May 29, 2021
Until last week I didn’t know who Joe Valerio was. He was like a lot of people who work behind the scenes to produce television programs. Invisible. His calling card was ESPN’s The Sports Reporters.
A panel discussion show on ESPN. A ground breaking production that brought serious discussion to real sports issues. The Sports Reporters had a 29-year run that ended in 2017. It was largely replaced by shows featuring so-called expert commentators whose primary skill was shouting over each other. It’s what we want or so we are told.
For four years, The Sports Reporters overlapped The Rochester Press Box. Producer Joe Bradt and I wanted a program modeled after The Sports Reporters… tapping into the vast amount of local talent we had in Rochester. And Channel 13 bought into the idea.
The Rochester Press Box has been a showcase for the great sportswriters at the D&C. Along with the likes of Jim Kelly… Abby Wambach… Roosevelt Bouie… Rich Funke… Mike Catalana… John DiTullio… Dan Fetes… Doug Miller… Bob Bleier and Greg Keagle. And countless others. Not to be interviewed… but to contribute to the narrative. We’ve been on the air for nine years. We just taped our 393rd episode. Thanks in part to the vision of Joe Valerio at ESPN.