thurgood Marshall. Another time, Steve Lang, the colonel from “Avatar,” did a one-man show about Army personnel in different wars. I saw someone do Teddy Roosevelt.

EARLY DINNER Sunday matinee is at 3 o’clock, so after that we’ll go to dinner, which may or may not be in the theater district. Dinner will be early because I have to get up at 4 a.m. the next day.
SUNDAY ADVANTAGE The one advantage of Sunday is that most events are played during the day, so I can write down all the results before bed and be prepared for the show Monday morning. During the week, everything is played at night, so what happens is I go to bed, wake up at midnight to check up on the results, and then go back to bed until 4 a.m. I have to do that to be prepared when I get to the studio. But even on Sundays, if it’s Sunday night baseball or football, I’ll wake up to check scores before returning to bed.

FOOTBALL SEASON My Sunday routine changes for five months of the year: football season. September to January I’m locked in, 1 o’clock to 7 o’clock. No shortcuts. I have to be able to talk about the game. There are so many intricacies and strategy points that if I didn’t watch the whole game I might miss them. I can’t picture going on the radio and someone says, “What about that play in the third quarter?” and then responding, “I missed it.”

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