Photo Credit: ESPNmediazone3.com
When I first started this site, I wanted to use my writing/broadcasting talents to serve my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I wondered how I would be able to do that and if there were any Christian broadcasters out there for a young aspiring broadcaster like myself to look too. Then, I talked to one of those men who have been a huge inspiration to me.
His name is Dave Pasch. Pasch currently works for ESPN as the play-by-play man for both college football in the noon slot every Saturday as well as working NBA, Big East men’s college basketball games as well as women’s NCAA tournament games . You can also hear his voice on the radio doing the play-by-play for the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals since 2002. When I spoke with Dave on the phone last week, I realized that Christians can be broadcasters because we can do all things through the Lord because He gives us the strength to do it, as Paul wrote to the people in Philippi.
I hope this interview as always encourages you as it did me. I thank Dave for taking the time to talk with me and give me some great words of encouragement both for my future career endeavors and along my walk with Christ!
1. How did you come to know the Lord?
Dave: I was not raised in a Christian home. I grew up in a conservative Jewish home. First, I was older, I went to church to learn about Judaism, a woman who is now my wife came up to me to talk to me about Christ. Believing in Christ did not mean turning back on Judaism. That helped me to get started along the right path. Very skeptical, did a lot about reading and researching. It ed to an intellectual belief that Jesus was the Messiah. I eventually had to come to a hard decision to exercise faith, baptism, and repentance. I was convicted to truly get my life together with Christ. I went along with what my wife thought would be best at first, but over time, began to realize that was only through Christ and His transforming power.. It was a process and it was all about making the hard decision. It took time, but about 11 years.
2. Who have been some of your role models during your walk?
Dave: There have been Christians, such as friends through the church, pastors, Bible teachers, people in the broadcasting business (NFL Network’s Scott Hanson). God has brought alongside me people to help me grow both inside and outside of the broadcasting world. A lot at first was on my own reading and studying the Word. It was about coming to grips with what was true, but people helped me spiritually and emotionally through the process.
3. What is your favorite Bible Verse and how has it exemplified your walk with Christ?
Dave: Two verses: John 1:14 – About Christ being the true tabernacle. He is the King of Kings. Proverbs 3:5-6: Those verses are verses that I believe in and challenge you to believe more. It is a daily thing to trust and not lean on what you only see and understand. I have always been a skeptic. To truly make a point, you want to be truly convinced before you share that view, just like before you broadcast a game. It is hard to be on air and not be truly convinced what you are talking about. I have to Lean on Him and trust Him to figure things out and that is still a daily battle. Let God direct my path and align my circumstances without manipulating it in my head first.
4. One thing I have always been curious of as a young writer is how can you glorify God as a broadcaster?
D: There are a lot of ways that you could do it such as the ways God has given you. It depends on who you are around. I have been blessed to work with other Christians that have wanted to grow and do Bible studies. I love to teach and God has opened doors to help minister to others. Being a friend and sharing your faith in a respectful, gentle way. There are a lot of ways to glorify God. Your words have to match your life. Love people would be the first thing! Let them see your heart, see how you live. Show that you care! The key is faithful friendships and building relationships.
5. You are a college football play-by-play announcer on ESPN. What are your thoughts on the new four team playoff coming into play in 2014?
D: I love it. It is arguably the most exciting regular season in sports and I think that will continue. With a playoff, it makes the regular season even better. It adds a couple more games to what you have now. It doesn’t make the other bowl games meaningless. It enhances importance of winning a conference championship. People can’t get enough football and ESPN has the best games for the most part. A lot of platforms are there to talk about those games (ESPN , ABC, Live, Final). So many places people could go to even watch replays of game. Fans are given the ultimate avenues. It is more of a reason to keep up on a day-vs.-day basis. Some teams do not play each other. Teams play different caliber schedules and that is the beauty of college football.
6. The Miami Heat last night won the NBA Championship. What are your thoughts on LeBron James winning his elusive first ring?
D: LeBron is the best player in the world. It Silences a lot of doubters. People will never let him forget leaving Cleveland and how he handled it, but there are some people who will change their mind. In terms of how he handles himself, he has a clean reputation, good with teammates, handles himself well in the media. There are a lot of reasons to be happy for him. It is hard to come up with reasons to criticize because he has the trophy. A lot of people didn’t think they would win it all this year and the Heat went through a ton of adversity in the series and even the cramps for James in Game 4. Last year, they played with a lot of hate and there was a lack of fulfillment. He realized some of the criticism was true, so he relaxed and played a different way with his teammates.
7. You cover the Arizona Cardinals as the play-by-play radio guy. Watching mini-camp, what are your thoughts on the team so far? Have you had a chance to talk with any Christians on the team?
D: Yes, when Kurt Warner was here, I became friends with him and a couple of other Christians.There are players, coaches, administrators who are Christians. I am not around much to develop relationships in-season, but we had a Summer Bible Study a few years ago. There are plenty of opportunities to share the faith with the team. The team has to figure out who their quarterback is and I think they will figure it out this year. Training camp we will find out for sure, but in the end, Kevin Kolb is the guy based on potential that gives you best chance to win. You want to see it on a consistent basis. In the 4th quarter, Skelton would play great, but what about the other three quarters? Kolb brings more to the table, but does not mean he will win the job and it is not about the money, but the best player to win. You need a quarterback or even two to go far in the season. Throw the ball downfield and get it to those dominant receivers.
8. If you had a colleague come up to you and asked you about your faith, what would you tell them?
D: I am pretty honest and forthright about my faith when it comes up in a conversation. I am a follower of Christ. I would tell them how I came up with that conclusion, continue to help someone understand. I was reading Isaiah and does that reading make sense to you? It is not a commitment you make only with your mouth, but a full hearted commitment. It takes more than just five minutes. Developing a friendship is important! It takes time, but I would want them to tell me what they believe? Be willing to listen to others. Peter always talks about a reason to be ready to share your faith. It is about knowing what you believe and being able to communicate with it.
We at Jesus N Sports, wish Dave Pasch the best of luck at ESPN and with the Cardinals this season. I pray that all of us look at Proverbs 3 and just continue to trust the Lord in everything that we do and lean on Him in everything that we do in our lives. No matter how big or how small, we can ALWAYS go to Him in prayer!