Recently, we were able to ask several questions to get to know the newest member of the broadcast team. A self-professed college football fan, Steele is witty and charming, but the coach's daughter has the football IQ to match.
As part of Fox College Sports' efforts to feature a more interactive
broadcast, you can follow Steele on Twitter and ask questions @SamonFCS.
Interesting tweets or questions will be used during the broadcast.
"First off, can we get some background? Where did you go to school, and
how did you get to this point? Is this your first game on Fox?"
"I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ in a family of six. I went to
Central High School where I played volleyball, softball, track and
tennis and my dad coached football and basketball. As a kid,
I always thought Ahmad Rashad had the coolest job so I figured if I
moved to NYC after high school maybe I'd be able to do something like
that (naïve right?!). After two months, I landed an
internship at ABC Sports Radio where I interviewed guys like Kasey Kahne and Dennis Rodman (now there's a father's dream) and seemingly
everyone in between. When I moved to TV, I helped in the
research department for John Saunders, Craig James and Aaron Taylor/Doug Flutie on the college football studio show. Sitting around
in the green room Saturday after Saturday talking ball over chili and
brownies (fellas can eat!), those guys gave me the confidence that I
could do sideline reporting. So what I'm saying is, if you
don't like me… blame them.
"For school, I went to The King's College in NYC, Arizona State
University and finished at Liberty University in Virginia. Start the
flake chants now. I liked to think of my college degree as more of a
journey than a destination (thank you Oprah). I will say, the journey
would have been shorter if I knew my old friend Sallie Mae was going to
turn on me.
"While at Liberty for two years, I was the host/reporter for all of the
Big South football and basketball games aired locally on the Flames
Sports Network and nationally on MASN and Family Net. I learned by
trial and error, but the crew, coaches and Athletic Director made it a
job about getting to know people, not just reporting on injuries and
changes in coverages.
"This will be my third game for Fox, but my first college football game
on FCS. I covered the Junior World Championship in Canton, OH
this summer where I got to hear Mexican coaches yell at their corners
in Spanish to jam Team Japan's Jumpei Yoshimoto… all 5'5'' of him."
have been your early impressions of the Jayhawks?"
"Obviously, Todd Reesing is special. Fortunately, I think Kansas fans
are aware of this and know how much they will miss him when he's
gone. I'm also really impressed with Kerry Meier. I
love an all-around athlete and it seems like the guy can do it all.
More than anything, I love that Coach Mangino has developed a real
program, a system, at Kansas. A lot of coaches can come in
and win some games, but Mangino seems to be building for the future and
winning in the meantime."
KF: "What do
you think are some of the greatest traditions in college football?"
the thing about college football; everyone thinks his or her traditions
are the greatest. It's about the fan, the community and the
school. At King's, we didn't have football, at ASU the tradition was
looking good and at Liberty they always opened up the game with a
prayer and then flames shot up over the tunnel… it was like a little
mixture of Heaven and Hell. Guess you had to be there.
"I worked at a sports camp one summer with a lot of Kansas students
when I first learned about Rock Chalk Jayhawk. At first I was
skeptical, mostly because I didn't know what the heck it meant, but
after doing some thorough research (on Wikipedia, of course) I
discovered that this chant was used in wars since 1899. Can't really
argue with that!"
KF: "What do
you feel you bring to the job?"
SS: "Sideline reporting isn't exactly rocket science
(shocking, I know). This is not to say that it's an easy job,
because it's not. When I'm working, I try and think of what
it was like watching games my whole life. I always joke with
my friends that whenever sideline reporters came on, my dad and
brothers treated them like commercials… it was either mute or talk
amongst yourselves. I'm less concerned with getting across a
perfect report than I am making fans feel like they're a part of the
action. Everyone knows the head coach thinks his guys are working hard
and are going to turn it around in the second half. I think it's more
interesting to tell fans that their left defensive tackle babysat twin
girls all summer and got bulldozed by his d-end on a stunt in practice
about your personal life? What hobbies do you have, etc?"
in college football doesn't give you much time for a personal life.
There are always changes in schemes, players, and coaches and plenty of
film to watch. I bought a bike with a basket this summer so I
go on little adventures whenever I can, but it's 115 degrees in Phoenix
and the sun wins every time. I also like Jim Gaffigan. Look
understand you're a big college football fan. Was there any moment that
stood out in making you that way?"
SS: "I love
college football because of the struggle, the competition and the
pageantry of it all. I feel like you can tell a lot about a
player or a coach by the way they win, the way they respond to pressure
and how they handle themselves when things don't go well.
Plus, who doesn't love a big hit on a Saturday afternoon?!"
KF: "What do
you feel are some storylines to watch this year?"
grown up in Pac 10 country, I know what it's like to have the whole
country suspect of your defense. When you run the spread and
score a lot of points, the skeptics are inevitable. I think
one of the biggest questions for the Big 12 North this year is whether
or not they can keep from making opposing QB's highlight
reels. Bring the pressure, man up in coverage and make the
open field tackles. (Easy for me to say, right?) For Kansas,
I think you have to shut down teams in your first six games in order to
get ready for the last six. The last half of their schedule
has to be one of the most difficult in the country. In what could be
his last year of football, I'm looking for big things from Jake Sharp
as he works to establish a running game and prove that MJD and Darren Sproles aren't the only undersized backs who can be game changers."
last, but not least, if you're picking somebody to protect you in a
dark alley, do you pick: Godzilla, King Kong or Kansas quarterback Todd
about I just stay out of dark alleys and let Reesing stick to the gun
slinging? Although maybe I'll keep some of the O-line around just in
Sam, I Am
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