Sunday, April 15, 2007

My list of people at Capstone Presentation...

This could get crazy...I've been thinking of this for my entire tenure here at Westminster. Who would I want to be at my capstone presentation, and why? Obviously I want my mom there, I'd also like my girlfriend and her family...All of my friends, Denny Wolfe, and a few select teachers from my days as an East Palestine Bulldog. But here are a few I'd really like to acknowledge and invite to my presentation. (In no particular order.)

Dr. B- This was a no brainer...If it weren't for Dr. B, I wouldn't be here today. From the second I stepped on Westminster's campus, I felt home, but when Dr. B told me how sports savvy the radio and TV stations were...I was in, hook line and sinker. Over the years Dr. B has proved to me that broadcasting, or doing anything worth while requires not just pure talent, and heart, but hard work and studying. All the talent in the world doesn't help you remember a visiting teams roster, but studying and understanding stats will. Bottom line, if Dr. B hadn't given me a chance, there's no way I'd be preparing for this speech.

Coach Dafler- Coach has not only been an excellent Athletic Director here at WC...but a great person. Without a doubt the best color announcer a play by play could ever ask for, Coach kept me laughing when I needed it, and knew when to take it down a notch. I could always count on him to know what was going on when I had no clue. (Though I'd never tell anybody that, I knew he thought I was crazy sometimes.) I'd like to show him what I've become because of his contributions.

Coach Terry Verrelli- Over the first semester, Coach Verrelli and I had constant communication going back and forth. A year of Wilmington football that nobody will soon forget occurred on the same year I did my senior project...The Greyhound Roundup. Coach gave me all the soundbites week in and week out, he gave me his time, his players, but most of all his respect. He was the first Coach to actually see me as not just a student, but a reporter. If I messed up a question, he would make it so it made sense. A great coach, a great leader, a great man. He helped me to where I am today.

Bob Hannon & Bill Castrovince- I've met many sportscasters, many reporters, many people in general in my life, but these two gentlemen take the cake. They taught me more things about the business than I'll ever be able to account for. From my first day to my last, they never took it easy on me, because they knew I wanted it to be real. I wanted to be the best I could be, and get the most out of my internship, and I did. I'd gotten nothing but compliments when I left for the job I had done, but it really wasn't a reflection of me, it was a reflection of them, and what they had molded me into. They made me realize that anchor/reporting was fun, but wasn't the only thing out there. They showed me to be creative, yet structured at the same time. Basically they showed me Sports Broadcasting. With their busy schedule I know it's half-near impossible for them to show up, but if they did it would mean the world to me.

I also wouldn't be mad if they brought my internship crush Angee Shaker.

But most of all I'd like to invite whoever reads this blog, whoever has followed me in the past, even if it's just for watching a package, or to say hello to me when I'm out and about. I want to invite you! Please accept my invitation to the Mueller Theater on the campus of Westminster College on April 30th at 6 PM. I'm going last so hopefully you'll be able to make it for my classmates and stay for mine!

Until next time, I'm DJ Yokley.

The Job Search Site.....Search

We've been asked to scavenger out on the web for a job search site. I feel this is necessary because we never know how long we'll have a job, or when we'll find a better one; so it's nice to be able to gather all our acorns here before the dead of winter, or in our case spring. I've enjoyed looking at my classmates ideas to these search sites, however, I've found one that I really enjoy. provides not only where the jobs are, but where you can find some in the near future. It also has various links to other job searches...and my favorite part...who's laying off and how many they have/had laid off. It gives you a heads up if you're in that particular company, and a chance to look for other options if you've just applied. It also holds a link to archives of all media related interviews of all mediums.

This site is really useful to me because it serves as a "homepage" to go back to and use as I go from link to link. It also has timely updates so you never are caught with a job posting that is outdated. Hope you get some use out of it, as I did...until next time, I'm DJ Yokley.

On top of the old E-Portfolio...

I'd like to be able to tell you what's at the top of my e-portfolio...but I can't. I'm not going to make one. I AM, like so many times I've done before, going to follow in the great Liz Farry's footsteps and create a webpage...The reason behind this is that I feel it is more practical to put a webpage together, and have one that people can respond to and look at on their time, and you really can't LOSE a webpage. You may lose the link, but those can always be restored. Also, I feel a lot more creative freedom with a webpage as opposed to a link-strung e-portfolio.
I may, however, make something off of my webpage, in case something were to happen with internet access, but with my current goals in mind, an e-portfolio didn't seem very sensible to me. The main thing that I have to put together a "demo reel." What I want to put on there is nothing that I have done so far besides a few exceptions... I'd like to put my swim package, my football dance package, and my mothers story on my demo reel. I've got a couple ideas for the summer and fall already that I'm going to do in advance, and put on so I have something to send to ESPN in August when I'm applying for the PA job. However, by the time I get back from my trip to Denny's in June, my opinion of what's good enough for my reel may have changed. We'll see...I'll make a link to my Resupage when it's near completion...keep it linked...until next time...I'm DJ Yokley.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to head out to WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. It was a really eye opening experience for many of the underclassman, but I feel that we, the seniors knew what we were in for. We know that anchors have a completely different personality than reporters, and producers and directors are built in two different ways, they either shoot you straight, or they dance around your question. There is no gray area that you can work with...It was nice to see Channel 4 from the inside, and it was awesome that Sarah Bowers got us in and we could see her in her actual environment.

I'd really wished I could just have seen and talked to the Sports Director, or head down to the ESPN Radio studios. I realize that would have been out of the way, but I think that would have really helped me out seeing what kind of people work in sports talk radio, and ask them why they didn't go after television. I'd also like to know what the writing differences are in sports radio as oppose to anchoring? Knowing that people hold onto your "views" and every word, instead of being distracted by what they are literally viewing. Don't get me wrong, I know more than anybody that people hold you accountable for every syllable that comes out, but at the same time, with radio...there's nothing's just words.

All things considered it was a great experience for everybody. It was fun to see the underclassman so starstruck in the really made some people open up...especially evening anchor Wendy Bell...thanks for clearing up the difference between TV and reality Ms. Bell...I surely won't forget you!

Until next time...I'm DJ Yokley.


This assignment for me may be a little different than my classmates because I don't graduate until December, so I'm going to stretch out my checklist of things to do between now and the beginning of next we go!

By April-

-"Complete" E-Portfolio
- Complete Capstone Farewell Vid
- Complete Capstone Presentation
-Assemble Resume Tape/Resume
-Produce 2 quality, non-dated sports stories...

By May

-Make plans for a few days with Denny
-Edit, make any changes to the sports stories
-Assemble writing samples
- Assemble a "Demo-reel" to take to Denny
- Talk to Bob about creating a production tape at 33

By June

-Get up to Bristol
-Meet/Talk to whomever I possibly can
-Do whatever it takes
-Get feedback on Demo Reel/Writing Samples
-Edit, edit, edit....

By July

-Have a firm grasp on everything I need/could possibly pop-up for ESPN resume
-Double check
-Triple check

By August

-Application in mail, along with demo reel, and writing samples, and of course my resume
-Start prepping for Coaches Corner to free my mind of stress....

So as you can see, the next 5 months are going to be as hectic as I've seen so far in my 22 years. However, that's not going to stop me from achieving my goal...this is what I want more than anything, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm going to have my finger prints all over that brass ring when it's all said and done.

Until next time....I'm DJ Yokley.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I want to be a Toys R Us kid!

So the day has finally come that I have to pick the topic for the weekly blog. I decided that we're going to do polar opposites off of last week. Instead of what will you do with your last years on earth, I proposed a "What did you want to do when you were a kid, and how did that influence your decisions to be what you are today?" I'm also going to throw an extra twist in there, that of, what I do anything different?

When I was 4 I started playing T-Ball...ever since that first practice I had always wanted to be a professional baseball player. For 14 years I made that my dream, I trained, and trained and trained...I got award after award, won a few championships here and there, played at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, but never even so much got a glance from a scout. I guess being 5'5 didn't help me, but I did learn something along the way. If I put my mind to something, it usually comes out pretty impressive. If nothing else, baseball gave me confidence along the way.

When I was a freshman in high school, I had to take a physical science class. (Boring, right?? Stay with me.) My teacher happened to be the Athletic Director, and was more interested in finding opponents for the upcoming football season than he was in educating a bunch of teenagers on where lightning comes from. Granted, I wasn't performing all that well in the class, so my mother suggested I ask for extra credit. The next day I went in and asked, and to my surprise he said that if I announced the freshman basketball games for him that he would overlook my test scores. In a heartbeat I said yes. That was also the last time for about 2 weeks my heart beat at a regular pace. What had I gotten myself into?? front of people...that knew me!!! The game finally came, and I stepped into character as the PA announcer, I had heard the Chicago Bulls announcer and tried to imitate him, much to the fans (and my own) delight I did well. I then went on to be the varsity announcer for 3 years and probably had one of the more recognizable voices in East Palestine History.

The reason that I shared this, is because that one day in SCIENCE class changed my life forever. From the time I put down the mic on that cold November night, to this very blog I have known what my talent really is...sports broadcasting. Had I never taken the chance and said "yes" to my 'extra credit' then I probably would not be here today. My life has taken many twists and turns (many more to come,) but the one constant has been broadcasting. It's my outlet, it's where I feel successful, it's where I feel proud. I'm fortunate enough to recognize this as my lifetime occupation. Being a baseball player taught me the art of communication, it taught me leadership, and responsibility. Being an inspired baseball player never truly made me a great baseball player...being an inspired baseball player hopefully will make me a great employee in the broadcast business. So would I do anything different, or change anything about my past?? Aside from letting Mike Speery "borrow" my Peter Venkman action figure when I was 5....not a thing. Until next time...I'm DJ Yokley

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Sweet Sweet 70

"Imagine waking up tomorrow morning in your 70s. What is the one thing you refuse to let yourself miss out on in life and just have to do before you’re gone?"
-Amy "Hungry Like the Wolf" Lavallee

First and foremost, I'd like to thank Amy for making me think about this. We are just getting ready to enter the work force, and now we're writing about being done! SWEET! If I keep this up I'll never have to work a day in my life. OK...So what do I refuse to let myself miss out on?? Well after all is said and done and I actually have time to do things...I'd like to write a book. A book about the "adventures" I've experienced in life. I don't mind if nobody reads it, because I'll be able to look back on things and finally put everything in perspective. I hear all the time from players and coaches that there's no time to look back on things until it is all over...they're right! If you let yourself get caught up in the past, you'll miss the present. I like living the way I do, very spontaeneously. Mostly because I know (And Mr. Weaver preaches) once I start having a family and settle down, I'm not going to be able to do these things. I'll have a whole new set of plans and focuses then.
If you would have told me I would want to write an entire book when I was 15, I would call you a liar. However, I've found that writing is a great way to communicate, and a very good
way for me to express myself. I actually have been reading books (no pictures) to pass time and stay "alert" as my girlfriend says. So nothing would be more appealing to me right now than to write a book about nothing and everything at the same time. It worked for that Seinfeld guy, maybe I can make something out of it. Hopefully when I'm that experienced in life I'll still have the love I do for writing that book (and enjoying life.) Until next time...I'm DJ Yokley.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

If I had a million dollars...

This week's assignment, courtesy of Michael Michael "The Motorcycle" Wolenski, is "What would you do if you had a million dollars?" ( Or...One Millllion Dollarss as Dr. Evil would say.) A million dollars?? It's hard to think what I would do with 10 dollars sometimes being a college student! Nonetheless, If I had a million dollars, I would pay off all my debts, including my parents payments on their house and vehicles. I would then give $10,000 to the Big Brother Big Sisters Orginization. I was a big brother for a couple years and it was not only a great experience for myself, but when I see my "little brother" roaming around he stops me and tells me how much of a difference I made for him when he didn't have much. If I could make that feeling by not giving any money, I could probably make a big difference with ten grand. I'd then put the rest of the money into a bank account and pick up the interest on it until I was ready to move and buy a home, and new vehicle. By then, the interest could pay for the car by itself...The reason I wouldn't retire or do anything out of the ordinary is because I feel that my life is complete with what I have in it, I've worked hard, climbed so many ladders in my years, that I feel I'd be cheating myself or selling myself short if I just call it quits at 22. I like the chase, the excitement of will I meet the deadline every week, that keeps me going!! Giving that up would be like giving up a big part of myself, and I wouldn't be able to do that! So what would you do with a million bucks? Until next time, I'm DJ Yokley...

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why Sports, Why???

Alright, so call me an overachiever, but this is a post that just had to be put up. Working today at a well-known wholesale discount juggernaut, I was asked the question as to why I like sports so much. Not exactly in those words, but "What's so great about sports, that you want your whole life to be centered around it?" Granted the person who asked the question did not graduate high school, and still enjoys prank phone calls to his own department, and lives in his parents basement while living his life through a computer game where he believes he is indeed a "dwarf." Nonetheless, that question, "Why sports?" got me thinking...
Why sports? After a long thought process, and reading a page out of my idol Mike Greenberg's novel Why My Wife Thinks I'm an Idiot, it all made sense to me.

-Some of my friends enjoy taking shots at a bar. I enjoy watching Michael Jordan taking shots...with 20 seconds on the clock, everybody in the world including the home Utah Jazz knew he was going to shoot the ball...they couldn't stop him, nobody could stop him. With 6 ticks left, drain a bucket with a defender in your face en route to your 6th NBA Championship. After all, he IS Michael Jordan.

-When some people talk about GREATNESS, they often talk about the feeling after finals. When I talk about GREATNESS it wears the number 99, owns 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, 6 All-Star records, won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, and won 9 MVP awards and 10 scoring titles. He is the only player ever to total over 200 points in a season (a feat that he accomplished four times in his career). In addition, he tallied over 100 points a season for 15 NHL seasons, 13 of them consecutively. Still think you're great?

-Determination is something that can be used loosely, however when I think of myself as being determined, I immediately find myself thinking about Joseph Clifford Montana Jr. (AKA Joe Montana) and his determination against the New Orleans Saints. Down by 28 at the half, "Joe Cool" led his teammates to a 38-35 victory. A feat that still stands to this day. Let's not forget 1981 when Montana led San Francisco to a 13-3 record, the best in the NFL. In one of the most memorable games in 49ers history, he led the 49ers on an 11-play, 89-yard drive, ending with a dramatic touchdown pass to Dwight Clark, which came to be known as "The Catch," for a thrilling 28-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Championship game. Two weeks later Montana led the 49ers to a 26-21 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl XVI. Not to mention a Superbowl MVP.

You see with me, it's not an obsession with sports as much as it is a passion. Greenberg says in his book that:

Sports is like war without all the dying. Imagine how intriguing war would be as a spectator sport if, when it was over, everyone shook hands...The strategy, the passion, the courage, the stakes: war is magnificent theater until you count all the bodies."
-Mike Greenberg

I couldn't have put it any better. However, it's not
my job to be these men. I don't want to be them, I want to tell their story, I want to be that guy. The guy that makes them look them look great, instead of just good. Who made Michael Jordan "Michael Jordan?" The media, the producers who run his shot over and over. I want to be the guy that takes an athlete and creates a legacy. Who is to say that someone at ESPN isn't Michael Jordan's hero for making him a hundred-millionaire??

So by now you may ask the question of what my reply was to "
What's so great about sports, that you want your whole life to be centered around it?"


Friday, January 26, 2007

If you stole my sunshine...

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy when skies are grey. You'll never know dear, how much I love you...please don't take my sunshine away."

The pre-mentioned was a song that my grandmother used to sing to me when she was rocking me to sleep. Ironically this week we were given the assignment to show what we could do in a world without broadcasting. For example, if we weren't BC Majors, what could we bring to the table of a job market. This may be the only assignment we've had that has really shaken me up. I've kept a pretty steady hand throughout the capstone experience, except when Mr. Weaver threw us a curveball with this one, it kind of tripped me up. No Broadcasting??? What would I do??? Would I be meaningless??? No chance! You see, the way I've been programmed to think is when there is an obstacle in your way, you have 3 choices. Stop what you're doing, and give up, avoid the problem by going around the obstacle. Or claw, scrape, climb, destroy your way through/over the obstacle learning everything you can so if it ever shows up again, you'll know it's number. Guess what choice I took?
If there were no Sports Broadcasting/News I have skills I can bring to the game that would help me succeed. First and foremost I have confidence. Confidence without cockiness is key, because no employers hire employees that are cocky, yet at the same time they don't want a pushover either. They want somebody to show them that they can do the job, and do it well, and when I do things, I make sure people know it's a quality product. Secondly, I would bring maturity and stability. It is important for an employee to show his/her employer that they are reliable, and have the maturity level to think on their feet without losing their head. I'd also bring my education, life's experience, and diligence. However, I'd also bring something extra to the table that others may not even think of...humor. A sense of humor is key, I don't want a best buddy to be my boss, however, initiating and knowing a positive relationship in the workplace has never done any harm for anyone and shows people that you are a real individual, and a thinker as well.

Hope this helps everybody, because thinking of this has made me more inspired than before. Until next time...I'm DJ Yokley.

Back to the Future...

In our first class of the semester we found new careers, old careers, dream careers, and feared careers that were amongst us all. We as a class decided to go back to the (10 year) future e-mail and revisit perhaps what we have changed and what has stayed the same over the past semester. *Warning* PERSONAL JUNK IN THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH...

Dr. Weaver,

It was so good to hear from you, I hope all is well with the ladies at home and hope the teenage years for them haven't run you down that much. Life is good here in Bristol, I've been here for 9 years now working for ESPN as a features producer on NFL Countdown and Baseball Tonight. Denny Wolfe really helped me when it came time to pick who landed the P.A. jobs here the the Worldwide Leader. We're actually really good friends now, it's nice to have that common bond of Chuck Chirozzi flashbacks. I just wanted to thank you for giving me the inspiration, the motivation, and the realization that the sports broadcasting business is a rough one, but one that I love with all my heart. Without you or Dr. Barner, who knows what the hell I'd be doing today. Luckily for me the other love in my life, my wife, has been very forgiving and understanding of the time that I'm "on the road." Speaking of my wife, she's currently pregnant with our second little person, we have a son already, his name is Trey, and I've already got him scanning the wire for breaking local news (Not really.) It's been nice talking to you, but I've got to catch a flight to the West Coast, but please stay in touch, it's been too long.


I know it's not the most detailed description of what I'll be doing, or where I'll be at, but this is honestly where I see myself, and where I have a passion for being in 10 years, and if this comes to be, I won't be surprised in the least, because I feel it's what I'm meant to do. It may not be easy, but nothing worth while ever is! That's all for now, until next time...I'm DJ Yokley.