Sports Babe of the Day Presents: John Buccigross, Anchor, ESPN, @Buccigross
Whether you know him as Bucci, Buccigross or Bucci Mane big cat, John Buccigross is a man that needs little introduction. He is currently a SportsCenter and ESPNEWS Anchor, and has been broadcasting for ESPN in a variety of areas since 1996. Arguably one of the wittiest people in sports broadcasting today, Buccigross has cultivated an enormous and dedicated fan following with his hilarious banter and penchant for coining sticky catchphrases. When he’s not rocking the mic talking sports, Buccigross can be found writing, cooking, hitting the links, or jamming to some great tunes. He loves Chicken Parm and Thin Mints, and his hashtag game is second to none. Follow him, tweet him, and don’t miss out on the #bucciovertimechallenge.
20 Questions with John Buccigross…
1. What was your involvement with sports while you were growing up? I played, watched, read about, consumed sports 24/7, 365. I couldn’t get enough. I was shy and introverted and I got lost in sports.
2. When did you first realize that you wanted to pursue a career as a sportscaster? I was always drawn to broadcasts and announcers and the graphics and music used. When I was about 12, my parents gave me an old tape recorder and I started to turn the sound on the TV and broadcast games on TV. Girls LOVED me.
3. Talk to us about your popular hockey lingo vlogumns…What drove you to create these videos explaining hockey’s unique lingo? If you have one, what is your favorite hockey term and why? Sauce is the ultimate term. It’s a beautiful word. I just love hearing and reading all that lingo, and realized how unique and prevalent it was…more so than in other sports. I thought it made for a fun video. Sports are first and foremost fun, and many of the people covering hockey forget that. It’s a long season. It’s OK to be silly sometimes and not take yourself or the game too seriously.
4. You are notoriously hilarious on Twitter, and are constantly interacting with your mass of devout fans in a variety of ways. What is your favorite part about Twitter, as related to both your professional and personal pursuits? It’s fun to give back to fans. I’m the same person they are and like giving them respect and time. I don’t really care what it does for me professionally. I don’t look at what I do as a career. It’s a job and I want to produce as much quality output as I can, whether it’s serious or funny. I want to earn a living and create lots of content.
5. How do you think Twitter has influenced both sports as a whole, and sports journalism in specific? It’s made things faster. I like linking good stories and I like following people who do. I’ve always liked to read and write and that’s what Twitter is. And there is no math.
6. Also on the subject of Twitter, let’s talk about your “Bucci Overtime Challenge” game. How did the game come to be? It started on the set of NHL 2night and has been going on in the bowels of ESPN for years during the playoffs. I just took the game we played while waiting for games on ESPN to end, on the set of NHL 2Night, and brought it to Twitter. It fits well with Twitter.
7. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the following phrase, “Winner Winner Chicken Parm Dinner”. Please explain to us your love of Chicken Parm. Where do you get your favorite Chicken Parm? It’s the greatest meal. Parm and pasta. Protein and Carbs. I MAKE THE BEST CHICKEN PARM. I’ve tinkered and experimented, and have perfected it.
8. On a more serious note, you are actively involved with “You Can Play”, which is a campaign dedicated to fighting homophobia in sports. How and why did you get involved with this particular campaign? I wrote the column where Brendan Burke, son of hockey executive Brian Burke, came out via ESPN.Com. Following his tragic death two months later, his brother Patrick picked up the torch and created You Can Play. He asked me to be on the board.
9. What, if any, challenges have you had to overcome on your way to where you are now? Not many. I’ve always loved my job and since I was hired at age 23, I haven’t missed a paycheck. That’s hard work and, of course, luck. I was born at the right time. I have ridden the wave of media. The biggest challenge was making less than 20,000 year from age 23-28 and making about 100,000 total in my 20′s. Lots of debt and an inability to save. That can be scary.
10. What’s the most exciting thing you’ve gotten to do or experience so far, related to your profession? So many things…Stanley Cups, golf tournaments in Ireland, opening days, ect. I just like creating good stuff. I am not moved by famous people or things. I like to create.
11. At this point, what is your proudest achievement in your life and/or career? I don’t think any of it is a big deal. I have lots of interests and feel I have done a lot of different things reasonably well; some of my hockey columns on ESPN.com, being a long time SportsCenter anchor, writing a book, doing play by play of the Frozen Four. I like so many different things and try to do them all well. I also had great hair in my 20′s and 30′s.
12. What is the biggest piece of advice you would give aspiring sports journalists/broadcasters? Show some passion, and show a hunger to excel. It is there for the taking. The business still thirsts for excellence in many areas. Have some energy and creativity and be great!!
13. Aside from sports, you’re also a music lover. What are the top 5 songs you have on replay right now? Avett Brothers are getting lots of run from me. “Morning Song”, “Souls Like the Wheels” and “A Father’s First Spring” are beautiful. I like the song “Tether” by CHVRCHES. I’ve been listening to REM’s “It Happened Today” a lot lately too.
14. Top 5 artists or bands of all time? REM, U2, Nat King Cole, Wilco, Avett Brothers
15. If we were to look in your fridge right now, what would we find? Almond milk, chicken, mozzarella cheese, marinara, salad, Acai juice, vegetables.
16. What are 5 things you can’t live without? Music, a good gym, Chicken Parm, summer, grass. I also really like babies.
17. When you want to relax, what do you do? I take a nap.
18. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? Pringles
19. What do you want to be remembered for? Being a great son, friend, and dad.
20. Who should be our next Sports Babe of the Day? Connor Carrick of the Hershey Bears/Washington Capitals #shrugsquad #danugglawristcurls