This week’s visitor on “Renaissance Man” is somebody I’ve grown up with within the biz, as they are saying. I’ve recognized Charissa Thompson because the early 2000s, after we have been each on “The Greatest Rattling Sports activities Present Interval,” and it’s been a pleasure to see her develop into one of many premier sportscasters. She hosts “Fox NFL Kickoff,” and is a dynamo of a broadcaster, a human and a pal. One factor she is just not: a phony.
I requested how she has been in a position to keep her professionalism and be so rattling good at her job. As a substitute of giving me fluffy profession platitudes, she was extremely candid about a painful episode in her life. She bravely talked about the 2018 incident when intimate pictures of hers have been leaked on-line and the fallout.
“Being actual, I haven’t had a sterling fame … I had my privateness violated. I had one thing actually dangerous occur to me,” she advised me. “And people feedback nonetheless to this present day I’ve to delete off my Instagram.”
Then she did one thing I haven’t had a visitor do. She cried. And he or she recalled how her employer Fox Sports activities gave her a hug as a substitute of a tongue lashing.
“When that every one occurred to me, I’ll always remember this. My bosses put me on a airplane to the NFC championship sport, it makes me need to cry, into Philadelphia to be with all the blokes,” she stated.
“I’m already crying as a result of they have been like, ‘Hey this dangerous factor occurred to you. However, like, we would like you to be with your loved ones’ … They have been all on the street for the NFC championship sport. So anyway, I flew there and I wasn’t even working. I simply was with them and so they have been so great to me. And so I’ll always remember that, that though most individuals, like individuals make feedback like, ‘Oh, how are you continue to employed after that’ … As a substitute, my employer wrapped their arms round me and so they’re like, ‘We received you.’ So I don’t even know what your preliminary query was as a result of now I’m crying. However it’s simply about remaining genuine … even when it’s a crappy factor that occurred … I feel it’s simply irritating which you can be a sufferer of one thing after which have to defend your place.”
When Thompson began tearing up, the incident made me indignant over again. We’re within the public eye, however we’re nonetheless entitled to privateness. Nevertheless save your pity. She is one step forward of you all. And he or she is stronger than the typical bear. Her superpower is humor. She stated she is the primary to make a joke at her expense, “taking the ability” away from somebody trying to do emotional harm.
“Oh, cool. You guys seen the movies, seen the photographs? Effectively, you recognize every part about me … I simply say it as a result of now it’s like, all proper, what do you have got? What else do you bought? If that’s all you had, then we will hold it transferring … However that also doesn’t negate the truth that, like, it hurts or doesn’t really feel good to be checked out in a different way.”
The Seattle native and Sonics superfan talked about how shut she is to her mother and father. As humiliating because it was, she leaned on them, and took her dad’s recommendation when he stated, ” ‘You’re the creator of your individual story’ … That’s embarrassing. You don’t need your mother and father to know that stuff or be part of a Google search. However he goes, ‘Look, your ebook simply received somewhat bit extra attention-grabbing. That chapter is a part of your story.’ “
What a best-selling biography within the making. Thompson at all times dreamed of working in sports activities and located any method to get into the constructing. She took a job in human sources at Fox Sports activities and would sneak into the highlights division after-hours to be taught the commerce. She grew to become a manufacturing assistant, moved to smaller markets like Denver. She even tried working in leisure — one thing she realized she wasn’t passionate about. It helped her deal with sports activities. Now she is internet hosting the largest NFL pregame present and is as a lot part of America’s Sunday rituals as bishop T.D. Jakes.
However for all of Thompson’s profession glory, I had to confront her on one thing that her companion in crime Erin Andrews advised me when she was on “Renaissance Man” in March. Whereas working on the Huge Ten Community as a 25-year-old, Charissa had an opportunity to interview Larry Hen and Michael Jordan on the similar time. She stated no to Larry Legend and the Goat.
“I used to be peeing down my leg. I used to be so nervous about. I stated I received to go change my garments. I can’t do it,” she stated. Basic Charissa, she has no regrets.
“And I’m nonetheless OK with the choice as a result of in my thoughts, I didn’t mess it up. In order that’s all that mattered.”
This was the primary time I’ve ever heard of Thompson backing down from a problem. Throughout one Tremendous Bowl that we attended collectively again within the day, she tried to go tequila shot for tequila shot with Eddie George and Antonio Pierce. Let’s simply say she didn’t beat two former NFL gamers in a ingesting contest. And in her personal phrases, she “received so drunk.” Her punishment was that she had to sit subsequent to the corporate lawyer.
“I used to be like, ‘Oh, I received in a lot hassle, however we had a good time.’ “
Thompson is very expert at enjoyable. It ought to be on her résumé. That’s why I’m excited for her new pop-culture podcast “Calm Down” with Andrews, which is extra unvarnished and uncooked than we’re used to seeing them on tv. The pair have a strong friendship and rapport. Thompson famous that they’ve been “via totally different however comparable conditions because it pertains to [invasion] of privateness. And I feel that Erin and I’ve gotten very comfy with saying and doing issues that we wouldn’t have earlier than … So I feel “Calm Down,” comes at an ideal time in our lives, the place we’re each very comfy with who we’re. Good, dangerous. I imply, we get it. Not everybody likes us. We’re cool with that. However we’re who we’re.”
And they’re fearless. I’m simply ready for my invite.
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the College of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab 5, who shook up the school hoops world within the early ’90s. He performed 13 seasons within the NBA, earlier than transitioning right into a media character. Rose is presently an analyst for “NBA Countdown” and “Get Up,” and co-host of “Jalen & Jacoby.” He government produced “The Fab 5” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” collection, is the creator of the best-selling ebook, “Bought To Give the Individuals What They Need,” a style tastemaker, and co-founded the Jalen Rose Management Academy, a public constitution college in his hometown.