Jeff Dantlzer Talks About Collegiate Sports and Media

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 0:16
Yes, welcome to the biz communication Show. I’m your host Bill Lampton the biz communication guy, and today you and I have a special privilege to learn a lot from a longtime prominent sports broadcaster. And I’ve known him for years. I know all of his accomplishments. But this reflects the guy pretty well. That he said to me, Bill, all I want for an introduction is Jeff Dantzler, University of Georgia broadcaster. There’s much more to say about this guy, but that’s what we’re going to say for right now. So let’s welcome Jeff Danza. Hello, Jeff.

Jeff Dantlzer 1:02
Mr. Lampton it’s always great to see you my friend always enjoy being on with you and agile, just keep it simple. Just keep it simple. That’s that’s a good lesson in life.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 1:11
That Oh, KISS principle. Kiss. Yes, indeed. Jeff, one of the things that I think I should mention, our podcast listeners won’t know it our YouTube and otherwise viewers will know what I wore red and black today. Have you noticed that?

Jeff Dantlzer 1:30
Absolutely. Everybody looks great. And red and black. As you can see, it’s seven my wall art behind us my office slash Museum. There’s a good bit of Georgia in here. I always said outside of my parents. I’ve loved the Georgia Bulldogs the University of Georgia longer and anything in my life.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 1:46
Well, and that comes across so well. Jeff that comes across in your life and your career. And your broadcasting. I’ll tell you, as you know, I taught Speech Communication at the University of Georgia. That was my the start of my professional career. And you will enjoy this. The first class I had. I remember about the fifth week one student who was very well meaning came up to me afterward and said, Dr. Lampton. Do you have any clothes that aren’t red and black? I was in the spirit very much, Jeff to start with. I noticed, of course, and looking at all that you’ve done that you have broadcasted every sport I’m wondering if table tennis and pickleball are next because you have been the the guy calling practically every sport so it leads me to a logical first question and that is what sports and your pre adult years were you engaged in actively What sports did you participate in? I was

Jeff Dantlzer 2:57
a pretty good tennis player growing up to love basketball, played baseball. I played a couple of years of football. I’m a chicken hawk. I wasn’t tough or mean enough. So I always say I played tennis and watched football but you know, basketball, football, baseball, golf, tennis, were all my favorites. But I’ve always loved sports. And it didn’t take me long. I’ve always said to figure out I was not going to be the next Herschel Walker, Dominique Wilkins, Reggie Jackson or Michael Byrne fours or Tom watts. And so I figured I needed another avenue to do what I loved. And I love the Bulldogs and I love athletics. So I’m 50 and here I am.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 3:36
You covered the bases pretty well. There was some of the idols of the game. I have to tell you about my very short football career, Jeff, I was in the seventh grade and decided I would go out for football. And I’ll always remember with great pride the day that I stepped on the scales and my weight had gone up to 100 pounds. There you go. But guess what? I was playing right tackle that. That didn’t work out too well. And so some years ago, one of my grandson’s asked me one day, Papa, What sports did you play? Did you play football? I said, well, in football, I my position was L oh. He said, What was that I said left out. And then he understood. Okay, you’ve you’ve been a very avid fan and participant in many sports. So this leads me to the next question. Many of us in our profession, whatever it is, we have some role models. Our role models are not necessarily people that we try to imitate because we need our own style. And there’s only one original as we know, but we learned from role models. We don’t imitate them, but we pick up put what make makes them so successful. And you’re broadcasting career. Are there any role models that you might mention?

Jeff Dantlzer 5:03
Larry Monson and Dan McGill? No question. Those were those are my two heroes. When it comes to the business that coach McGill, the greatest Bulldog ever did everything and he had what we say it’s inevitable, but everybody imitates him. And then of course, the mighty months and it was just the greatest in that golden time when he came around there just weren’t that many games on television. So think for so many of us young Georgia fans growing up, he was at Lone link to the games you know, if you weren’t there, especially if it was a road game. And just hear that voice and how the script if he was and the way he can tell a story. So that those the two guys max it and McGill from from the business end of this, from a broadcasting standpoint, a writing standpoint, those guys were always my heroes, for a kind of outside of Georgia. I think the writing of Dan Jenkins, he and Coach McGill are my two favorite writers and our Michael’s Marv Albert, those guys were just events Kelly, were tremendous. But it’s Larry Munson and Dan McGill. Those are my guys.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 6:11
Yes, Larry Munson in football, and Dan McGill in tennis. And of course, I remember both of them very well. It’s fascinating to me what you mentioned about before television came along. I certainly was a part of that era. And it’s interesting, I think, Jeff, that that a great broadcaster could take a game that was fairly mundane, and make it sound like one of the one of the fiercest games ever played. I remember as a kid, I grew up in Mississippi and I was there in the days that Ole Miss went to practically every sugar bowl game during my young years. And that was the only time you would ever see that the team on television so radio, as you know, Joe Williams here in Gainesville, Georgia, and Joel has often quoted that radio is the theater of the mind. And that’s that’s true because radio can bring to life and create pictures when you don’t have the the television screen there.

Jeff Dantlzer 7:26
It really can. And that’s the great broadcasters with the true masters of doing just that. I was watching a might have been the Ken Burns baseball special or a documentary on the golden age of baseball, whatever it might have been. The St. Louis Cardinals were very popular team in the south, especially before the Braves because a K in my wax, it’s channel 1120 on the am dial. It’s a tremendous booming signal. And people listen to Harry Carey at the time and Jack Buck, call the games and there was a story of a couple that finally got to go to a Cardinals game and when they got home they were asked I said well was really good we enjoyed it but it wasn’t as exciting is when Harry Kerry talked about it so it’s like he said he can make a great announcer can make a five nothing game in the middle of July and make that to one pitch just seem like everything and I always said with the the months and the sheer agony he could put you in with the opposing team had a three yard run from their 34 to their 37 yard line with us when and 17 to nothing he twists and turns and fights and it’s oh my god, hang on, hang on dogs. But yeah, the great announcers in the radio days. So, so descriptive, and that really is a golden age and with every game on television now, I get it how the whole game has changed. But I know for me, I always just try and just describe what I’m seeing. And if you like it great, if you don’t, sorry.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 8:59
I have many comments that I can make about football television broadcasters, but I might have to use my golf course language if I did. So I will refrain from that. Jeff, we’ll be back in just a minute to talk about some more aspects of sports and sports broadcasting after this business information item.

Michael Stewart 9:24
Do you wish you felt confident about giving speeches? Do you want to deal with difficult people constructively? And what about becoming more persuasive and sales? Then keep listening now to Dr. Bill Lampton he spent 20 years in management, so he knows the communication skills you need for success. I urge you to call the biz communication guide today for a no cost, but very valuable 30 minute discussion about your communication challenges. Call now. 678-316-4300 Again, that’s 6783164 threes. 00

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 10:05
Jeff, you know, getting back to what you said about the great announcers couldn’t make the game sounds so exciting. I remember an announcer from decades ago, Mel Allen and Mel Allen had this rather bombastic style. I remember one time he was broadcasting an Ole Miss Mississippi State game, which of course is the the year end game, the rival game and Mississippi. It was a this this was before we had time had to determine a winner. And the score of the game was zero to zero. And final score. And Mel Island said it was it was most exciting game ever played.

Jeff Dantlzer 10:50
Well, Mel, Allah was one of the all time greats of the longtime voice of the Yankees. He’s an old southern guy, too. But where he became famous, was on the television show when I was a kid this week in baseball, and they would have all the highlights and that’s back when nationally there was a Saturday afternoon game and a Monday night baseball game and, and that was it. That’s why it was so cool. We got TBS and the Braves I was I remember saying, wait a minute. It’s a Tuesday night in June, I can watch a baseball game how novel that was. But always love mail Alia. That’s all for this week. See you next week on This Week in baseball. And he was fabulous at just that era. And of course, timing is so much of it. But those legendary iconic broadcasters in the radio game. They were able to weave this incredible tapestry. And then the fact that just not many games were on television, I think made them stand out more and made those figures so beloved. I mean, I can tell you, Georgia, you know, for Coach McGill for Coach Dooley who just lost and, you know, so many great players through the years from Herschel Walker and Charlie trippy, who we just lost and all the beloved stars you’ve had. I mean, Larry Munson is every bit as popular, a Georgia icon, if not the most popular of anybody ever associated with the University of Georgia. And he was, you know, in many ways, he felt like the number one fan. And I think as a fan, he’s telling me what’s happening, but he’s rooting on and cheering on the dogs and tigers fans will tell you that about Ernie Harwell. Yes, the Dodgers who the greatest Dodgers will Jackie Robinson, Sandy Kofax, the greatest Dodgers Vin Scully. That’s, that’s the link to so many different decades, and generations. And so I just grown up admiring a lot of these guys. And especially for those broadcasters who were fortunate enough to do it in one place for a long time, be it with a professional team, or with a school. There’s a bond there with a fan base that goes incredibly deep.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 13:04
Yes, she knew that they were not just hired hands, they really had an affection or dedication or devotion to the school and and they were the biggest cheerleaders of all warranty.

Jeff Dantlzer 13:17
Yes, they were. And I think that’s that’s one of the things if if I’m broadcasting a Georgia game on the Georgia network, you know, obviously for Georgia to win, but at the same time, you have to paint an accurate picture of what’s happening. And if we’re getting beat, we’re getting beat. And you’ve got to give the other guy credit as well. So I think you have to be realistic, I think you have to tell the true story of what’s happening. But you know, knowing that you’re doing it from a Georgia angle, and wanting Georgia to win. I can remember sitting next to the great Claude felt that every home game and I used to sit next to coach McGill and we made an interception and I was so mad. He said, Well, Jeff, remember that boys on scholarship too. That’s, that’s a good point. So you got to shoot it straight. You got to tell it like it is and call it like it is but you know, know that you’re wanting your team to win. And that’s why when times are good and you are winning, you better enjoy every second and we are certainly in a golden era for the University of Georgia Bulldogs right now.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 14:21
One of the things I want to come in on which some of our viewers and our podcast listeners might not be aware of. I come in to you and the University of Georgia broadcast team for making yourselves so publicly accessible on football game days for years. I’ve so enjoyed walking by the university bookstore, and there you are with four or five of the true other because you’re one the true other icons of University of Georgia sports, your their broadcast esting while 10s of 1000s of people are getting ready to go into the stadium, and when you go on a commercial break, there are people lined up to have their photo taken with you. I haven’t gone to any games in recent years when I didn’t do that, because it’s it’s a treat. And the way that you and Eric zire and Lauren Smith and DJ Shockley this time and hundo Williams and the way you say, Oh, we’re so glad to see you. It just makes us feel like celebrities as your guests. That’s wonderful.

Jeff Dantlzer 15:36
Well, it’s it’s one of the deals, we’re all on the same team here. It’s the Georgia people. It’s a great family. And I think that’s one of the great things about athletics, the now retired preacher, Chuck Hodges, from Athens, First United Methodist, who’s just brilliant. Chuck would always weave in a lot of sports in history in his sermons. As he said, I know a lot of you get your best sleeping done in church. So he would have been good and good and interesting with with stuff like with with tales of football and baseball, and he put across a great message one time in what he said was that one of the reasons why he loved Georgia football and going to Sanford stadium, Dooley field so much, was that everybody there was for something, you’re for Georgia, and that’s always gonna be the case that this thing that for so many of us we’ve loved for such a great portion of our lives. So I think that unification it’s an incredible thing. And it’s interesting to in sports, I have no idea who it was. So I kind of stole it. But someone said one time, I don’t know if it was a fan and announcer a player who but it always stuck with me that it’s the losses that unify us. And I was thinking about that after we had won the national championship. And I was so overcome with joy, that, you know, thinking about Kevin back in 1993, with my friends, Jay and Ty, and David from an Ole Miss game where we had lost a fall to one and three in round one and four and then five and six and just some dark days losses to Vanderbilt losing the tech heartbreakers to Florida at Alabama. And you know, just you stick with your, your team and you pull together through those hard times. And it’s the losses that I think really unify and bring you together because you know, there’s always gonna be bandwagon fans or whoever’s winning. And that’s why when you do have those special days, you got to enjoy them. And for that national championship, I just thought about, you know, for football and for various sports, just some, some long road trips, and some some days at nights that didn’t go our way and then in the end to be sitting on the mountaintop how special that is.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 17:56
Yes. And it’s true in our professional life as well. We we learn from our losses, certainly it’s great when we we make a big sale or get a new job or get a new client or get a promotion or get a raise, those things are all fine. But that’s that’s not every day. And so there. I think sports many times this is us, in good ways as a sort of a metaphor for life in sport, you have to endure as you say, those tough times. Jeff, we have time for one more question. Yes, sir. I’ll have to tell you, when you’re having fun time flies, doesn’t it?

Jeff Dantlzer 18:36
It does. It’s fun. Is it like 10 minutes or 15? It can seem like forever or for like 30 seconds and it always flies by with you. That’s the ultimate compliment.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 18:45
Right? Uh, okay. One question I’d like to ask is, the broadcasting career is like many other careers is, it’s very similar to somebody who wants to be a well known author or somebody who wants to be an actor or somebody who wants to be a professional athlete, there are 1000s there are many 1000s of people who want to do that. They’re their wannabes. Many of them are very well qualified. What would you say as succinctly as you can, to somebody who looks at what you do and looks at what the others I’ve named do and the others you’ve named do and they want to be in broadcasting? What would you tell them? What what are the steps to take?

Jeff Dantlzer 19:33
I would tell them to do it as a hobby to go get a real job and do sports or do something like this for fun because it is a tough business. There’s not a lot of money in the fact that so many people do want to do it or get involved with it. The whole supply and demand is go in different I think that there are times you know, like anybody else. I think we have really liked to be doing this. I wish I had that. But then I think you know what if I I quit tomorrow, there would be hundreds of people who would love to be in my shoes right now. So I do think you have to appreciate everything you’ve got. We all know that. But it is a difficult, difficult business. And you know, you’re working on weekends, games are played at night. So you’ve really got to love it. You’ve got to get used to dealing with disappointment and just plugging along. And I’m, unfortunately for we always want more, right? I mean, we always want more. I’m just very fortunate right now we’ve got great leadership at the University of Georgia and with everything that’s happening with the program with, obviously with what Kirby has done with the football team. These are just coach Kirby smart, right? Or as one of our callers calls him, Coach King Kirby smart as you know, the these are just great times, but it is a very difficult position. It’s basically like being in show business. And, you know, when I hear oh, golly, that’s not even work. Oh, man, I do that for free. The people who write the checks are aware of that.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 21:06
And I’ll tell you another point here. And then I do have one final question. But another point here, is you mentioned it’s very tough to break into. But another point, if you break into it, and you’re only in a medium marketplace, and I can name some cities in Georgia that have television stations, many people think that if you’re on on the air on television, as a weather person, sports person, news person or whatever, that you’re just rolling in money. But you know what, when those people go through the checkout line at the grocery store, it doesn’t make any difference that they’re there on the screen. And I have have had wonderful friends across the years in the media. And when I found out what some of them were making, I knew they just had to absolutely love the profession.

Jeff Dantlzer 21:58
That’s exactly right. The actor Alan Alda said one time, said, when it comes to fame and fortune, I’ll take the fortune every time. It is though it’s a wonderful business. And I love it. I’ve made so many friends with it. And, you know, to be able to be involved with a university that I love so much, and to be around so many wonderful people. And it’s amazing, the unifying power that the University of Georgia has, in this state. I mean, I have been been blessed to be around so many great people. It’s a very prominent and successful people that I’d never would have thought when I was a little kid growing up in Statesboro, that I’d be rubbing elbows with. So again, that’s that unification of it. It’s what we love. It’s the university. And again, it’s that power of the G. And again, like like Chuck Hodges said, it brings us all together because we’re all for something and it’s great to be a part of it. I’m so honored to be a part of it.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 23:01
Well, you honor the university with your wonderful work. And the final question and that I just got to squeeze in. I know of course that with all of your professional activities, you still are a wonderful humanitarian and one of your causes is the Humane Society. Tell us tell us briefly why that means so much to you and why you advocated. I love

Jeff Dantlzer 23:26
animals. And by the way, I’m proud of Albus and Hermie. I guess because it’s raining today, they had been going crazy barking at every dog that walks you know, and I’m glad Miss Georgia is feeling better for you. But yeah,

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 23:40
my eight year old Toy Poodle, for those who don’t know many people do who do I tell everybody but she’s my beloved toy Putin.

Jeff Dantlzer 23:48
Oh, bad. So I love animals. And I think the worst people who do work for animals, we’ve got a wonderful vet school here at Georgia, which is just terrific. So anybody who loves animals, you know, you got a big heart. And I just think what the Humane Society does with all these different organizations, the UGA vet school we do a wonderful fundraiser every year called The Hawaii doggo where we all put on Hawaiian shirts and there’s a great band and and bid on Georgia Bulldog stuff and all the money goes to the vet school for scholarships and to help pets. I just think it’s a wonderful thing because they they certainly enrich our lives. There’s only one thing wrong with them. They don’t live long enough, but that right? There is bad. We just We love animals and we’ll do anything for them. And I guess that’s fitting since University of Georgia, we got the greatest mascot in the world alga.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 24:43
That’s right. Well, I commend you for your your philanthropic work. Jeff, I know that there are so many of your admirers, friends, fans and the people who are just now hearing you On the biz communication show who wants to get in touch with you. So please share your contact information.

Jeff Dantlzer 25:07
Just the best way to reach I guess is on Twitter at Jeff Dantzler TV. So just Just shoot me a tweet. We always say that during during games and by the way we we’ve used Twitter is the interaction Dave Johnson and David does a great job. It’s a good friend we call the Georgia baseball games together. And we got I think, last season, listeners from 37 Different states, 3738 different states and six or seven different countries that were tweeted during a game where they were listening from so I think that’s a really cool thing. So yeah, and I love that time until it till it starts getting political. Everybody loves politics on Twitter and Facebook, right? It’s nothing better than that. Shoot me a tweet.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 25:55
My I have put nothing political and I will not on any of the social media, because I’m not going to change anybody’s mind that they’re going to change mine. And for the most part, it just alienates people. So to heck with that, Jeff, now that you’ve given your contact information, I’m delighted to give mine for our viewers and our podcast listeners Bill Lampton the biz communication guy, so quite logically, my website is biz communication And I invite you to go there. Also, I really encourage you to check my YouTube channel, go to YouTube, look in the search bar. I’m there as Bill Lampton PhD and many of the interviews that I’ve hosted on the biz communication show are there, this one will be and then certainly I encourage you to after that, give me a phone call 678-316-4300 and I will be so eager to talk with you and to discuss your communication challenges and problems and see how I can assist you with them. And Jeff, any closing words for our viewers and listeners,

Jeff Dantlzer 27:21
always great to be with you my friend and let’s just keep hunkering down You hairy dogs and I don’t know when this interview is posted, but we’re taping it the week of the Kentucky Derby Kentucky beat tech win the SEC then go win two more and let’s go win back to back national titles.

Bill Lampton Ph.D. 27:38
You think big my friend. We all day. Thank you so much, Jeff dancer. It’s a privilege to know you. It’s a privilege to host you and stick around. We’ll talk a minute afterwards for now. Thanks to those of you who joined us for the biz communication show. Be with us again. We will want to have you with us. Thank you so much.

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