Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Lesley Visser

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

American Sports Broadcaster, Radio Personality, accomplished sportswriter, and the first woman to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lesley Visser joins the Huddle. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Day this weekend the huddle with us, is probably one of our most prolific guests we've had on the show yet. I think it's safe to say any sports fan recognizes her name and her face, in her voice, her accomplishments. You can't even total how many, how many championships she's been involved with where she's been the person handing out the trophy. and Oh the absolutely and just wait, the the amount of super you know, high end. I don't know if we want to call sporting events, the Olympics, Super Bowl, world series, U NBA finals, US Open Masters, all that that she's been a part of. If you look that up, it's not yeah, she's been to three super bowls. It's thirty six super bowls, it's three Olympics, it's, you know, it's thirty four final fours. It's unbelievable. It is unbelievable. And we interviewed a few other of her friends, Christine Brennan and Sally Jenkins as well, but they've broken the barrier. Yeah, they were. She was the first. As far as sports cast her she's in the NFL Hall of fame. She got to carry the torch when the Olympics were going to go back to Greece. Yeah, she was. Well, it's she's voted the number one female sports caster of all time, which just yeah about that, and we get to spend some time today with her. Yeah, she's Great. So we want to welcome into the huddle today Leslie Fisser. Today we have Leslie on in the huddle with us and huddle up with Gus and Leslie, thank you for joining us in the huddle today with Dave and I. Oh God, it's great to talk to anybody from Pittsburgh and I was just telling a friend of mine I still have guessed your number. Twelve, bubblehead doll. But how many? How many teams were you number twelve with? I was six teams. I was number twelve because when I played for the dolphins, Bob Greesy's number was retired and he wasn't given it. Yeah, Buddy. So especially me, it's like you did you kick that from? Is that a Joe Amus thing from your childhood? Know, it's a Terry Bradshaw thing. So I know you your are you still close with Terry? You guys till friends. Oh my God, I just saw him down here and I said, because you know I covered him, worked with them everything, and I said, Terry, the Fox crews down at one of the Dolphin Games to practice for the Super Bowl and I said, Terry, I never thought that I would live to see you doing commercials for walking tugs. Yeah, those are great. Those are great when I watch those, but you know, that was my idol growing up, when I when I was a kid in outside of Pittsburgh, I mean always, obviously in s the steelers were the ultimate team in the NFL and Terry Bradshaw just always had a rifle for an arm and always thought I could do that. He was one of the Great Harry Gave Me Terry Candy. One of my most embarrassing humiliating moments of my career. I was at the Boston Globe and they made me the first woman to cover the NFL as a beat. So of course there were no provisions for quality or anything, and I was standing outside three rivers. Now I spent my first seven years standing in parking lots waiting for you guys. Right, Harry, Terry came out and you know, I acknowledge I must look like I was from Mars. You know, I wasn't a group be over by the jeep and I wasn't anybody's the owner's wife, and so terry came out and I went to ask them a question and he took my notepads find it and walked away. That's that? That would be a crazy moment. That sounds like it's something to Terry would do, though. Oh yeah, he told me years later that his autograph was worth more than whatever crap I was going to write. Yeah, I don't think so, Terry. I think your career speaks for itself. So if we go back to when you were growing up, one of the things we always ask or guesses what was that moment was that time in your life when you were young that you fell in love with sports? Oh Wow, that's a great question. I was really privileged to be a child of Boston. You know how you had it in Pittsburgh, other teams Chicago. My childhood was Ted Williams, Bill Russell and bobby you're so. It was just an absurd we didn't live there all that long, but I...

...wanted to be a sports writer from the time I was like nine or ten years old, and I just remember my brother and I would take the bus to Fenia and you know, it really is that that scene where you walk in maybe the first time you ever saw the pirates, and you see the green, you see the outfield, to see the Enfield, I could smell the family. Frank site, I learned to score baseball when I was like eight years old, you know, six to four, two, two, still my favorite playing baseball. So the great thing happened was that when I told my mom I wanted to be a sports writer, she didn't that God didn't exist for women when I was but since I was the first, that didn't exist all those years and she didn't say to me, Oh, you can't do that, girls don't do that. She said that's great. Sometimes you have to cross when it says don't walk. Yeah, that's great. It's great advice and now I'm sure that that you've kept that motto for a long time and everything that you've had to be gone through in your sports career. Yeah, it was very it gave me permission and when I speak at colleges or whatever, I always tell people that whatever it is they think they want to do, I don't care if you're black or white, Catholic or Protestant, or gay or Hispanic, whatever you want to do. I'm the example that you can do it, because the job did not exist. So it was like I had a dream and I just sat about making it come true. But I was a very odd child. Other kids in Boston would dress up, you know, the daughters, everybody. They dressed up as Cinderella or Mary poppins, and I would go as Sam Jones, the guards for the self. Oh Yeah, what number? See, I had twenty four. He was a bank shout, Mr Clutch, and now he's a great friend of mine and he calls me like eighty something now and he calls me every Halloween. Please least like you're too old. Do not wear my shirt around, and I say too bad, too bad, you're my idol and I that's what I went. That's awesome. Did you play sports and in when you were growing up up? I did, you know, it's really embarrassing. My family moved quite a bit, which was great for learning sports. You know, we lived in Baltimore. We live in Cincinnati, within California, although my dad grew up in Amsterdam. But I was, you know, I was voted usually the best athlete wherever I went to high school in the Berkshire's out near Amherst Mass Justis. Yeah, but what happens, and maybe gave fields this to what happens is when you go on to work with guys like you, gust, you know, you're really not going to talk about. Oh yeah, I was voted the best athlete in my high school, and you know I'm sitting there with where were, you know, Bill Hour and Biel Sands and Romo, and so you really not going to talk about your high school. But it did teach me, you know, play on a team and try to do well but still be a teammate, which I think works in business. What sport see you play? Lastly, you know, did you tell me ones, and I wonder if this is the even do with tavern, for field hockey, right, my big sport. And isn't your daughter a field hockey player? Yeah, she was. She was a goalie for four years of college and I've, yeah, I've taken that stick in that ball and I can't tell you how many times I've tried to score on her and and I'm not very good at stilled hockey. Well, it was a great it's a New England kind of sport, right. So I was fortunate because I went to Boston College and I was before title nine, so they didn't you know, we played in a mural football and basketball, but it's really when the title nine kids came of age. The girls were really the Olympics, I think, and either Atlanta or Barcelona when they were the title nine babies. And they want everything you wants, basketball and softball and soccer and but when I was growing up it was even unusual, you know, for high schools to have a basketball, girls, basketball team. I know it sounds like the eighteen hundreds right. Well, we talked to we also we interviewed Christine Brennan not too long ago. She was telling us that she played every sport she played. She's six sports she didn't yes, and where was that outside of you know, Hio? Yeah, yeah, we're yes, it's UNCLADS. Yeah, yeah, yeah, and Sally up yet, Sally on. Yeah, that's all. You...

...are the we save the best for last. It's like a try. fact, it is. It is. I mean we've had so many women on that have been barrier breakers that it just it's just someone inspiring to hear your stories and we're are going to put this out in one week, all three of you guys us together for the podcast because we want we want to create a buzz around how important that. You know, there's people o the time about breaking the glass, and you guys didn't. You guys did it in a sport that no one ever thought it would happen, and it's yeah, well, actually, anyway, sport, you know, even for myself, and you know, was always in first woman on an NBA final, first will go in on a world series, first woman on a final four. But let me tell you about Christ and Sally. They're just a little bit behind me, but we're all sisters under the skin. And I remember Chris. I was accuser because she's from Toledo. Her optimism is ridiculous and you know, it's like she's swallow the light bulb or something. And I remember, I remember before the NFL locker rooms were open, she and I had a playoff game in giants stadium. And now I'm writing for the Boston Globe, she's running for the Washington Post. Who's the big outlets? They expect the story to be covered, and so we asked to add Croak, the legendary pr guy the giants, after the game was okay. Who Do you guys want as they would bring them out and we said well, okay, we want Lteam, we want till Sims and we're waiting and we're waiting there for forty minutes and we see a Croak coming down the tunnel underneath the meadowlands and he's got some guy and Chris and I are like saying to each other did that guy even way, dude? Do we look? Do we know who that is? And it was like the third string tight end had nothing to do with the game. And I said, Chris, you cannot try to make something posits that of this. This is not good. But to she's been a soldier, and Sally even Chris and I say God Sally, she can outrite anybody except her dad. Right. And it's all three stories and we can't wait to dig into yours a little bit more, but definitely Chris and Sally, their stories were amazing and you guys have just led the way for so many people you know, and it's well, it was a real frontier. I started one thousand nine hundred and seventy four at the Boston Globe and the credentials, my NFL credential to go cover game on the credential. It would say no women or children in the press box, and then it was pretty or even there weren't even women's bathrooms back in the day in the in the press box right now. No, I yeah, I tell people that it used to be the Patriots would have the ball first and ten on their own twenty, and I would have to say, can I get down the press elevator and across the field to the public women's restroom and come back before they punted? And, as you guys know, the Patriots of the early mid S, we're not the bold standard that they are now. So they punted rather quickly. He right, you had to move rather fast. Yes, Steve Grab You same O. You're right. No, offense is Steven Brogan, but it wasn't. It wasn't Tom Brady's right. No, they had they had that one year. They jumped up so that it was when they had a terrible seventy six and they got they played Oakland in the wild card, and I'm reducing the AFC championship and Sugar Bear Hamilton was called for rousing stabler and it was just Yo. You guys have some probably calls in Pittsburgh. Yet of course she do that are just legendary. Well, that was like Boston, the only time to paytriots, you know, sort of jumped up a little and they felt they got robbed. So everyone talked about that for like the next ten years. Well, yeah, all these people think that that it's just happening to them right now. It's been going on for a long time in the NFL and it's I to me. I'm not a big fan of replay, but it's just human are. People do make mistakes and you know, it looks like guy was in bounced but he's actually out of bounce. And when you slow things down, so the game down, I think it takes away a lot from the experience of the game. We talked a lot about that between David I and baseball as well. You know where he got it. Well, baseball. It's just too slow. Now, by the way, since I don't know when this will runs, so I better get it in now, please note that the Boston Red Sox are still the defending world champion. Like that noted? Yeah, least for another what month? Yeah, I know, I'm I don't know...

...when you're going to run those, but yeah, we might be, but it's now here's something for Dave. Are you married? I am married. Yes, well, and this would be maybe for your daughters then, or your single girlfriends friends that you have. I have a rule, I have only one rule, and that is you must never marry a man who doesn't love baseball, because baseball is everything. It's math, it's strategy, it's history, it's patients, really everything you want in a man if he loves wolf. Can you kind of teach some of the pirates that are in the upper staff, maybe the general manager and that coach, some of that stuff, because we wouldn't seem to be doing very well in math, is not our strong two, because we've been losing by multi kids are runs. I know it's really you know, Pitts, for you usually have such a down scenario, but yeah, it's yeah, and I'm worried for baseball and young people. I don't see them in the stands. And how do you think they should speed up the game? What should they do? I hate the replay in baseball passionately. I really have h well, I think it's one, but I don't think that's going anywhere. So it's they're trying to like speed up the mild visits and they're trying to speed up different things, but it's just, you know, and it's just get out there and throw it. Like they're so worried about pictures hurting your arms and players doing this and they got a stretch and throw some it. I mean it just obviously with commercials and the way the television works, you have to put some of that stuff in. But three and a half hour game for our game. I think the pirates played one of them five hours the other night. I mean, you look at Yeah, if you look at if you look at box scores from the S and S and S, it's the game times like eleven, like I don't know what is Jay. It's horrible. Now, I think. Well, batters didn't used to step out of batters box either. That that's that takes up, you know, and just picture in your mind. No More Garcia par you know, for like thirty minutes wrapping his wrist band around right. But yeah, I just meant it because even I started covering the world series, you know, back in actually met my former husband, Dick Stockton. Loved Pittsburgh. He worked at any yeah, you started a Katie Ka and we met at the sixth game of the seventy five world series when Carlt get called Carlton Fisk's iconic Combrun if it stays bare home run. And that was the night that I met him. And so for the rest of our lives, you know, people would always see Dickens said it stays spare hall run and I got to say yes, and that's the night we met. But he he loved, he loved Pittsburgh. Match fact, this had to be I've been re married for about ten years, but maybe this was about fifteen years ago, when Mr Rooney was the ambassador to Ireland, right, you guys remember that, and he invited us and we went to Dublin to stay with the roonies when he was the ambassador. And you know, as you guys know, he's just just everything about Pittsburgh is the Rooney's and Oh yeah, and I was really a privilege to know him. Now you would Pittsburgh has changed a lot of price since last time you were here. I mean the food is wonderful, the city's clean and friendly and we, David I, both just really love being a part of the city. There's less than there. You definitely right. Yeah, no, Leslie, what now going back to the home run called by your former husband. What if that had been a foul ball? Do you think things may have turned out differently for you and Dick? He had to be careful calling you because you know it was. It really did hug the foul whole line there, but it was, you know, and and for me to once or maybe you guess when you work things now you have to be careful, because I did go on. I covered that. You know, all those other red sox world series. Then that's the only team I'm really, you know, crazy, like childhood crazy for, you know. And althought was sunny when Dick and I got married Bill Russell and read our back all these people came to our wedding and nobody cared right that Dick and Leslie were getting married. I was like, Oh my God, there's Bill Ruffle. Right, all right, but I got remarried and I met my now husband at the Kentucky Derby through Rick Pettino. So works is a good venue to meet people, right. Yeah, I saw your interview with Rick Pettino's pretty good, you know. Yeah, it was. How was that interview, because he's been through some tough times in his career. Yeah, he really. He's...

...really a man in full the Tom Wolf Book. He is. I've known him since I was his beat writer at Boston University, which was his first head coaching job, and I was twenty one and he was twenty two and we always laughed that I wouldn't have gotten that beat if I'd been leslie this or then, and he wouldn't have gotten that job if he were Rick Pettino. So I've covered all seven of his final four ISMBER. He just texted me he's at the south of France right now with his family. But yeah, he really. He was cleared of the charges of the Bride, Marie with Bowen, who you know and you know that's the way it goes now. It's the speaker company goes right to the family. They don't even bother the coach. Right. So he was not. It was found in the southern districtive New York. He was clear of that. But by then, remember that followed the stripper scandal which also he did not know that his assistant was bringing strippers into the hall. But, as I said, look on, buck stops with me. I lost my job for right. So right, yeah, that I'd be difficult form going through all that. Lets you know, you don't have to tell me about basketball scandals. I'm a you a grad are university Arizona, and so we're still waiting our feet on that. So we're the hammers going to fall at some point, but it's gonna. Yeah, what do you think? That it's coming up for Kansas and as has and then yeah, and it sounds like there's some very significant charges there. And Really Arizona is kind of in the same boat though, also. So I don't know. It's could be where. We're just hoping it's not a death definitely the fate of Smu, yeahs or something, but I don't know. It's we'll see, but it's it's makes it kind of easy remember. I remember I've covered, if you could believe this, I've covered dirty seven final fours and thirty six super bowls, but I remember the one. What was the year that you want it at Arizona under in ninety seven. Ninety seven seven, I remember thinking, but that's how America should look. Remember all the players were kind of a blend of black and white and Hispanic Number Bibby and oh you had all those guys that I thought, Gosh, this is how this is how America will probably look in a hundred years and should look, and it wasn't a great for Rudolso it was. Yeah, and it was such a you're totally right about the roster there, because they get Aj Bramlett, who was Hispanic, and Bennett Davidson, who I believe also was, and it was, you know, it was. It was a great moment when they I don't if you remember when they messed up lutes hair up on the podium. Yeah, that was that's something you just didn't touch as as anybody, even you know, I don't think the president could get away with touching lutes hare and the kids messed it up and yeah, it was. Yeah, that was a great time as probably one the only time he'd let that happen. Yeah, right. Um. So, Leslie, we kind of talked about your high school and you're at South Haley. Is that right, because that yeah, just we'd moved from Ohio. It's western Massachusetts and it's where it's a very prestigious college area. Not, Holy Oak is in is we not? Holy Oak is in South Hadley and that's also where Amherst is university, Massachusetts Smith College. So it here you were a farmer's kid or a professor's kids. But it was quite a time. Nineteen. I was in high school in one thousand nineteen and sixty nine and they would let us off for like civil rights marches and Washington for equal rights marches, piece marches. So the very exciting time to be in a politically aware community and also actually out there. We didn't get the Patriots Games. We got the giants because the Patriots old AFL. The people really didn't. But I went to my first NFL game ever in one thousand nineteen sixty four and it was in Samway Park. The Boston Patriots played in some way they reconfigured it and it was the old afl ball. You know that strike ball right, and it was. It was the raiders, Cotton Davidson Against Bade Perrelli was the Boston Patriot guy and it was like the school was like fifty to fifty. It was ridiculous. All was fun, though, high scoring for yeah, you'd back then. You wouldn't. You would think that. And then and then how did you end up at Boston College? Oh, I am my dad work for Stanford and I wasn't getting in there, which was nice. Of Him to tell me, don't even bother you dead...

...well, you know. And he he was. My Dad wasn't really that much a part of my life. As I said, he grown up in in Amsterdam and he wasn't Jewish. He like everybody, they were under the Nazi occupation for until they were liberated in forty five and they all hit people. My Dad went to the same monastory schools and frank but he knew nothing about American sports and family got him out. I didn't come here to college and he knew nothing like that. Their speed skaters, you know in Holland, the winchers, sport people, but all the field talking, I shouldn't say that, and soccer. They were in the finals of World Cup a couple years ago. But he didn't know football, basketball or baseball. And I remember that it would be my mom that that she and I would talk about it, and when I started covering the NFL and the Big East and all that, she was much more of a sports fan. And they really didn't. I don't. My mom went to a small college, first inner family to go to college, so nobody really knew what was kind of going on about college and I just picked Boston College because they had a football team, which you guys are kind of you experienced this, although you had pitched. But how many teams do you think college football teams had sustained excellent once in a pro town? Not Easy to do. No, I'm guessing few. You're trying to there's a football team and a college team like there's not many not make better success? Yeah, yeah, the only two, the only two that I can think of, were Miami, you know, under all those coaches. They had smellenberger and Jamie Johnson Ericson, so they actually had a sustained excellence, and the other US threat. But those are the only two I can think of. So I wanted football. Boston College, you know. Okay, we we still live on duck flu right. Yeah, Ryan, yeah, but but not much. But I just wanted a big campus kind of atmosphere and since I hadn't grown up with college football really, I didn't think in the south or which, to my point, all those great schools, right, aren't pro towns that Clemson, Baton Rouge, even Notre Dame. Is Not Chicago, by the way, why you go to Tulsa? I don't even know this. Yeah, well, I went to Tallsa. I was recruited there by Tulsa coaches. It came to Pittsburgh and saw me at a Joe Butler Metro Index football camp and then that's where I started getting recruited. I was recruited by them and Louisville. Coachnellenberger was at Louisville at the time. Kansas state, which I wasn't going. There was like three plane rides and wasn't doing that. A lot of transfers. Yeah, and then temple. So I love coach Raider at Tulsa after meeting him and just made a decision to go to Tulsa. They threw the ball a lot and that's what I wanted. Yeah, I'm going to say you must have loved that. Yeah, I ran the wing tea in high school, so I never threw it. Yeah, and going there my first probably my whole career in high school, I didn't throw it as much as I threw it my first game at Tulsa. So you know, I think I threw it forty five times at my first game at Tulsa. So it was a great experience for me. Actually graduate with twelve people from western Pennsylvania that played on a football team with me. So they recruited the area felt like home a little bit. So made it a lot easier to be a thousand miles away from where I grew up. That was a bountiful harvest at that camp. He said a lot of players out of it's Telsa, where the Cowboy Hall of fame? Now I don't know that's been. I might be Telsa, but I remember the first time. I've really done the NFL now for almost forty years, but for a few years there I did college football and so one time, that's when Oklahoma, you know, it's so huge, and so Oklahoma was playing at Oklahoma state and I swear to God, in my mind the pictures are black and white. Kind of looks like like people would wave on the highway like they were boats. Yeah, I remember getting it got to still water all right, and I covered the game and then years later I said to Jimmy Johnson, why didn't you tell me you were going to be Jimmy Johnson? I barely said hello to the Guy Right, right, yeah, yeah, well, I mean what a place that was. I mean the Oklahoma State and then Oklahoma. We got to play both of them and Arkansas as well. So it was actually really good experience...

...for myself. I didn't realize, never really thought about how I was going to play in the NFL for that long. I just was, you know, happy to be going where I was going next and just nose to the grind soon and my dad was a mill guy and just worked as hard as I couldn't matter what I did, and it end up working out okay for me. So, Leslie, well, we I'm sorry, will you? Writer for the School Paper at Boston College? Yes, and we have to go back to go forth. I've had the privilege of being the only woman ever to present the one Bardi Trophy and unfortunately it was to the Red Skins when they beat Mitch with the build. Oh yeah, that's right, that's right, that's all right. Yeah, but you know, he was Mitch was. Mitch was a great player and he had a lot of fun. He was he was a little quirky and a little messed up, but I think a lot of football players are. But you know, I saw yeah presenting that and actually got to see some all. You know, there's trying Castley out there and Joe Games and Mark Ripping and and Mr Book who brings back a lot of memories. When when you'd have to go see Mr Cook his office, he always had a word for you. What does this word mean? Because I don't know if you know this, but he started his career off by selling dictionaries. HMM, and know what I was encyclopedia B K. Yeah, that's really cyclopedia. And so he had a bat one in his office and he ask me questions like when you commit, he said, open the page, what's this word mean? And you'd be like, I don't know. You know, he kind of that was his icebreaker, I guess. Well, I think that's clever. He I had that was particularly difficult for me on a lot of for a lot of reasons. In the production meeting, you know, you have, I mean for a network to put on a super bowl, it's almost like a team. It's a third team there. I mean you have mine of production meetings and you have the pregame, the Games, the post game. So we're going through everything. Is like three days before the game. Every minute is accounted for. It at like you guys only got to go commercial. Do this right, so not to the post game and the two guys who ran CBS. Then when Neal Tilson and Ted Shaker, and so that we get to the post game they say, okay, I will do this in this and Leslie's going to handle the championship from Bardie presentation and everybody's mouth, including mine, so open. I mean there was Terry branshaw there, who has spent must burger right, and it was not in wow. It was who made that decision? Those two guys when was our chairman, our President Sports, and you know Pilson, and the other was Ted Shaker, who is our executive producer for all the sports. You know, the final four of the world seriously, Lumpis, but I so now here I am. I mean I was staggering rus I wasn't that old. and Co Wers thing was that Jack can cook took you never give up the microphone, right, and of course gus, you knew well. So he took the microphone and he starts going in about that. How I saw they CANICA, how we owned the form the Christ food building, and all everyone heard, if you guys know, it goes through like a hundred and eighty million people around the world, and all people heard was Bob Stenner, are producer, screaming get the flight. There's a lesson learned. Well, I guess you're always growing learning something right. Don't give up the right. But I did start writing at Boston College. Now, of fact, this is a hundredth year of the paper. So next week I'm going up to speak at the sent ten year old for our college paper. And the weird thing is I think sometimes in college you don't know you're ever going to see those people again. But the sports editor was Mike Lupeca and he would fearless and he was brilliant. Like for the college paper, Mike Lupeca would like write a column telling the Strensky to retire. Yeah, but wow, that's great. So you're going to see a lot of people that you probably, you know, learned a lot from, seeing a lot from if you go back and and those experiences are always great when you can go back and someplace where it all began for you. So it was the Boston Globe, Your first your first journalism job out of college. Yeah, that was crazy. I've sort of had a career where I only started at the top because in my sophomore year at DC I applied for a Carnegie Foundation Grant. Thank you answer, Carnegie, and it was open to twenty women all across America who wanted to go into jobs that were ninety five...

...percent mail, which you wouldn't think in one thousand nine hundred and seventy four. But they were all all jobs were, you know, basically white men. And I won one of these. Like a woman from Michigan got it for archeology, a woman from Johns Hopkins got it for Opsimology, and I got it because I wanted to be a sports writer. So the deal was at the Carnegie Corporation, some would pay the stipend. You could work wherever you wanted and they would pay for it. Just a pillion foundation grant and the globe always was voted the number one in America. In fact, we got voted the best of all time by sports illustrated right, and it was. It was an insane privilege. I mean every single guy was the best at his position. It was Peter Gammons on baseball, Bud Collins on tennis, Bob Ryan on basketball, will mcdonna on football, and so match up. When CBS first came tof in your job, I was like why would I leave the globe? All right, that was a dream team. You're on there and I got to do it all. I go to Wimbledon with bud, I'd go to the world series of Peter. I'd go to the NBA Finals Bob. I did all you know that fact. When I became the first woman to cover the NFL's with peat, it was were with Donna who called the then owner of the Patriots, Billy Sullivan, and he said we're going to have a woman on the beat and that's that. Well, now, do you feel like your colleagues when you start at the at the globe, were ready and willing and very accepting of you, or did you have to still kind of kind of deal with a lot of a lot of things that we know that? That's as far as on it unequality goes. I felt like, and I mean I was careful, I didn't take the floor. If you're from Boston, your fun they're funny people and these guys would be best, you know, at it, and there was no google then the research. They knew it because they saw it, and so I was really careful to ask a lot of questions, to listen, but I mean, I could write and I did know the sports and I just got great assignments. A Globe sent me to sit outside markets dupree's house and Philadelphia, Mississippi, for three days waiting for him. I did I did really big, big takeout stories and and then I did I was a beat writer, like for Buston University, for the Patriots. That my difficulty came with the players and coaches. They and not the black players, ironically, and I'm still friends with them to this day. But the black players were great to me because they said they knew what it was like to be the only one. And so people you have maybe you wouldn't remember these names like Tony McGee and sugar bear Hamilton. They would have me. I go to their house and they would run those old film yeah, Cape Wheel, the wheel. It was. Yeah, it was like, okay, the patroots are going from a three, four or forty three and okay, do you recognize it? You recognize it. Which I didn't have that experience again until I took John Madden's bustled them for years because I did a lot of the madden summer all games right and John like would be riding through Utah someplace on our way to thes and he would put up your stupid counter tray a million times. So I if I didn't get exactly what the redskin offensive line was doing, he would yell at me like I was a player. No, we're going to run it again against and where was past summer all when he was doing this. He was use flying, use flying. Yeah, but it was fun with John, you know, he's so original and so interesting and we would stop, like if he saw a high school game of baseball game under the lights or if he saw, you know, anything going on, we would just stop and go sit in the bleachers, which, of course it's the John Madden. You think he was one of the Beatles, but he was really very, very abatime, very interesting. Well, that period of time when you're at the globe, is that about when the point shaving sand scale BC was happening. Boston college is for football. It was a little bit. You know, it was fluty and we always Boston College, as you guys kind of know, always had great offensive linemen. They were very successful with that. I mean I do have to say this. I hope people can come along for the ride here. They know be long enough, but when I first moved to Florida and I'm married to a Guy Bob...

...knut now I can't wait tea meam, but he was a former captain of Harvard basketball. So, but he wanted to move down here. I we live north to Miami now and when I when I came down here and I would turn on the game to watch Boston College and I'd be looking, I'd be looking to say, Oh my God, I can't look at the speed we got, I can't believe with that players like this. And you know, I would squint and we're the same colors as Florida state. Yeah, yeah, Florida stavid notoriously for having fast, fast players. That's for sure. That's for sure. So you've gone through, you know, growing up and going getting into now professional reporting and all that. What were some of the things you learned from sports when you were growing up, watching and playing that you took with you that you think you're valuable for people to understand? I can't believe did she used to be on the other side when I was asking you question. Exactly. Now I get that ask the question. There are a few things. Number one, it was a great Bill Bradley, the Senator from users in of course, great New York. Nick and he had something I carried with me always, and that is he said that a locker room is the ultimate laboratory, and that is so true. You know, I mean just his own team. He was from upper middle class, middle class Missouri. Dave to Busher was the son of a saloon owner, you know, earl the Pearl and Willi sweed. They had completely different background and yet, and you know this too, that a locker rooms pretty color blind. I was realinate aware that I went to the celebration for Nick Bonacani, who you probably saw, died a few weeks ago, and one of his doctors was an African American, one of his neurologist, his you know, for his brain in his dementia. And I really don't know of many people who have not experienced that kind of locker room thing who would hire an African American neurologist. And I really I made a note of it. That that's how great sports is, that you you know who's good, you know who's not pulling his weight and it's immaterial what color background. You know who they voted for, you don't care. And so and the other thing I really took with me was the Great Guy Jan King, she's one of my idols also. And for your listeners who maybe don't know, Billie Jane One Twenty Wimbledon titles, doubles, mixed doubles, right, and singles, of course, and this maybe Chris Talk to you about it because she named a book this. Realie Jane would always say to people when anyone would actor Chie what is it like to be always in the Wimbledon final? And Blige would say she would change your brain with one sentence. She would say, are you kidding? Pressure is a privilege, right, yeah, and some people can't handle it, you know, and it crame. If you understand it, if you change your expectations to a different reality, will come of it. Right. So pressure, you can either say I can't handle it or I'm going to do better under pressure because I know it's my moment, and I think that people do necessarily see it that way. Yeah, it's a hundred percent if people can embrace the moment, the pressure. And Look, very, very few people ever have the kind of pressure that you faced every week. They just don't. They don't have a job in public where they have to be mentally and physically so prepared. But in anything you do and the other thing I started doing when I was very young at the globe and I I really still try to do it to this day. I try to make I didn't care how big or small the assignment was. Oh, I'll tell you a really embarrassing story if you want to hear one after the first. But I didn't care. I didn't care how big or small. I tried to make every at that a quality at that right. That's was really my philosophy about it. Well, I think that's that's why when you see sports and you see teams that get beat by somebody who's supposedly not as good as them, because they're not making every at that quality at that, they're just taking it for granted and they should win and right, right now. We see that in every sport. Like you, you know, I think Serena ran into that a couple times, where she was the greatest of all...

...time, but somebody was younger and hungrier and it was shocking to Sina. Well, I see see that in golf of Tiger Woods. Right at one point it was no matter who played against them, it was tiger woods they're playing against, and it didn't even matter if he was hitting the ball perfect that day. It was just they were planning its tiger woods. They were nervous. You know, it was just but now so many people have come since he kind of went down hill. They still get nervous when they play tag with I don't think it's the same. You know, Ye, that intimidation factor fell off a little bit and you have to bringe know the fearless. But it took a couple of generations. You know these younger players now, now they're fearless. But you're right, I think his aura worked for him. I mean was in trying to defend Michael Jordan. Now he's somebody, I think, who every at that was a quality at that, except for when he was in baseball. Right, yeah, no, plan and ten, but you know what he was. He was a decent baseballer. But Hey, we want to hear the embarrassing story, lassie. Yeah, I was hoping you move past that. Okay. Now it's pretty typical when people start and sports writing, they often their first kind of beat is high school football, which is actually great because you have to keep all the stats yourself. Well, I of course said the smallest division in Boston. All my schools had two names act in Boxborough, Lincoln, Sudbury. They were all the big schools. Brockton, I didn't get those bands. Shaughnessy would get those with Kevin Dupont. So I had all these small schools and one of them was I always had the Tucket Martha's vineyard game, which meant that, you know, no cell phone, no no way to send anything you had. I had to take the ferry over to Martha's vineyard cover the game. So I've got, you know, the my umbrella in one hand and my no pad in the other, running up and down the sideline keeping all the stats myself. And this is going to be impossible for you guys to even envision, but when your first, when your first covering football, not watching him at home, you know how you get up to the fifteen. You got to do the math. Yeah, you know, cross was over, but okay, so now so's pouring rain and so what if I give the kid another twenty yards? Right? There's really in the Sunday Boston Globe. I think most people wanted to read about the Patriots, the Celtics, the red socks, the Bruins, and probably not division for High School Football. Okay, so I give this. About two weeks later there's a phone called the Boston Globe. They say, Leslie, there's a phone call for you, and I came well, going to say hi, Leslie, this sir, and I hear Leslie, is coach Paul Brad Alabama, and I said yes, coach, I see you got a young man up there, Russian for four hundred and fifty yards of game, and I wonder if it should I come take a look at this young man like coach. Coach, I really don't think the SISHERMAN's son, you know, who's more foot nothing really for Tupaloosa. Oh that's funny. That's a good one. It was. So how did you break it to him? Say you can come up and we can get some the lobster rolls, coach, but I don't necessarily think you want to recruit this kid. Well, it was funny because years later I was the first woman ever in bears locker room and it was the last game. It was the last Iron Bull Auburn Alabama number bow over the top. Yeah, and so deep pair was not well and going on to retirement and so he said at the after the game down there, he said, well, there might be an undressed boy in there, but I don't give a blank. So Tho Stations Beheid were out and had check them. Can't do that now, right, right. Yeah, well, somebody's going to take a picture, definitely now. So what was it like for you? You've had an amazing career. You've been with tons of different US CBS, ABC, ESPN, you've been with all these all these groups, reported on many, many different sports and at the top of every sport their championships. And then you get to carry the Olympic torch. What was that like for you? Oh, matter of fact, when Rick Pettina was in Greece, I talked to him about it because I got to carry it for the Games that were back in Athens, you know, which is done a hundred years or whatever. And the interesting thing about the torch is that it isn't the torch that goes around the world, it's the flame. So they even have an Olympic plane because of course has to go between the oceans, right,...

...and what they want, and I remember they they send you a document that has twenty three pages that you will not in any way alter the tshirt and you have to wear white shorts, but they don't care about that. But the t shirt has the Olympic logo, which was the Garland that had been in ancient Greece. You know, the first Olympics were in Olympia, Greece, in Seventeen, seventy six BC, right. So they on the t shirt they had that garland. And so you run for maybe a quarter of a mile and you somebody runs up to it's almost like a relay and they kind of come near you with the flame and you reach your torch back to light the flame and then you pass the flame on to the next person. So did you get to keep the torch? Yeah, they did. They let me. I have the torch and my husband got a frame to me the torch and the shirt. Yeah, it was really you know, when you think about something that's just a thousand years old, it's it's a tremendous, tremendous, tremendous honor. And Yeah, thank you for mentioning it, because one of the other really great stories I got to do, because my dad had grown up in in Amsterdam under the German boot, was CDs sent me as part of the team to cover the fall of the growing wall, which was just astonishing and my little slice of the Pie. Course, Dan Rather you know, other guys had all the big stories, but my slice of the pie was how would sports in East Germany chains? Because remember Katterine Av yeah, catching this, well, she was, but she was a face of socialism and the East Germans, they hadn't won many gold medals in the Olympics before that and then all of a sudden they won twenty two of them or something, or right, whatever for a very small country. And so because that it was the doping, the under the stassie, the secret police. Young athletes whore identified and then they were doped and so and actually don't see now many Olympians coming from what was East Germany. So that was really amazing. You know, it was after Reagan, it said, so the tough tear down this wall, right. And Yeah, it was really, really something to do that. So I always tell people sports as the greatest passport. Yeah, I remember that eat watching the East Germans in the early s and late s in the Olympics. It was kind of a site of the whole you sure what you're watching right? Right, you weren't. There was yell. Yeah, it was interesting. Body types, for sure. I used to tell people when they say to you know, I don't remember that and I'd say yes, you do remember the women swimmers had beards, right, yeah, that it may. Yeah, it's interesting. Television slow them down in the water, but they still would. Yeah, they said they're whiskers still there. So, Leslie, you're in the pro football of fame. I am. Tell us about that. It's you're the first, female, I believe. Right, I was then for twelve years. They just two more got in last year. But yeah, two thousand and six. My class was Tory Aikman, Reggie White, who had passed away by them, but Harry Carson and John Madden, and John wrote me a note which I really cherish you, that me hand written out. That said the hall of fame, you can't be born into it, you can't buy your way into it, you have to earn it, and you did. You've definitely heard Um who, who's your presenter? Crazy Al Michaels? I mean I love it, I love them, but you know, L L was willing to sit. You know what was the over under on the hall of Fame Game, whatever it was? I mean it was just crazy, but yeah, he it was. It was something that it took me really a while to own it. You know, it was, it is just really almost too much for me. I was just a kid. My family didn't come from money, my father was from another country. So it it took me a while to kind of say, well, I guess I did do that. Yeah, well, I mean you've done more than then I could ever imagine doing. I mean your career is remarkable and you've broken more barriers you know, and there's so many girls that look up to you because you've done things that that have opened doors for so many women in this...

...country. It's amazing you and Christine Sally is just I mean the story to me is remarkable and it's one that I hope my daughter listen is too, over and over. Well, thank you for that. I do. I do understand now that because now, for for decades I've heard from younger women, but I always make the point that just like you had an offensive line, you don't get there by yourself. You don't don't land on normality by yourself. You know, get to the end zone by yourself. And I had, I was ever hired by a woman because I was always the first. But great men, great men who gave me a chance. Who Be we've been me and you know people who who? It wouldn't have happened. It would not have happened without the vision of some of these men to say and and at the Boston Globe, at CBS ABC made me the first woman on Monday night football. So I really have an enormous he sure hurt my list of people to think at the imagine, but you know, I'm blessed at the class right behind me was Chris Brennan and Sally Jenkins and Jackie mcmullan. There are some really great ones right right behind me. So it wasn't just like I opened the door and then nobody went through right. Yeah, they keep coming. They keep coming, that's for sure. I'll tell you what's funny is that you have you said you have one of my bobble heads. What I'm going to I collect cards, so I want to I'm going to go out and look for the Leslie visor. I think you have a trading card out there from NBA made of view and I'm going to have to find it. I have an NFL one which looks ridiculous. But till guests, they asked me to say something on the back of it. So they made me wear the stupid friends leather jacket. I look at a cowboys Jew leader. I mean here I am, right, the first woman to cover the NFL. And on the back, though, I said that something about. You know, there's nothing better than being looking a cold like a Lampbo or, of course, three rivers at the time. It's something cold and you feel the winds whipping and feel the game and see the game and in my mind I would always here the voice of John Passenda. Right, yeah, that's I think that goes well. I think your bobble head goes for more than my NFL. I don't know, David, and I looked it up on Ebay. It was a seventy bove. Yeah, Leslie Visor, NBA get seventy dollars. It was seventy bucks. Yes, it was. He just saw it. We saw it. Tell you when I first started, you know, I was it was just the very first conversation I ever had. The then coach of the Patriots was Chuck Fairbanks. That's remember it all. Yeah, ground shot, Kevin Ground Chock. Yeah, and he, I think he coached Oklahom or somewhere, didn't he? After Ram's all said. Right, yeah, yeah, but he very first question. I'm not nervous and our FID, I got the credential, says no women, children and I worked as from a question you know about one of his offensive line backers, and the first thing he ever said to me was wow, you know, you ought to go to lunch with my daughter. You're about the same age. was mortified. Wow. Well, I can just see the steam building up as he's saying that to you. It's like, okay, how do I come back from that one? Well, you know what it was, and your daughter's well, I think they'll experience us. To actually any young person, and even for you, you were, you're really a good athlete or a good quarterback, and then you're good in college and then you're good in the pros, but nobody teaches you a class in humiliation. What's right that's going to come out of nowhere and whack you? Well, yeah, I had a major class in that. If you remember from what I played for the Redskins, I do. I don't think that anybody's been more humiliated than I have been. So I definitely get it and been humbled still. You see it like a round Christmas the ESPN off top ten. Well, my sons will text me say hey, Dad, you're on the ESPN again. I'm like, oh great, I said you guys will be ninety years old. Those will be playing. I'll be making the top ten. It's something ninety nine yarder, Randy more. No, no, anything else. It's just that. Hey, but you know I did it. You live with it. Yeah, one of mine lives on forever. CBS US to play it at every seminar. The first assignment I had for CBS when I left the globe was the US Open tennis, and this is the US Open tennis was huge, you know, was Chris and Martina Connor and back and round board. And so my first, first time I was...

...on the air. I'm not. I look like I had Rigga Mortis. I covered ten US opens and ten wimble rooms for the globe but I knew nothing about television. Nothing. So now, Bret Musburger, there was a player, Hannah Mandlik about, who was from Prague and friend says, Oh, let's go to Leslie this. There she's with Hanna Mandlikaba. So, Hannah, did I been through? Was My first time on TV? Yes, Oh good, did I mention that Hannah was from Prague, with a very sick accent sounding good, nothing's throw in here, okay. And this was, you know, network television, right when Dennis was big in the open was big and CBS was big. So she'd had a great summer. She went from fifty five in the world up to like fix at this US Open. So I say to her, Huh, to what do you attribute your sudden rise in the rankings? And Hannah says, well, I think it is my new couch. So I thought, Okayn, better something right. Right, network television. I say to her, Oh, did you get some new furniture? And she looks at me like I am from and what kind of questions that right? Can Imagine yourself a getting that question? So she looks at me and she says, don't be ridiculous, Billy Jing King, my new coach's funny. That's right. So that is that's what is that what they used to teach all the people that are going to be on TV. They bring out your episode up, don't want a career, but sprint's head hits the table, everything toweling. Yeah, it's just really just so, because she looked at me like who would ask somebody. Did you catch some SUP first? That's all. That's pretty funny. Did though that it's pretty good. That is really good. So one of the last things that we do, we appreciate you spend so much time with us, is we do a little segment called no huddle, where we blast a bunch of questions at you and try to get you to answer them quickly. So Day always starts to stay once you start with no Ho okay, Leslie, if you were commissioner for the day, for a day of any of the major sports, what rule change would you make? I would be does running the NCAA count? That'll go work. Yeah, that'll work. Okay, I would change the that acthletes should be able to own their own likeness, that it's the it's the Olympic model. You know, it shouldn't be that. Diane Williamson sold a Billion Tshirts for Duke but he didn't get a sent so that would be mine. I like that. It's a good one. I like that. But then you look at all what do you think of the people that aren't as big as ion? Right? So just basically, they're not you know, I'm saying they're putting as much work and effort in, they're just not getting the notoriety. How do you feel about that? Well, I remember when all the quarterbacks are Goy need, frank runo. You probably don't guess, Frank Bruno took the quarterbacks out to have their own kind of company. These were NFL guys, right, but it was sort of the same thing from Marino and Steve Young and Montana and boomer that like the the third third string sense of back would be getting the same cut of their t shirt. So I believe that in college that's how it should be, that if you're working really hard but you know, maybe the Walmart doesn't ask you to come down and give a little talk, well then that's should be money that Zion has earned and it doesn't hurt the other players. They have their ship and maybe they can get some appearance somewhere. But I think that's the answer to the dilemma. Right. Okay, the quarterback club is that was called? Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I was one of the low men on the total pole that never saw. You're in the club, that I was in the club and didn't get much from it. Well, making the club, though, is it? Because what is your favorite sports movie? Oh, I remember, I tried to tried to memorize Annie speech. You're at these really the center of that. I mean it is hilarious when what's his name and played our list goes out to the mound to pretend the yelling and he says candle six CANCIS good wedding. But it's really when Annie, you know, I worked up at the temple, they sball, that a baseball has the same amount of stitches as the rosary. I just I love will them. That's it's a great, great movie. Leslie. What's your biggest pet? Peeve? My own impatience. It's my own...

...in patience, like, why is it taking forty five minutes? You know we all have to fly every week to get through the when everybody else's they're just doing it, going along, and I'm thinking somehow, because I have Catholic guilt, somehow I must have done something wrong and that's why this line is forty five minute. Right, right, yeah, I hate that. My Mom, my mom loves Catholic guilt. I get it. I just talked to her this morning and I don't know, I feel so guilty after every time I talked to her you know, it's so fun something I have to talk to your mom. Why don't your mom? Gustave or whatever you crasy the family name. That was my dad. Yeah, Gusta was my dad's name and his dad's name, and we came from Belgium, our family. Yeah, I sort of, I sort of recognize a little bit of that because Holland is right next to Belgium and that is a that's a Dutch name too, but I didn't think it isn't for our French, French beldium. Yep, that's what we are, but we're really on my I mean my my mom's dad was. He was Irish and German and I mean we were have a little bit of everything in our family history. You know what, like this is a question. Okay, ahead, let's it's a question for you. A question for you, Dave, and then you can get back to your questions. Okay, which do you think took people longer to spell? For A or she sesky? Oh Wow, I was going to throw a far of them there also, but Um, I still I've known that's twenty five years and there's a couple times I still have to second guess my spelling of his last name. So Sheshefsky, I think. Well, it's probably about a five, five forty five Toshefsky over Frat. Well, they would in like in Pittsburgh. They would show spelled Sheshefsky way easier than than for rat, because anything that ends in ski they know how to spell. Treated a lot of practice. I did you guys ever hear that story when Brett was I guess one of a few days he was in class, or maybe it was a source of college class, and they're going to the people in the class taking name from. They say is it's burnt. His first name was. He have another first name. I'm not sure whatever was. So I don't know if you have never first word, like first thing, like add or something, but whatever was, they said, okay, raise your hand if you're here. Brett favrey and Brett of sector. All right. Did he raise his hand? Well, I might. I might actually be the only player in pro bowl history that that they spelled my name wrong in my jersey. Oh Oh, that's bad. Yeah, and we're in. Why? It's not like you're getting a New Jersey stitched in the day of the game. That's the only time I saw the Jersey and so it's like all right, well, I gotta go out and play in the Jersey. It's spelled in my name wrong, which is happy to be there, just happy to be again. You know, that's week that they probably spelled the TOUZAC correctly and fraud. Yeah, right, right, and favery was there as well, with every yeah. So what do you think the most overhype thing is in sports today? Some of the fantasy picks. I think they just go off the week before. I've done this myself, and then that does not mean that the next week that guy and then you get mad at the guy, like I remember I had. I had a Dainian Tomlinson. I had the first pick of the whole draft and then teeter got hurt or terrible few weeks and so I didn't want to talk to him. So CBS would send me out there to do a game, but I want to talk till a Dadian Tomminson. So I think people, people are not measured. I'm talking about average people, you know, who do fantasy, not the experts. But I think they shouldn't just automatically go hype all on because of the week before. Right, I agree with that. Okay, Leslie, if you could be anyone else in the world for a day, who would that be? You can be an athlete, it can be a world leader, it could be anybody for a day. I would want to open my mouth and have beyonce's voice come out of it. Is that too much to ask? Yeah, that sounds a reasonable but also be able to dance like her to I think both of those would be great, because I cann't danced. They can't do either one of those your guys. But who were yours? I was there's a few. I would go back in time.

I think Mickey Mantel and the primiers. That would be a good one to be. Yeah, you said Mickey, I say. I said I'd love to go back and be like baby ruth like. That would just be what kind of time is that like? What did he do when he wasn't on the field? What did they ruth do? They Ruth left the red sox at no one ever heard of him again. All right, now, if you could go back and tell young Leslie visor one thing, what would that be? I askedally would flip that that I did tell myself something that I really have used for four decades, but I don't use it often enough, but when I started out I knew that humor would be a great default mechanism for me, because humor can d escalate a situation like you know, if players were giving me the Yo baby, Yo baby, I would I would just say them now, your Mother didn't teach you to talk like that. I need know what. No one walked embarrass his mother. So we'd laugh and move on. So it actually was advice that I gave myself young. I didn't always use it, you know. I had times that I would be really, for all kinds of reasons, frustrated at something and I would forget that, but that's I think he has really worked for me and if people can somehow get their head to that place, I think it works in a lot of situations. Agree. I agree with that. Right. Last one. If you're going to Chisel Mount Rushmore of sports broadcasting, who would be on that? Oh, Gosh, Bob Costas. I work with so many of these great ones. John Madden, there's only four. So We's last. We all know the importance of health insurance, but it's not always easy to afford. That's why there's covered California. We are the only place you can get financial help to pay for your health insurance, and this year there's more financial help available than ever before. So, even if you haven't qualified in the past, be sure to check and see how much you could say. Our experts can help find the best plan for you. So click the banner or visit covers Acom to get started covered. California, it's life care to be covered by genuine wory first can roll by December fifteen. I know. Yeah, that's fine. I have to say I'll Michael's. I did a world series of them on the night triple crown and can never leave the broadcast hanging. It's just a genius on it and got the fourth one. Is Always so hard. Let's see, I guess the obvious one. I guess. Yeah, I guess it would have to be been scully. Yeah, it's a nice line up. Yeah, it's a pretty good lineup. I'd listened to that game. I'm sorry, I could. I'm sorry I didn't say Myron Cope. Well, you should say yourself. You should be on there as well, because you've done some amazing things, and I do. Yeah, yeah, thank you for spending so much time with us, and we really appreciate it and you know, we'll let you know when it comes out, but it should be soon. Okay, thank you, guys. Have a great week. Okay, thanks, laslie. Thanks. Lastly, than by, Hey, we want to thank you for joining us today on how to up with guests, where we talked to a wide range of guests about how supports shaped to life. As always, I'm joined by my great friend and cohost, Dave Hagar, and we want you to be able to follow us on all of our social media at huddle up with gusts and we really appreciate you and thank you for your time and listening to our podcast.

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