Brad Sham is about to start his 37th pro football training camp. The voice of the Cowboys still has a passion for covering the game's biggest moments. And in this week's Friday Conversation, he shares a few of the countless stories he's collected over those years -- from his favorite calls to his early, failed bid to become a science reporter at KERA-TV. Here are five things you might not know about this very familiar voice:
1) His first job interview, which was with KERA-TV: "I graduated from college in 1970 and spent that summer in the Army National Guard at Fort Polk, La., as an infantryman. Came home ... I didn't have a job, so I was knocking on doors. I did have a journalism degree from Missouri. There was an ad for a science reporter at Channel 13. And I went and interviewed for the job with the news director, the great Jim Lehrer. It was a job for which I was spectacularly unsuited, which was why I didn't get it. But I did get to meet Jim Lehrer."
2) His target audience: "I’m talking to a guy in a duck blind, a truck driver, a sightless person. I have to be all your senses. On television I should just kind of drive the bus and make sure it doesn’t run into the ditch. But on radio, if I smell something, you need to smell it. If there’s a shading in a color somewhere then I’ve got to be able to describe that for you and I don’t think that changes because the game is more embraced by television."
3) The biggest change to football in his 37 years calling Cowboys games: "Television has realized that it’s a game really well suited for the small screen. So a lot of changes, cosmetic changes that enhance the experience of the TV viewer have driven things the NFL has done. We’ve got to be careful not to turn this into a studio game. They almost have, and that’s why they’re really working hard on making the in-game experience different."
4) His favorite call ever: "That’s so hard. There have been moments of exhilaration that I’ve felt when Roger Staubach threw a fade to Tony Hill in Texas Stadium in December 1979 to tie the game, and the extra-point won it by one against Washington."
5) How much longer he'll keep working: "As long as I am able and someone wants me. I just love it too much, I love everything about it. I love the horrible feeling when they lose and I wanted them to win. I love the preparation, I love being ready. I love the feeling of walking into the stadium, there’s a sense of anticipation that this is getting ready to happen. And it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten or ever going to get to understanding what an athlete feels like."