Sports Star Spotlight Presents: Melanie Collins, Sports and Entertainment TV Broadcaster, @Melanie_Collins
While growing up, Melanie Collins loved playing and talking about sports. She couldn’t get enough of it. Now, she’s made a career out of it. Collins graduated from Penn State University, where she majored in sports journalism. Since graduation, Collins has appeared as a host for the Big Ten Network, NBA.com and Total College Sports TV. She’s covered a wide array of sports, including NASCAR, PGA and MLB. Along with sports, she has hosted E! News Now and E! Entertainment Television. While we know she could talk sports with us all day, we set out to find out more about her so here goes!
17 QUESTIONS WITH MELANIE COLLINS
1. What inspired you to go into TV Broadcasting?
Growing up, I loved to perform. If I wasn’t singing, I was acting or dancing or playing sports. I always loved the feeling I got when I was in front of a camera – I came alive when the red light went on. When I was in college and realized athletics weren’t going to take me to a professional level, I started to see just how much I enjoyed being around sports from the outside. It was during my freshman year at Penn State that I decided I would go into Sports Broadcasting so I could put my love for sports and performing together.
2. What is your favorite part about the job?
There are so many great things about this profession, but most of all I just love getting to know really outstanding people. There are some fun personalities in sports to say the least! I also love being a part of the big events. Over the course of the next year, I’ll be traveling to the Olympics in Sochi, the World Cup in Brazil, Super Bowl, World Series, National Championship, the NBA Finals, the NFL Draft and more so I’ll be able to cross a lot of items off my bucket list. I just love to be a part of it all. Most of all, I love that my job is fun. I’m not working hard labor or sitting behind a desk all day every day. I’m constantly traveling and seeing new places. It’s truly a blast.
3. Who are some of your favorite athletes to interview?
When I was covering the NBA, I did an in-depth interview with Dwyane Wade. He was so genuine and charismatic, and seemed really grateful for the opportunities he has been given. I left feeling better for having known him. Dwight Howard was always a really fun interview, too. He loves to dress so we would talk some fashion among other things.
4. If you could interview any person you wanted, who would it be and why?
I can only choose one? There are so many. But top of my list would be Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or Wayne Gretzky. They are the greatest of all time at their sports. I would want an in-depth sit down where we discuss their journeys from the beginning to now. I’d also love to interview David Beckham, for so many reasons!
5. Do you have any advice for people looking to break into the broadcasting business?
The best thing you can do to start is network and get involved. I did multiple internships with TV Networks in college, and that is how I began to learn the business and create contacts. The more experience you can get, the better off you will be when it comes time to find a job. Then, I would say develop a thick skin and make sure it’s really what you want to do because it is not easy and requires a lot of patience. Some broadcasters make the road look easy, but I will tell you firsthand, it’s not. Other than that, always prepare hard but don’t be too scripted. I have found that some of my best work comes when I “wing it”, and I trust myself to know where to take a topic or a conversation. Practice being unscripted.
6. How many dresses does it usually take to find “the one”?
It depends what the event is and how crazy I’m looking to go! I can usually settle on a great dress pretty quickly because I know where to look and who to call for reinforcement! That’s the key – knowing where to look and who to call. The shoes and jewelry to go with the dress? Now, that’s another story.
7. If you weren’t a TV host, what would you be doing?
I would probably be behind the camera producing. I have done some producing along the way, and really love that side of things. I dream of being involved with HBO’s 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic. I think it’s one of the most well-produced sports programs out there. I’m really into fashion and styling. I’d love to be a stylist or an editor of a fashion magazine. I’d also love to own my own yoga studio one day where I’d have yoga classes, spin classes, boot camps and boxing. The next couple career ideas you will laugh at! I have an obsession with tigers, and would love to be a tiger trainer or just work with wild animals in general. Next, I’m really into music and would love to have my own label or music festival. Lastly, I have an infatuation with fighter jets. I’d love to be a Blue Angel or pilot a Stealth Bomber. I know, I sound like a 5-year-old with these backup plans. But saying all of that, I love what I’m doing and really couldn’t picture myself doing anything else at this moment! I’m very happy.
8. You’re from State College which is right in the middle of the state of PA. Pittsburgh, or Philly?
I’m a Philly girl all the way!! My dad is from Philly so I grew up a big Philadelphia sports fan. I love the Eagles, Phillies and Sixers, but most of all the Flyers. My brothers both played hockey growing up and the three of us would play hockey in the living room or outside on the driveway, and they would always put me in goal. Other than playing sports of my own, my only job from the age of 5 until about 12 was to be Ron Hextall. I was a puck-stopping machine for my brothers, and it made me a really good soccer goalie later in life. My brothers, Kurt and Christian, would take turns being Eric Lindros, John LeClair, Paul Coffey and Rod Brind’Amour. We were such nerds, but we had so much fun. We’re all grown up now and living in different cities, but during every Flyers game we have a group text going on iMessage where we discuss the game and express our love or disgust. We also own seats from the original Spectrum that my dad keeps at his house. Like I said, huge nerds.
9. If you could go back in time and be present for any moment in sports, what moment would you choose?
When the Eagles won the Super Bowl!!!! Oh wait, just kidding, that’s never happened. (Yes, I’m bitter.) I would have loved to be present for either of the Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup wins.
10. Who are some of your favorite Twitter accounts to follow?
I currently follow 996 people so this is tough! My favorites are the ones that make me laugh. The LA Kings Twitter feed is a riot (@LAKings). Brandon McCarthy has a great sense of humor (@BMcCarthy32). Jenny Johnson’s tweets sometimes make me laugh so hard I cry, and the same goes for Chrissy Teigen (@JennyJohnsonHi5 and @ChrissyTeigen). They both tweet so many things I am thinking or want to tweet but could never get away with tweeting. I also really enjoy the great sports writers and sports personalities I follow. I gain so many great tidbits of information on Twitter through these people and there are too many to name, but John Buccigross (@Buccigross) is one of my favorites.
11. What is the best advice that someone has given you?
I’m lucky to have the most supportive parents in the world, and the number one thing they’ve always encouraged me to do is take calculated risks. One of my favorite quotes is “Progress always involves some level of risk. You can’t steal second base and keep one foot on first.” -Frederick B. Wilcox
Also, “The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually fear you will make one.” -Elbert Hubbard
I was always told the importance of not being afraid to fail, because all successful people do at some point. The most important thing is to learn from your mistakes, move on and be better next time. Lastly, you can have success and you can please everyone, but you can’t do both. I have accepted the fact I will never be able to please everyone and everybody isn’t always going to like me, and that’s OK.
12. What are some of your pet peeves?
Most of mine have to do with air travel because I fly so much! I’ve seen it all. People who stand in the middle of the moving walkways. People who take their shoes off on the plane and put their hooves in your already-tiny amount of personal space. People who fall asleep and mouth-breathe all over me. People in the back rows of the plane who immediately stand and crowd the aisles as soon as the ding goes off when we’re parked at the gate. People who bring tuna or subs covered in onions on the airplane. I could honestly write a book about my adventures in flying. I also can’t stand people who complain non-stop. If everything in your life sucks so badly, shut up and do something about it.
13. What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I have a lot of interests outside of covering sports. I play the piano, I sing, I do a ton of yoga, snowboard and wakeboard. I play golf and tennis, and I travel as much as I can. Also, I was asked to be a WWE Diva when I graduated college. I considered it for about five seconds.
14. Any guilty pleasures we should know about?
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate and Thin Mints
15. Who would YOU feature as Sports Star Spotlight?
Michelle Beadle. I admire her honesty and wit. Also, Alex Flanagan. I have always looked up to her. She knows her stuff. She’s smooth, and always carries herself with elegance and class.
16. What do you want to be remembered for?
At the end of the day, it’s not my career that defines me. I want to be remembered as a great daughter, sister, wife and mother. I want to be remembered as someone who got the most out of life and never said no to an adventure. I hope to be remembered as someone who always lifted others up and lightened the mood or “brought the sunshine.” Lastly, as someone who could laugh at themselves and never had to take themselves too seriously.
17. And finally, the question all of our male viewers have been waiting for, are you single or taken?
Right now, I’m going to go with “It’s Complicated.” I know, it’s such a cop out!!! Relationships are hard when you have a career where you’re always traveling and you can never just be in one place, especially when your significant other has a career that is very much the same way. I find the hardest part about my life is finding a balance between love and career. One of these days I’ll figure it out.