“GOT IT AGAIN! HE’S WAY TOO GOOD”. This was the call that current Philadelphia 76ers announcer, Tom McGinnis, made during the 2001 NBA Finals. Allen Iverson, “THE SIX FOOT GUARD FROM GEORGETOWN”, was the teams star player and had just hit another legendary baseline step back to score his seventh straight point to steal game 1 of the series in Los Angeles against the favored Lakers. Watching how much that moment affected my dad, a lifetime Philadelphia resident and basketball junkie, showed me even at the young age of six years old, that sports, and the way they were covered, mattered. From that moment on my dad and I formed a special bond, rooted in our love for the game of basketball and specifically, the 76ers.
My name is Kyle Eliff and I am a senior from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, studying journalism with a minor in sports management.
Growing up my parents had to bribe me almost every night. An extra scoop of ice cream for dessert, an hour extension to my curfew, or my favorite meal for dinner the following night. The only condition? I had to stay seated through the entire meal. Although this bribe lasted for several years, I can count on my two hands the amount of times I deservingly was rewarded. It was simply impossible for me to not spring up, ramble on to the rest of my family, telling meaningless stories and acting out every little detail.
While I had always admired sports journalists, broadcasters, interviewers, analysts, scouts, etc., when the time came to pick a college I focused primarily on the universities I was looking at Business schools. “My brother is a financial advisor. That seems to be what all of my friends are interested in studying and a safe route to a stable income and job. Lets do that.” This was my thinking senior year of high school. Thankfully my mom convinced me that it was important to find a school that also had a good journalism program, just in case I ever decided to switch to what we both knew was my strongest suit in school. After one semester taking classes as a pre-Terry student, my mind was set. This was not what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. Thank you, Mom. Hello, Grady.
Journalism is a wonderful thing. It allows people the opportunity to creatively express themselves and be heard in a way that they want to be heard. Sports are also a wonderful thing. They bring people together and give people something to rally behind. The beautiful thing about both of them though, is the way they can make you feel. There is nothing like finishing that beautifully written, moving article that has you on the edge of tears and makes you feel like you were there. There is also nothing like watching a game with your 77 year old grandfather and watching him cry as his favorite team, the Philadelphia Phillies, wins their first World Series title in 28 years. When you combine the two, it makes for one unbelievable combination.
After college I hope to move back to Philadelphia and pursue a career in sports journalism. Heres to chasing a dream thats been with me for 15 years. And heres to hoping I get the opportunity to make the next great call, or write the next great story that inspires another young kid to pursue his passion.