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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MU’s very own ‘King’s Speech’

Peter King talks about the importance of media convergence. Photo by Erin Caughey/[email protected]

Sports Illustrated readers and Sunday Night Football watchers know Peter King as a giant in the field of NFL media. Tuesday, the author of the “Monday Morning Quarterback” column visited Marquette to share advice and his experiences with prospective journalists and football fans.

The lengthy name of King’s speech gave a straightforward statement of his purpose: “Why You’re Kidding Yourself If You Think You Only Need to be Good at One Medium Coming Out of College.”

“One of the things I like to do when I speak to younger people is try to emphasize to them how much this whole thing has changed,” King said. “You’re in a totally different world than the one I entered in 1980 when I got a job covering sports at The Cincinnati Enquirer.”

King stressed the importance of spending some time working with each type of media rather than specializing in a particular medium.

“In an ideal world you should work one year with the school paper, one year with the radio station, one year with the T.V. station and then maybe use one year to figure out what you liked the most and do that again,” he said.

Eager to entertain as well as lecture, King sprinkled anecdotes from his years with Sports Illustrated throughout the speech, including stories from his time with the Green Bay Packers, coach Mike Holmgren and a young Brett Favre.

King recalled his excitement on being the first reporter to publish the full story of Favre’s trip to rehab in 1996, but explained how differently the situation may have turned out in the modern world.

“I talked to Favre eight days before the story appeared in front of anybody in the United States,” King said. “What happens today doesn’t wait eight days.”

King said, in a modern-day setting, within 15 minutes of talking to Favre he would’ve put out about three tweets, written a story on it for, and the PR department at Sports Illustrated would’ve probably made a deal for him to be on “SportsCenter” that night.

He also shared that he had just recorded his first podcast with Philadelphia Eagles’ cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha based on his desire as a journalist to go outside his comfort zone.

“Don’t do what everybody else does just because it’s the way it’s always been done,” King said. “You just don’t know what’s going to happen over the next few years in terms of information dissemination.”

Later, in a panel discussion, King talked more about his day-to-day job, including his Sunday sessions with the cast of “Football Night in America” in front of nine big screens viewing every NFL game. He shared his experience covering the Michael Vick dogfighting story before thinking back to the one piece of advice he would’ve given himself as he left college.

“Don’t worry about the next job,” King said. “You don’t get a job in this business by seeking the next job. You get a job by working your rear end off and being really good.”

After answering a few basic NFL questions from the crowd, King stayed an additional hour and a half to answer every remaining viewer’s questions.

“I really enjoyed it and I think he’s a very knowledgeable, funny guy,” Adam Ballent, a sophomore in the College of Communication, said. “He really inspired me to get out of my own comfort zone.”

King agreed to stop by Marquette on his way to Green Bay at the request of MUTV Sports Director Tess Quinlan, a sophomore in the College of Communication. Quinlan played left field for King’s travel softball team as a youth, and the two have kept close contact over the years.

“I was definitely not (a Sports Illustrated reader) at the age of 10,” Quinlan said, “but in one of the best summers of my life I got to know not only Peter the coach, but Peter the person as well.”

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