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Five Things Every Dallas Cowboys Fan Should Know About Brad Sham

Krystina Martinez
Prior to announcing for the Cowboys, Brad Sham worked at KRLD and almost went for a job at KERA.

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."

Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.