We had a chance to sit with longtime ESPN anchor and individual Jay Harris. Jay discussed his golf game, his favorite anchor, and much more.
Question: Are you a huge golf fan or did you get lucky with the hole-in-one where you won the 2015 Land Rover Range Rover?
Answer: Oh no, it was all skill. In the immortal words of Pee Wee Herman (from “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure”, when he flipped off of his bike, landed in front of the group of kids, jumped up, dusted himself off, and said…) “I meant to do that.” Yeah, right. I’m a huge golf fan. And while I had a nice swing on that shot, and hit the ball well, it was so lucky. But sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good!
Question: What’s your favorite sport to cover on ESPN and why?
Answer: I love them all really. But I lean toward basketball, probably because I’ve spent so much of my life playing it.
Question: I also notice you have done some motivational speaking. Is this your way of giving back to the youth?
Answer: It is. There are so many people who’ve helped me along the way. I have a duty and responsibility to do the same.
Question: What sports did you play in high school? College?
Answer: Basketball in high school. Same in college, but not for Old Dominion University. I wasn’t that good! But I’ll still put my jump shot up against anyone. And I mean anyone.
Question: Who’s your all time favorite basketball player in history? Do you have a favorite boxer?
Answer: My favorite basketball player in history? Oh wow…. I’ll go David Thompson. He made me an NC State fan growing up (growing up in Chapel Hill, by the way). Boxer? Muhammed Ali.
Question: Would you say this is your dream job?
Answer: Absolutely. Other than playing bass. In a band. With Prince. But I’m not that great a musician.
Question: Did you always know you wanted to be a sportscaster?
Answer: Not always. I decided in the 11th grade that I wanted to be a journalist. I was in news for the first 14 years of my career (on radio and TV). But I’ve always been a huge sports fan.
Question: Do you ever get nervous on camera knowing how many people are watching you daily? You seem very cool and collected on camera.
Answer: Why thank you. And I never really thought about all those people watching. Until now. Thanks. Thanks a lot! Hahaha, but seriously, I get that nervous anticipation, because we spend so much time preparing, writing, researching, writing, and writing some more. When it’s time to go on, I’m just ready to do the show and have some fun, you know?
Question: What’s your prediction for the Superbowl? Who do you think will make it to the end and who do you see winning
Answer: I’m feeling a Seahawks/Patriots regular season rematch. And I like Seahawks. But ask me again next week, I may have a different answer.
Question: What do you think the future will be for Michael Vick next season
Answer: Probably another back-up role. Maybe some spot starting depending on the situation. Not much more.
Question: The Philadelphia Eagles are playing pretty well after making some decisions to cut one of the best receivers in the NFL. Do you think they would have been a better team if DeSean Jackson was still there
Answer: Possibly. He’s a playmaker, and he’ll stretch the field. But you still have to be able to get him the ball.
Question: So what do you think the future for the Celtics will be with everyone healthy?
Answer: This season? Not much. In a few years, with the right moves, you never know. You said the magic word, “healthy.”
Question: Who is your favorite anchor to work with on ESPN?
Answer: That’s hard to answer. I think there’s a certain unpredictability when I work with John Buccigross or Robert Flores, but I really enjoy working with everyone. There are many really talented people here. I learn something every show.
Question: Did you look up to anyone in your industry while moving up in your career?
Answer: My two main guys were Peter Jennings and Bryant Gumbel.
Question: Who is one of the new young guns coming up in the sports news industry?
Answer: Hmmm, that’s a good question. I don’t know. I feel like I work so much, I don’t have lots of time to just sit down and watch.
Question: Since this is a SOCIAL Magazine Los Angeles issue, where would you rank Kobe Bryant amongst the greatest of all time? Do you think there’s a chance for another ring for Kobe?
Answer: I would put him in my top 10. But another ring will be tough. The Western Conference is rough, and it’s hard to see this particular Lakers team contending.
Question: Ideally where would you love to be in the next 10 years?
Answer: I think I’m there. As long as I get to escape to a nice golf course in the sun every now and then.
Question: Besides SportsCenter, how can our readers stay update on everything Jay Harris?
Answer: @JayHarrisESPN on Twitter is a good place. Or if you see me in the airport or the store, say hi.
Question: And lastly do you watch ESPN when you get home from work
Answer: I do. Until I get yelled at. Then it’s time with the fam. Until they go to sleep. LOL