When the Mic is Off: Tommy Smyth
Tommy Smyth, the longtime ESPN soccer analyst, can light up a room. In fact, he can make every ESPN corridor he walks through bubbling with laughter and smiles. Weaving through ESPN Studios’ labyrinth of newsrooms, control centers, and TV sets with Tommy leading the charge, it’s easy to make this assessment. The big plot of land that has turned into the hotspot of sports media in Bristol, Connecticut is in constant revamping. What was once a small studio next to a restaurant has now turned into a gigantic series of buildings, with renovations slotted seemingly every day and new excavation underway. The only thing they need to work on is parking, Tommy Jokes.
He plays tour guide for DJ and I, hoping he can remember all the ins and outs of the worldwide leader in sports. He helps host his soccer show Press Pass at the studio, but that’s only a confined corner of the complex. This gives him the opportunity to see some faces he rarely gets to visit with. Tommy seems like the big man on campus, which appears a fitting metaphor because of the high school-esque atmosphere; sports show clicks, maze-like hallways, and a social cafeteria- a frequent watering hole for the on-air talent.
After an extensive set-by-set tour, we sat down with Tommy Smyth and talked about working at this megaplex of sports, questioned him on all things soccer, and let him discuss his proud Irish tradition and dedication to WFUV Radio here at Fordham.
Tommy’s Interview (which took place in mid January at ESPN’s Bristol Studios) is a sneak peek to a brand new show called “When the Microphone is Off,” co-hosted by DJ Sixsmith and Jake Kring-Schreifels. The show will feature the stories of some of the most prominent voices and personalities in the sports industry today. The interviews will be available here on wfuv.org/sports as well as on an itunes podcast starting next month. The goal is to have two interviews a month and elicit timeless memories.