Average to Savage
Average to Savage

Episode · 1 year ago

Ryan Ruocco | Average To Savage EP123

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

This is the one hundred and twenty-third episode of the Average to Savage podcast featuring sports broadcaster Ryan Ruocco. Paul Guarino talked with Ryan Ruocco discussing how he got into broadcasting, his podcast R2C2 with CC Sabathia, being a hybrid covering basketball, baseball, and boxing.

Follow Ryan Ruocco

https://www.instagram.com/ryrukes/

This podcast interview with Ryan Ruocco was originally recorded on April 8, 2021

...this is the Average to Savage podcast with paul Guerrino. Everyone in, anyone athletes, celebs and much more. What's up everybody? I'm back for another episode. The average Savage podcast. Our special guest today is Ryan, Ruocco Ryan. How's it going? Good man, good, happy to be with you, paul, I appreciate you coming on. Uh let's just go back in time a little bit. How about how did you get started in broadcasting? Oh man, I uh I always wanted to be in broadcasting. I mean basically since I was 10 years old, I would pay attention to the announcers when listening to games with my dad. Um and I always, I thought I can't play, I would want to announce. Uh and then I went to Fordham uh Wfuv at Fordham or radio station there, my mentor bob erin's just really accelerated the learning curve. I had an internship with the Yes network um and then via my work at WfuV was exposed to a lot of people in the industry, a lot of bosses, producers directors, I mean, Time of ESPN radio in new york. Um and so he loved my work, I wanted to give me a chance at ESPN radio, I started doing random updates, uh that was while I was doing stats um and interning at the Yes Network, and then just kind of slowly built up each thing to eventually uh get to the place where I'm fortunate enough to be it today. Yeah, for sure now, I know, so, so tell me a bit, a little bit about like, maybe like your first broadcasting job and like, just like odd jobs that you had, like in between, and like before you quote unquote, made it out to. So when I was in college I worked for uh I think I started my senior year of high school and then I my sophomore year of college, I also work for a GMC uh supplement store. Um And uh it's the only job I've ever been fired from. But I I was just I was putting in more and more time into my broadcasting and my manager there was like look like I, you know, I'm sure you're gonna do great, but like I have to let you go, you're too unreliable with this because I was, you know, calling out left and right to go do broadcast and stuff at Fordham. So it was the right move by her. Um And uh and uh when I first started in senior year of high school that summer, my best friend and I both worked at a GNC. Together and we would literally like it was the story we're at, the location was so just dead. There was like no one there. So we were literally like make tape balls and try and throw them at the co Q 10 supplements and see if we can get them to fall off the shelves, Like that's what we would do. Um Which luckily they didn't break when they fell off the shelves, otherwise it would have been a problem. But uh but yeah, but then my first uh my first job was doing stats in the booth for yankee...

...telecasts after I was an intern Jared Dashnak Ashley for Gezi to executives, Yes, who are two of my favorite people, they noticed my work ethic um and when I was an intern and they were like, they noticed that I knew the game, they knew I was that for them and I was doing broadcasting there, and they were like, hey, we have this opening for being a statistician in the booth for Yankees telecasts at home, would you be interested? And I've never done stats, but I was like, hell yeah, I'm going to get to be in the booth during Yankee games. Are you kidding me? Of course, Gonna get to sit with Michael. Kay and me ken, Singleton and bobby Murcer and david cone and paul o'neill and out lighter and john flaherty and I just, I thought was the coolest thing ever. Um and so uh I started doing stats and I kind of like, I didn't really have a blueprint as to how to do it. I just kind of um thought about it through the perspective of like, what would I want to know if I was at home watching and how can I help Michael? Um and I crushed that role and was able to um, to, to really learn uh like more about the broadcast industry, as I was sitting there doing stats for Michael in the booth. Yeah, that's awesome. Now, I know you're like, you're like a hybrid because you do basketball, baseball, uh, boxing to, um, I don't know how many people do it, but I mean, I think you do everything really well. So how did, how did you like, how did you maneuver into going from baseball, the basketball now? Boxing too? Yeah, I think like, you know, my, so being at Fordham, I, I kinda, I learned to play by play for baseball, softball, basketball, football. And I got a good amount of reps in all those sports via the broadcast. I did on air there at WfuV, and then also via demo broadcast that I would do. Um, and I liked all of them. Like, I enjoyed all of them. Uh, there was a, just an energy to being on the air with all of them. and I always thought I'd like baseball best, but when I was in college I actually like broadcasting basketball and football even more because I like the action of it. Um Now I like them all equal I'd say because to do Yankees maybe I'd feel differently if it was a different team I was doing, but getting to do the Yankees makes it pretty great. Um But I I just kind of like tried to, I mean I had I was a diehard sports saying, so I was very familiar with the sports and like the strategy and you know, I always prided myself on having a coach's type mind when it came to baseball especially, but then also basketball and football and then I was around amazing analysts and I would learn more from them. So there were certain nuances to the NBA game I didn't know, but you know, by working with mike fratello, by working with Jim Spon article, by working with Hubie Brown, you know, I, I learned, um, and I learned more and more about the game and uh, and then, uh, you know, you just like learn little piece of...

...terminology, little strategy, things like that and it helps you, and with football, I, you know, same kind of thing, you know, like doing games with Bill Polian all of a sudden you learn even more about strategy and with boxing. I was always a casual fan, but I didn't really know the sport at all. And I just had to do a ton of homework, um, to be able to feel like I could be on the air and give the representative broadcast. Uh, you know, so I talked to max Kellerman, um, and I talked to joe Tessitore uh, and they both were unbelievably helpful. And I just, and I talked to um, you know, a variety of different steve Farhood who runs uh, ring magazine and uh, and uh, Barry Tompkins and people were dumb boxing forever. And, and they just really taught me a lot and I studied a ton and I watched all these old fights, like I was watching old fights on Youtube for hours upon hours a day, because I just think it's like if you, if you take pride in what you do, you will, you will do whatever you have to do to prepare to be able to do that, you know, and that's the way I looked at it is I'm never going to get on the air unless I feel prepared. So what do I have to do to feel prepared? And I tried to come up with that and was able to kind of come up with a formula which, which boxing events have you covered so far? So I've done um I've done a couple canelo fights. I've done uh one of the biggest fights I did for the, I did the international feed when Andy Ruiz uh upset Joshua dot the world. Yeah, at the garden, That was amazing. That was Anthony, Joshua's first fight um in the United States. Um So that's one of the bigger ones. I did Uh Canellos 1st Fight at Madison Square Garden. I did uh canelo against daniel Jacobs in las Vegas. I did. So I've done I've done some really, really good, really fun ones I'd say. Uh I did one of these forget if I did jake or Logan paul, but I did one of those fights to in Miami around Super Bowl last year in 2020. So yeah, so I've got to do some fun events. All right. So now I just got to ask you, do you think jake paul is going to be Ben Aspirin man? You know the one thing I wait, Which one is the older brother, Logan? Okay, so Jakes the younger brother. I did j spite then his first professional fight. I wouldn't bet against that guy because he he's just, he takes it super seriously. Like he really, he really, really like studies the art of it. He has a breathing coach. Um He's like, he's seriously invested. So before I can make an official prediction, I have to dive more into the fight and what I think about it and kind of really evaluating. But I will say like, I...

...think like I don't laugh at like jake paul's ability. I'm like, no, no, he can he can box. All right. it's coming up soon. So I guess we'll see. Yeah, I gotta do my homework quickly. Um And then yeah, just going to like the yes network and the Yankees like what about any predictions for the Yankees this year, man? I mean, I think this is a yankee team that has as good a chance to win the World Series as anybody, you know, in the majors. Maybe you say the Dodgers more because they're the defending champs and they, you know retooled and already stacked team. But you know, I look at the Yankees and health is the number one key, but to me the biggest question mark going into the season was the starting pitching and so far through a week, they have acquitted themselves beautifully. Uh Corey Kluber looked really good. Jamison Tyrone look great. Jordan Montgomery looked outstanding and Garrett polls looked like gerrit cole. Um So I feel good about that. I also feel good about some of the arms and have to pick up the slack with Zach britton out with Justin Wilson now. Uh some guys who you're going to get back at some point this season Britain being the most important one. So I think that, you know, I think that the lingering questions will be the shortstop, defensive labor Torres and then also making sure there's enough versatility in the lineup that you don't have too many of the same kind of hitters. Uh and you know, those could end up proving to be difficult questions to answer. But as of now, I feel, I feel I feel really good about this nicotine. Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. I feel the same way. I feel like they're just missing every couple of past years. Yeah, I know they're close there on the doorstep, there on the doorstep. Yeah exactly. Um Since you're a hybrid going into now W. N. B. A. I know you cover a lot basically. That's why it's like funny because like I know you've done the boxing and stuff and I definitely heard you, I just couldn't remember any of them. I always feel like I just hear your voice even on like social media. Like the clip, it's always I'm like that's definitely Ryan again. Well that's good man. Uh you know, it's not bad to be ubiquitous so I'll take it. Yeah, for sure. Um So yeah going into the W. N. B. A. Like I know you've been covering it for a while, like what what are the changes you've seen? Like the growth in? And I see a ton of growth? Um I see, you know, first of all let's just say this first and foremost before we get to anything, you know, extra about how amazing these women are off the floor, which they are um about what change makers they are, which they are about their social consciousness, which is incredible and admirable. First and foremost, they're great at basketball, you know, like, and it's entertaining basketball and I think that, you know, maybe people don't understand how far the game has come from where it started in this league, but it's an incredibly entertaining product. It really is, and I didn't know that when I first got involved. Now, it'll be visibly my ninth season, so nine years ago. Um but it is, it's an incredible product. And...

...so I think first and foremost the game is in better shape than it's ever been before. I think there's more attention on it than ever before. I think by almost every measurable metric we're seeing growth which is super encouraging. Um And I just feel really excited about people now, feeling invested uh and energized to check out this product and um I believe that once they check it out there going to be hooked because that's how great the basketball is. Uh and that's how amazing these young women are. So I'm really excited to uh to kind of see where the league goes this year and the and the growth especially coming off historic ratings for the N. C. A. Women's tournament, which I was fortunate enough to get to broadcast with ESPN. I'm super excited to see where the W. Grows from here. Yeah, for sure. I don't know if you saw today, they released the new jersey, did you get this morning? Yeah. What do you think of those? Uh Dude, I love them. Any favorites, but you know, you just saw him. We just saw him like they just really like an hour ago. Seattle's look great to me. I really like Seattle's I think if I remember right, I really like Chicago's as well. Those 1/2 think stood out the most. Yeah, yeah. So I'm excited to look into the, but these are the kind of things we need to do right? Like I can say this with total and complete confidence. Cathy Engelbert is just a game changer. She is an incredible commissioner. I think she just is so on top of the different ways to grow this, this game. Um, and uh, and this is one of the ways, right? So I'm really excited to see where she continues to believe this league. Yeah, definitely. And then lastly on the basketball side, uh, do you think the nets are gonna, are gonna pull it off? I do I do. I think that you know, I think that the most talented team in the league which is not me going out on that much of a limb. But I think that you know look the number one key for them is going to be getting healthy. You know. KD just getting back after missing 23 straight games. Harden has been the M. V. P. In my opinion this season. But now he's down with a hamstring injury. How long does he, how long is he out? And then you're not going to have much of a runway to get the chemistry right um before the playoffs start. But I'll say this, you know the nets have found ways to win even with guys out there just like 19 and four with Katie hurt. Um And I think they've had so much change to the roster from the start of the season. Plus this is a year that requires more malleability than normally anyway, because of covid and the restrictions and just, you know, protocols and what everybody's having to deal with that. I believe that we will see um the nets find a way as long as, as long as they...

...have those three healthy, as long as Kyrie Harden and Katie are healthy uh for the, you know, for the conference finals and for the finals, I do believe the nets will find a way to emerge victorious, but um, don't count out Utah, don't count out the Lakers if they get healthy, you know, don't count out the clippers, don't count out Milwaukee or philadelphia, all those teams, you know, could still win a seven game series. I just think the nets well, yeah, sure. I'm a Yankees and mets fan, so I'm hoping for for two. Yeah. Hey man, you know what you are? This is a rare breed right here, paul. It's like all the things I like and you do like the WNBA's boxing. I'm into boxing. I do work with box or something like that. I don't even know if, you know, we're kind of co workers. I did some stuff for the yes, network on social media, uh, ran the live games for the, for all the teams. Actually, I got to do all of them. Actually, the craziest one was I was working when Aaron Boone uh, when he yelled at the amps and that one of my bottle, the savages. Yeah, that was that was one of the great viral moments. Major league history. Yeah. At the time I was just like clipping and I was just like, this is pretty interesting and then just like, blew up and I was like, all right, I don't think it's gonna be that big. Yeah, dude. Crazy, right? I mean it was it was great for the sport I think. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And then obviously we're on a podcast now, you have a podcast at C. C. Sabathia or to see too um how did how did you guys get that started and why? You know, we um We always had this relationship since he came to the Yankees in 2009. I was at the time doing our in house, brought in house hosting for the scoreboard for the Yankees and we connected over uh over our interest in basketball actually, um and watch them the Lakers in the finals. And we just developed a relationship and then I was hosting shows shortly after that on ESPN radio new york and CC with listening and we'd end up with um we ended up with some good common friends, shout out to Manitoba amount max Siegel and uh we uh brian axelrod and we um, we just connect and we used to say, hey, we should do something together, we should do a podcast together someday, whatever and uh but we never did anything about it. And then 2017 in the spring, I have stopped doing my daily radio shows and CC reached out to me, he said, because it's time, let's do this. And we had a great conversation about if we did a podcast, what we wanted to look like, the players tribune, thanks to them, they were the first to back it and support it and we just kind of grown it. Since then, Uninterrupted was a great partner after players tribune and now uh we have the ringer and Spotify as a partner and they've been fantastic. Yeah, that's awesome. Did you see like podcast blowing up? Like it has? Yeah, I did. I actually oddly, Um, my high school girlfriends father when I was 18...

...years old told me like podcasts are going to be The next big thing watch and he was like, you know, 10 years ahead of it, but he was a smart guy and so it always kind of in my mind that at some point this is going to blow up and so you know, I did, I did see it happening, you know, once I was doing our to see to like, I love the joe Rogan podcast and thing I love about it is like the long form and getting to really dive into nuance and, and getting to hear experts um be more specific about certain topics. And so I understood the appeal of that almost like an audio form of what grant land was when Bill Simmons started that at ESPN, you know, that's what podcasts could and then, and then I would listen to Bill Simmons podcast, I love that. And then Oprah super soul and so I saw all these things, I'm like, wow, this is amazing when I get in the car now I want to listen to a podcast. So yeah, I did, I did kind of feel like it was going that way. Yeah, yeah, that's how I feel now. Like I don't even like, I'd rather listen to podcasts now just than like watch tv almost. Yeah, yeah, no, I agree. I'm in the same boat man, I'll take a podcast any day. Um what about, what advice would you give to other, like young sports broadcasters trying to make it, you know, I always say this to, uh, when I talk to young kids and young broadcasting like in some ways it's the best time to be getting into this business because, um, it's, you know, there's never been more media outlets, right. There's never been more ways to get reps in. You know, the key to getting better, but in some ways it's the hardest because there's never been more competition. So I always say, like, you know, lean into your passions, make sure you're prepared every time you go on the air, get reps however you can get them, even if it means, you know, into a microphone at home, calling a game off the tv recording podcast, just to yourself, all that stuff gets you better be prepared. Uh, you know, don't take any opportunity for grant every demo broadcast. You do treat like a real one. Um, and uh, when you get opportunities at a network or as an intern or whatever it might be, um, just show your work ethic and be a great teammate. Uh, you want to learn more about you, your skill sets, your talent, your, you know, your desires and uh, and some doors could end up opening as a result definitely. Are you ready for some fun questions? Yeah, let's do it. All right. What's your, what's your favorite song right now? Oh, my favorite song right now. Mm That's a good question. Because I feel like, uh, probably something from M and M's last new album. Um, let me see. Let me, let me look up what song I would say off of his album. Although I like the, uh, it came out a couple of months...

...ago, but I really do like the driver's license, uh song what it's called? Driver's license, right? It's like super hip with Olivia Rodrigo, my wife helping me out. Yeah, I like that song. It's really good. It's really good. Uh Yeah, it's really good. But I would say Zeus by Eminem and white gold. I really like Zeus. That's that's a great song. All right. What about what are what are three jerseys? You want that You don't have? Oh that's a good question. Um three jerseys. I want that. I don't have. Are you a jersey guy? Yeah. Yeah, I you mean like and framed or to wear? Uh So where the where um joe DiMaggio? Uh Yankees five jersey? I don't have um I would say maradona napoli jersey. Um And then, you know, I used to have a chris mullin jersey on the Warriors. He was like my first favorite NBA player. It doesn't fit anymore for me when I was eight, you know, I think I think chris mullin jersey, that'd be dope. All right, So you gotta give me now, which one would you want? Autographed? The christmas? Uh That's a good question. Um mm I would say autograph wise, I would love to get an ensemble of the next Big Three this year. Um with with Harden KD and Kyrie. Um But I I would love a Griffey can Griffey Yeah, ken Griffey autograph jersey. Um and and I'm tom brady. I don't have any brady autograph stuff, have some good uh merged to put a man cave at some point in my house. But I would say Griffey brady Um and the next big three output in there. All right, I like that. All right. Last one who who's your dream interview that you haven't been able to interview yet? Eminem is one of them. Although, you know, he's very subdued in interviews but that's something I've always wanted interview. But I think, you know, I feel like there's there's a few different people that I would choose, but I think that I would want to interview someone Star Wars related Um if I could only pick one person um and so I think I would choose, I think I would choose at this moment in time. Either Jon Favreau or Kathleen Kennedy one of them and I just want to do a deep dive on star wars. All right.

Yeah, well, Ryan, I appreciate you coming on. And could you let the listeners know where they can follow you on social media? Yeah, you can follow me on instagram at Rye Rocks. Are y are you kes on twitter at Ryan Ruocco, R Y N R U zero cc o. Uh Follow our to see to my podcast on Spotify new episodes. Every thursday we have bonus episodes as well, uh and keep following Pg, appreciate it. Thanks a lot paul.

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