Inspiration

It’s no secret that I love sports movies – from the Bad News Bears to Rocky to Hoosiers, I’ll watch them again and again (I even watched “Draft Day” 1.5 times, even though the good guy was a Buckeye).

So as I count down the days until the Maccabi Pan Am Games start (Dec. 27), I’ve been busy watching and downloading some favorites for the full day of travel, so I’ll have all the inspiring pep talks in my mind when we get on the field for that first game.

Some are missing, but here’s a good compilation of some of the best (and some odd choices).

And here’s another Top 10 list (featuring “The Damned United” – a great soccer movie).

“Miracle” and “Rocky” are cued up and ready to go. Can’t wait!

Confidence

Confidence is a tricky thing. It’s a fine line between being confident and being cocky, though these days, I’m having trouble finding either one.

This isn’t too surprising – it’s hard keeping your confidence up when you’re out of a job, and sending resume after resume barely results in a nibble. I don’t know how actors do it – putting yourself out there again and again directly in front of people, only to face that very public rejection, in the hopes of that “one big break.”

It’s not that I think I won’t find a job, I know I’m talented (see, there’s that cocky confidence coming back), and there are offers floating around that just haven’t been finalized yet, but the longer this search goes on, the more that little voice in the back of my head starts to get slightly more vocal.

This is happening to me on the soccer field as well. I started the fall season on a tear, scoring goals right and left, and running around in the best shape I’d been in for years. But then a balls started hitting posts, passes went awry, losses piled up, and suddenly, there goes confidence, in the opposite direction.

I’ve got just over a month before one of the biggest events of my life, and I’m scared to death that my confidence won’t return in time to make the experience an enjoyable one.

So send your best wishes and positive thoughts my way. I’m going to keep training hard so that when the ball does come my way, I’ll be able to make good things happen. And I’m still sending those resumes out, as I know the perfect gig is waiting for me somewhere.

Commitment

A lot of reporters talk about being committed to a story. But how many of them really put themselves out there to tell the tale?

We were doing a story on the new urologist in town, and needed some b-roll to show the vasectomy process. So I filmed my own surgery. That’s commitment, people.

Some New Material

So once again, the TV station has reduced its staff, which means I am once again picking up the camera and shooting my own packages (I will often edit the stuff our videographers have shot in order to get the story the way I want it).  Here’s a few of the latest features:

Testing out some new camping gear – shot this one “Bear Grylls-style”

Debut novelist talking about his work. Again, note that I have no teleprompter, no notes, and no producer or staff to come up with questions for me.

New mountain bike skills park opens in Park City. I admit the titles aren’t the best, but this was a crash edit to get it on the air.

Getting Personal

Ori Hoffer
Hanging out in the PCTV studio

So I’ve been sending out a lot of resumes lately, for a number of different jobs, and I keep telling people they can find out more about me here on my website. Well, one of the best ways to find out about who I am is to read this profile from the Salt Lake City Weekly, it covers a lot about my background, and my philosophy on the news business and how we should try to fix it.

GAVIN’S UNDERGROUND (Salt Lake City Weekly)

Here’s to the Announcers

Kudos to Sports Illustrated (and SI.com) for posting Joe Posnanski’s list of 32 great sports calls (“Down goes Frazier!” “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”).

It reminded me of some of my own favorite moments from the booth, including the 1990 Michigan – Michigan State game, when I was announcing for WJJX radio.  Michigan was ranked #1 in the country and had just scored a touchdown to pull within one with 10 seconds left.  This was before overtime, so they went for two.  Desmond Howard got tripped in the endzone and dropped the winning pass, and for a good 30 seconds, my color man went into full “Rain Man” mode, repeating “Howard dropped the ball.  Howard dropped the ball. He dropped the ball.” I don’t know how many people were listening that afternoon, but the sadness in that phrase still hits me – especially this past weekend when the Wolverines lost to Sparty again, in my first game back in Ann Arbor in 11 years.

On a happier note, here’s my vote for one of the greatest game calls ever, the inimitable Bob Ufer calling the 1979 Michigan vs. Indiana game.  I was at the stadium for this, but the radio call is even better than being there.

Tooting my horn

Sometimes, you do an interview and it’s just so smooth and easy that you forget that there’s a show going on.  That happened to me today with my conversation with author Steven Kotler about his book, “A Small Furry Prayer.”  The subject matter – guy leaves LA to start a Chihuahua rescue home in Chimayo, New Mexico – was something close to me as one who is the caretaker for a rescued Vizsla.

After the interview, we probably kept on talking about the book and other things for another half-hour, and could have gone on much longer if he didn’t have to get to a book signing.

That’s why it was so nice to get this note that he sent to one of my colleagues when I returned to my desk after the show:

Ori Hoffer is, without a doubt, the very best TV interviewer I’ve yet dealt with—and I’ve done quite a bit of TV along the way. Usually book shows lack energy and humor and end up being pretentious for no good reason. Ori was the exact opposite … an absolute pleasure to work with… and what a magnetic TV presence he has. I really, really, really enjoyed the interview, thanks a ton for having me on.

Thanks Steven.  That made my day.