Connect with us


Broadcasting began as a fun gig for Troy Aikman. Twenty years later, the amazing ride is still going. | National News



DALLAS — In the late 1990s, veteran Cowboys players sat in first class of the team charter after road games. Following a victory in the 1997 season, the radio voice of the Cowboys, Brad Sham, ventured toward the front.

Sham wanted a second gig: calling games for NFL Europe. He sought out deep snapper Dale Hellestrae, who was doing some color commentary for the now defunct league on Fox Sports.

Sham and Hellestrae started talking about the games and whom to speak with about another job. QB1 sat nearby reading a magazine and said, “That sounds like fun. I would like to do that if I could do it with you.”

The voice was Troy Aikman, and what sounded like a fun gig toward the end of his 12-year NFL career turned into something bigger.

On Sunday in Jacksonville, Aikman and play-by-play man Joe Buck begin their 20th year in the broadcast booth together for Fox as the No. 1 team for the Saints-Packers game. It’s an amazing journey for the Cowboys Hall of Fame quarterback who simply wanted to have fun with Sham and Hellestrae across Europe. Now, he’s flying across America on weekends doing NFL games.

The fact that he’s been in the broadcast booth for over 20 years is surprising to some who don’t know Aikman. For people who know Aikman, it’s really not.

“He has a great rapport with Joe, and the analyst on network television, as it should be, is the head of the crew,” Sham said. “The producer is in charge but the analyst gets what he wants and that’s how it should be. It’s a visual medium. He loves the game and he has evolved in his life.”

And despite the longevity in his second career, there was a time Aikman grew tired of broadcasting. He missed his daughters badly. He didn’t want to be a part-time dad. He didn’t want to hear about their days, he wanted to see them. Buck, who also had daughters, could relate. Covering games on the weekends, preparing during the week by talking to coaches and players can wear you down if you don’t have a good work-life balance.

Buck and Aikman formed a strong partnership, not only in the broadcast booth, but away from the stadiums. The dinners on the road, exchanging stories of daughters driving them crazy and loving on them, along with personal ups and downs in their lives fueled the pair.

“I always thought when I was playing I would go to work in the front office somewhere,” Aikman said. “but life unfolds and my circumstances personally changed and I needed to be a father and be home as much as I could with my girls and that led me to where I’m at now, and 21 years later here we are.”

Aikman attacks broadcasting like he did NFL defenses. He prepared by talking to players, coaches, scouts and learning about the craft from Buck. Aikman got on-the-job training from Sham while doing NFL Europe games from 1998 to 2000. After Aikman retired as a player, he teamed with veteran broadcaster Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston as the No. 2 team on Fox Sports. Stockton also helped Aikman understand the television business.

In 2002, Aikman was promoted to the No. 1 team with Buck, replacing the legendary No. 1 team of Pat Summerall and John Madden, who worked alongside each other for 22 seasons.

Buck and Aikman have done it for 20 and counting.

“I still think of Troy Aikman as the player,” Buck said. “Even though we’ve been together 20 years broadcasting, I think of Troy as No. 8 of the Dallas Cowboys and to think of him having been a broadcaster longer than he was a player with the Cowboys, that’s kind of the crazy part to me.”

The only thing missing from Aikman’s resume as a broadcaster is an Emmy award. He’s been nominated three times for Outstanding TV Event Analyst in 2003, 2005 and 2007.

“I would like to win one,” he said. “It’s just an opinion [of somebody saying] ‘I like this guy. I don’t like that guy. I don’t like this person. He’s great.’ And all of sudden somebody gets handed an award. I don’t waste a lot of energy or time thinking about it. But since they do hand out an award for a category that I’m involved in, hell yeah I’d want to win it. And if I ever do, the whole world is going to know it, too.”

Said Eric Shanks, Fox Sports’ CEO/Executive Producer: “Yeah, he definitely deserves one in my opinion. It actually makes the Emmy worth less that he doesn’t have one.”

Aikman’s life in broadcasting is going pretty well. His bond with his daughters is stronger than ever, and his relationship with Buck continues to grow.

“This is a really good life and it’s a great job no matter what regardless of the situation is, especially with young kids,” Aikman said. “To be a present father and to be able really have quality time with them that was a real motivation in my decision and I really enjoyed it.”

So when Aikman and Buck broadcast, if the sound of two old friends just talking ball seems to come with ease, well it does.

And to think all it took was for Sham and Hellestrae to get Aikman to poke his head out of a magazine article to begin a long, maybe surprising to some, career.

“First of all Troy can do anything he wants to do and be good at it,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “I guess the answer is, no, I’m not surprised. I think it’s been good to him. For his career of course, he’s just incredible on how good he is on the No. 1 team.”

©2021 The Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Maura Healey approves gig economy ballot question but fights idea in court





“We better be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.”

Jessica Hill
Attorney General Maura Healey remains in a dichotomy after approving a ballot that would make gig economy workers independent, but continues to fight against Uber and Lyft in court to make drivers employees. Jessica Hill / AP

On Sept. 1, Attorney General Maura Healey gave the go-ahead to a ballot question that, if approved by voters, would maintain gig workers, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, as independent contractors.

At the same time, Healey and her office continue to spearhead a lawsuit against Uber and Lyft that accuses the rideshare companies of denying benefits to workers — whom she believes should be classified as employees, not contractors, under Massachusetts law.

On GBH’s Boston Public Radio segment “Meet the AG” Tuesday afternoon, host Jim Braude asked Healey to clarify the two simultaneous actions.

“We better be able to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Healey said. “Under the state constitution, there’s a process that allows regular folks to go ahead and get things on a ballot for a vote, and that happens every year … There may be litigation, there may not be litigation, but that’s just the hat that I wear as attorney general.”

Healey noted that her job is to review the ballot question’s language and to see whether or not it satisfies the legal requirements to make the ballot, regardless of her personal preference.

The ballot question garnered much attention in recent months as supporters — including a coalition of app-based businesses like Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart — argued that by keeping workers as independent contractors, the workers would be able to have more freedom with their job and set a minimum earnings guarantee. 

Opponents of the ballot question — like Healey — have said that it would continue to allow gig economy employers to provide less security for those who work for these companies. Throughout the pandemic, these companies have seen pushback from both gig economy workers and users on the treatment of employees. 

“As the economy grows, and work and the type of jobs change, there’s something they have to abide by,” Healey said. “We need to continue to treat workers fairly in this country, we need to make sure they’re not exploited.” 

Healey’s lawsuit, which was first announced in July 2020, asserts that rideshare drivers and similar workers should qualify as employees rather than independent contractors under Massachusetts Wage and Hour Laws.

In the lawsuit, Healey said her fair labor team determined that, under state law, gig workers should have access to minimum wage, earned sick time and other benefits and labor rights an employee would have. In March, the Suffolk Superior Court denied Uber and Lyft’s motion to dismiss Healey’s lawsuit. 

“Yes, gig workers and the gig economy are super convenient for all of us as consumers, right. There’s a price for that. And as we move forward with this gig economy, certain principles have got to abide. That’s why we have employment laws here in Massachusetts, and that’s why I’m in court against Uber and Lyft,” she said.

Source link

Continue Reading


This futuristic gig platform is owned by workers who keep 100% of earnings – The Hustle




Continue Reading


Five basic but essential steps to help take your side gig to the next level




The pandemic isn’t crushing the entrepreneurial spirit. It’s fuelling it.

People normally tied to a desk or working double shifts used lockdown to launch side hustles, often out of necessity. And some have turned those side gigs into full-fledged businesses.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 427,842 new business applications were filed in August 2021 alone. That figure was 288, 026 in August 2019.

Story continues below advertisement

While a side gig can be spontaneous, growing a legit business requires research, planning and organization. Otherwise, your fledgling enterprise could crash and burn in a couple of years.

These basic but essential steps can help you take things to the next level and give your new venture a shot at staying power.


There are six common types of business entities: sole proprietorship, general partnership, limited partnership, C corporation, S corporation and limited liability company. The option you choose determines how your business is taxed, as well as who is financially responsible if your business is sued.

Entrepreneurs often default to sole proprietorship because it’s the easiest, but it’s also the riskiest, says Nellie Akalp, CEO and co-founder of, a document filing service that helps streamline the business formation process for entrepreneurs.

“There is no registration required nor are there corporate requirements,” Akalp says. But “there is no legal separation from the company, so the sole proprietor is personally responsible for any debts or liabilities.”

Registering as an LLC or corporation is more expensive and requires more paperwork, but it shields your personal assets from lawsuits.


Mixing business and personal finances can get messy, especially when it comes to filing taxes or securing a business loan. Open a business checking account to keep business income and expenses organized and easily accessible.

Story continues below advertisement

Look for a business account that has low or no monthly fees and fits your business needs in terms of transaction and deposit limits.

A business credit card can also help you track expenses and identify tax deductions. Plus, you can earn rewards, like cash back on gas, office supplies and business consulting services.


No more manual spreadsheets or shoeboxes full of receipts; scale up to an accounting software that can do some of the heavy lifting for you, like tracking cash flow, managing invoices and generating reports.

Expect a learning curve with any new system, but know that it will help your operation run more smoothly. The right accounting software can also give you deeper insights into your business and help you identify weak points and opportunities to save money.

“Accounting is the language of business, so invest time and money into understanding how to do your books,” says Danetha Doe, founder of Money and Mimosas, a financial education platform for independent contractors, freelancers and small-business owners. “As a business owner, learning how to manage your company’s finances, read profit and loss statements, and understanding cash flows will make you a better entrepreneur.”


Your side hustle may have started organically, but turning it into a full-fledged business requires research and planning.

Story continues below advertisement

Sketch out short – and long-term goals for your business, along with a sales plan, financial projections and potential roadblocks. Be realistic, set specific targets and spell out how you plan to reach them.

Building a business plan gives you a road map for how to grow your business. It also shows lenders you’ve done your homework should you need to secure a business loan.

Need help with your business plan? Turn to your local Small Business Development Center. These outposts are run by the U.S. Small Business Administration and offer free business consulting services.


Entrepreneurs, by nature, wear many hats. But you don’t need to wear all the hats.

Outsourcing some aspects of your business frees you up to focus on other things, like customer service or product development.

Not hip to social media? Consider hiring someone to build and manage your business’s presence on Instagram, TikTok and the like.

Story continues below advertisement

Do tax forms make your eyes cross? Invest in a certified public accountant to file for you.

“CPAs may be more expensive than doing taxes on your own, but it will be done right,” says John Pham, founder of The Money Ninja, a personal finance website. “Plus, they will maximize your tax deductions, which will most likely give you a higher return than the cost of a CPA.”

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Source link

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2019