When Merrill Reese was younger, his father used to take him to watch the Philadelphia Eagles practice every week. He would look up at the broadcasting booth and say, “Someday that’s where I want to be.”
Merrill Reese, the radio voice of the Philadelphia Eagles, came to speak to the Cabrini College Community on Tuesday, March 15 in the mansion dining room. Reese, who has been broadcasting Eagles’ games for the last 25 years, came to the College to offer some advice to English and communications majors on how to enter their field.
“I love this job, I get the same thrill today as when I first started,” Reese said to the crowd. He explained to the audience that everyone needs passion for their job to really be able to succeed at it. “You need passion, not cash because this is a business where you pay a price,” he said.
He encouraged the students to become a master in whatever field they choose to enter. If that happens to be communications then learn every area of it. He said, “Never point yourself towards one job.” In his career he said he has learned to take whatever experience he can gain.
Reese explained how he got into the broadcasting business by starting off in Pottstown announcing football games, because no one else applied for the job. “Don’t expect a lot quickly because it won’t happen,” he said. For the first six months at his job he worked seven days a week to prove he had what it takes to be a great announcer.
“You have to be driven, to want it more than anything else in the world,” he said was the key to success. After working in Pottstown, Reese worked at the radio station WWDB-AM and then landed a part-time job at WIP-AM, filing in for Charlie Swift, who broadcasted all of the Eagles games.
After the sudden suicide of Swift, Reese was given his position and broadcasted his first Eagles game on Dec. 11, 1977.
Nicole Caprario, sophomore English and communications major, said “I thought he was really interesting and informative to listen to.” She said that he was a great speaker to listen to because he was not boring, he kept the audience entertained. “He also gave us really good advice about how to enter our field,” she said.
Reese talked about his friendship with famous tennis player, Billy Jean King, who used to tell him that he had to envision winning. She said that if someone wants something so bad, all they have to do is imagine it happening and it will come true. So that is what Reese does before every Sunday football game. He memorizes every player’s number and every possible play that could happen during the game, so come game time, he is ready for anything.
Posted to the web by Shawn Rice