Episode 04: Sam Crenshaw
We ring in 2016 with a pod for the aspiring sports journalists.
Sam Crenshaw covers most sports Americans could name: football, baseball, basketball, tennis, NASCAR…even fencing. He broke through covering Jack Nicklaus’ famous 1986 Masters’ victory and went on to carve an impressive career: He is currently a weekend host on 92.9 The Game, a correspondent for Atlanta City TV and a spokesperson for the Sports Image Georgia Sports Marketing Group. He also worked at CBS’ Greensboro, NC affiliate (WFMY) and anchored ESPN’s “Black College Sports Today.” He has done sideline reporting for the Atlanta Falcons and Georgia State Panthers, and is now expanding to play-by-play, calling Panthers games for ESPN3 and he called the inaugural Celebration Bowl for radio. His honors included a 2003 regional Emmy for Best Sports Performer and a U.S. Tennis Association Media Excellence Award.
However, most Atlantans remember Sam from 11Alive (WXIA), Atlanta’s NBC affiliate, where he spent 16 years as an on-air personality, interviewing “anyone who was anyone” in the Atlanta sports world. Especially on weekends, Sam would interview players, coaches and even family members of local pro and college teams. It was also here where he pursued his favorite assignment, the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece.
Sam’s time on television was evident as we recorded this episode prior to Christmas (and bowl) season in December– plenty of people remembered or recognized him. We decided to take on the first distinctly southern dining choice for the pod, Fred’s Country Cooking, near a basketball court opening event that Sam covered later in the day. The topics ranged from humorous to poignant as Sam talked how his interest in sports informed his education, his memories of integration in the southeast (on and off of the field), and the sports that he believes are underrated by students. He also shared his memories of the 2004 Olympics, including his inadvertent discovering of a local story while covering the event. Most importantly, he talked about what he believes is the most important approach that advanced his career: the “opportunity to fail.”
At 69:08, Sam references the Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint:
walk from #CMAATL16