By Lee Timmerman | Submitted Photos
Sports, for many people, is their passion. For me it’s been my life. I’ve been fortunate to cover sports as my profession full-time since 1986. I started part-time in 1982 and I began the KFYR-TV part of my career in 1989. When asked what sports mean to me, the list is long. Here are just a few reasons I love sports so much:
- Playing baseball, football, and basketball was my driving force in grade school and high school. Without the discipline learned from my coaches I’m not sure how well I would have done with the books.
- In college at Southwest State in Marshall, Minnesota, my best GPA was always during the spring. We traveled so much during baseball season that I was forced to manage my time. Funny how scheduling time to do homework actually helped my grades.
- I also was on the football team at SSU but funny how lack of speed kept me off the field on Saturday. I did get a few tackles on special teams, though.
- Here’s an indication of how much sports dominate my life and my thinking: I can’t seem to remember how old my mom is, but I do remember her surprise 50th birthday was during game six of the 1991 World Series. By the way, that’s the game Kirby Puckett made the catch and hit the homer that sent the Series to game seven, which the Twins won! Oh yeah, my mom will be 77 this year.
- I get nervous every time just before they turn the mic on. I always have and I love that little jolt of energy I get right before I go on the air live.
- The most nervous I’ve ever been in my life is when I had to speak at the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association awards banquet. It was worth it—I was blessed to have my work judged the winner of the National Broadcast Sports Story of the Year. It was a series about adding a possible third class of basketball in North Dakota.
- The best part of my job is I get to cover sports and athletes.
- The worst part of my job is sports are usually played on nights and weekends so the hours are not very good.
- We just finished our 11th season of televising the North Dakota State Bison and my favorite thing to do on TV is be the analyst for football games. Next year, we’re planning to add a telestrator (a device that allows its operator to draw over a moving or still video image). That’s going to be fun.
- One of my favorite questions to ask students is, are tests hard? They’re usually not hard if you study. I spend roughly 24 hours each week on Bison football in the fall and we’re only on the air for about three hours for each game. It’s what you do when people are not watching that makes the difference. Every good coach I ever had told me that!
- Even though I’ve been doing it for decades, it’s still strange that a 10-12 hour day covering sports boils down to only about eight minutes that anyone gets to watch during the 6:00 and 10:00 news.
- People may think we live in the “middle of nowhere” but it is surprising how many big time sports people I’ve been able to talk with over the years. Michael Jordan, Dale Earnhardt, Bob Costas, and Al Michaels are a few that come to mind.
- I really miss being on a team. It’s my experience that the camaraderie of a sports team can’t be duplicated. I’m paying for it now with pain but I played six years after the doctors told me to stop throwing because I loved being on a team so much. I don’t really miss playing the game but I sure do miss my teammates.
Lee Timmerman is a sports fanatic and an award-win- ning sports anchor who always dreamed of being a farmer like his dad. Instead, he chose sports broadcasting. He has been sports director at KFYR-TV since 1989. Lee and his wife, Amber, live in Bismarck.