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Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Will Ferrell didn't care about interviewing John Robinson

(Credit: Watchdog)

I included in my Friday newspaper column about Will Ferrell a brief version of his story about the day he had the revelation that he was more suited to comedy than journalism.

Click below for the complete account from our conversation Tuesday afternoon."USC was one of those big schools with not a lot of practical application. So I didn’t do much until we had a sports broadcasting class where you took your own tape recorder to a football game and tried to practice it.

"When I left school I found a local cable news show that was done out of a junior college, so I worked on that show for like half a year. You did everything, you worked the cameras one show, you anchored, but you also did field reports. That’s where I kind of started out.

"They had decent enough facilities where people made tapes and got hired out of this thing.

"I’ll always remember this moment: Even though they were rinky-dink, they had decent press credentials. I remember the Rams were still in Anaheim at the time. You basically had to enroll back into the junior college to be a part of this show, so there I was with a college degree back at junior college taking this one-unit class, and the teacher / producer of this show was like, there’s a chance to go interview John Robinson of the Rams, who wants to do it?

"And I remember thinking, oh, I gotta lug the camera around and make sure to get the sound right and this and that, and I thought, oh, that should not be my reaction. My reaction should be, I have to get that on my tape. And I just remember from that moment I thought I don’t want it bad enough to do this.

"There was a guy I used to do stuff with by the name of John Le, and he’s now in Asheville, North Carolina, he’s like this big fish in a very small pond but he loves it there. And one of the broadcasts we were doing I was anchoring and something went wrong and I made a joke about it on air, which was to tape, but he was very impressed by that.

"He said, 'See how he made a little comment there, he’s quick on his feet.' And I thought oh, I don’t want to be Dan Rather, I want to be Chevy Chase, I don’t care about [sports journalism], even though I love sports. So I thought I’d focus my energies on [comedy]."

Tags: basketball

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