Archive for January, 2014

Fan to the Core

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2014 by amylawrencepxp

For the first time in 15 years, my favorite football team is playing in the Super Bowl. For the first time in my career, I’ll be on the radio hosting a post game show right after my team plays in the Super Bowl. People ask me how I do it – how I block out all the emotions that come along with being a fan in order to do my job. They want to know how I go from crazed fanatic to calm professional. And make no mistake about it, “crazed” describes me perfectly when it comes to the Denver Broncos. I fell in love with this team at age 13 when I saw John Elway lead them to an exciting fourth quarter comeback. That was before I knew anything about football and way before I knew what career path I would take. The love affair survived three Super Bowl losses, including a pair of devastating defeats (42-10 to the Redskins and 55-10 to the Niners) that broke my young heart. That was the lowest of the lows, but the highest of highs came in the late 90s as the Broncos won back to back titles to send Elway out in style. I still watch games the same way I did as a kid: standing up and then sitting down, pacing, talking to the TV, making sarcastic comments, pumping my fist, battling the pit in my stomach. The only thing that’s different now is I yell a lot less to preserve my voice…oh, and I also tweet while I’m watching. Haha!

I know some people expect me to have zero rooting interest and stay neutral no matter what game, sport or team I’m following. In fact, being a fan makes me BETTER at my job. Not only can I relate and empathize with sports radio listeners, but I bring to my shows the same passion, fire, and enthusiasm I feel for my teams. Being a fan is not the same as being biased. Being a fan doesn’t mean I’m not objective or can’t criticize my favorites. I’d say the opposite is more often the case…I’m harder on my teams than other people might be. All season long, I’ve been saying the Broncos’ defense isn’t good enough to win a Super Bowl and pointing to their beat up secondary as among the worst in the league. After the AFC Championship, I finally had to admit I underestimated Denver on that side of the ball. Fellow Broncos devotees accuse me of being a terrible fan or get mad at me when I point out their flaws and mistakes. Some listeners who don’t know my rooting background have no idea I cheer for Denver. I take that as a compliment. It means I’m doing my job the right way, but it was a skill that took some time to master. I can best describe it as a switch that flips in my brain…a switch that turns off the irrational, illogical crazed emotions of a fan and turns on the analytical, cognitive approach of a broadcaster. It may sound impossible; but I like to tell people that in addition to my Master’s degree in TV & Radio, I also have a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. Two opposite sides of the same brain. When I work during major sporting events that involve my teams (in the past, the World Series, NBA Finals and March Madness), the rooting interest bears no part. My credibility is on the line when I’m on the radio, and the drive to do my job to the best of my ability takes over.

What a strange convergence in my brain this year: my first time working Super Week and my favorite team will compete for the championship. I’m thrilled for new opportunities like spending time on Radio Row, networking with members of the media and football communities, and attending some of the annual events. I’ve been asked to emcee the Women’s Super Bowl Tailgate Party to benefit the American Cancer Society. If you’re in town, I hope you’ll join us! In addition, an NFL agent friend invited me to the EA Sports Madden Bowl which will also be a first. Of course, the best part of the week is hosting After Hours Friday and Saturday nights (11p-3a PT) and the CBS Sports Radio post game show on Sunday right after the winner is crowned. I can’t imagine a better Super Bowl party than that!

I remain a fan to the core, and as always, I bleed Denver Broncos orange. Because I’ve been a fan all these years, I know what a privilege it is to talk about sports for a living. There may be two sides to my brain, but only one heart…one excited, nervous, enthusiastic, grateful heart.

In With the New!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 4, 2014 by amylawrencepxp

“Out with the old; in with the new.” That popular phrase encapsulates all of 2013 for me. From start to finish, the last 12 months were about transitition and growth in absolutely every area of my life. Everything new…from the personal to the professional, from my geography to my weekly schedule. New job, new challenge, new routine, new address, new church, new friends, new start! It’s a good thing I didn’t realize all that was in store or I would have been overwhelmed. God knows exactly how much of His plan to reveal: enough that I can see His hand at work, but not so much that I’m rendered immobile by what looms on the horizon. I’ll admit much of 2013 swept by in a blur. At times, it was all I could do to hang on for dear life.

The word that comes to mind when I think back on the last year? MOVING! I spent most of 2013 physically moving my belongings from my house in the woods to an apartment on the side of someone else’s house. The moving happened in spurts, and even after the transfer from Connecticut to New Jersey was completed in July, there seemed no end to the consolidating and organizing. In fact, that process isn’t quite over. Turns out it’s not all that easy to cram into a space half the size. But at least 99% of what I own is now in the same county. Ha!

While I moved to a new address in 2013, I also moved into a new creative phase of my career. CBS Sports Radio gives me the freedom to spread my wings on the air. When hosting talk shows, I get to share my unique opinions on the topics I choose in my own unconventional way. I moved into a realm of new possibilities where I can develop my style and delivery by trial and error. I’ll be the first to admit my ideas don’t always work, but knowing I have the freedom to try gives me confidence to take risks. After Hours with Amy Lawrence has definitely morphed and changed a ton since we launched the show last January 4th. It’s a wild ride that never stops moving!

So often in 2013, I had to force myself to get moving. While my dog Penny and the commute into New York City keep me on the go, my exercise routine was thrown off-kilter more than I’d like to admit. When fatigue and stress threaten, I’ve always found that exercise is a great way to combat both. Training for the “Race for the Cure” in Central Park in September motivated me to get moving on those days when I felt lethargic; but in the next 12 months, I need to double my efforts on the exercise front. Move it!! Haha. Socially, I had to make the decision to move out of my comfort zone. Starting a new job feels like the first day of school. I spent a good portion of last year getting to know the people at CBS, understanding how they operate, and finding common ground. And it was no different personally. I may have introduced myself to more people in 2013 than any other year of my life. Moving out of my comfort zone, for sure!

Ever go through a phase of your life that pushes, pulls and stretches you and requires all you have to give? That was 2013 for me! Starting over is an understatement; and this time last year, I wasn’t sure I could do it. But we all face crossroads in our lives where the unknown lies in front of us; and no matter how scary or daunting it seems, we recognize there’s no going back. And so we move forward…some days quickly and confidently; other days, slowly and more timidly. Some days, we cover miles; other days, only a few feet. I love how the start of a new year gives a chance to look back, even briefly, to see how far we come.

It’s amazing the distance covered in my 2013 journey: personally, professionally, physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and spiritually. My goal for 2014? Keep moving! Maybe the changes are more internal than external this year; more subtle than overt. Let’s hope they have nothing to do with geography and physical location, though. I could do without that kind of moving for awhile. Ha! But I do want to look back a year from now and know I didn’t stay the same.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:18-19

Happy New Year!