Wel­come Back Sage

Athleisure - - The Art Of The Snack -

Ear­lier this year, we hung out at ESPN's cam­pus to catch up with some of the ladies of Sport­sCen­ter. We cre­ated our fash­ion ed­i­to­rial with them through­out ther day as well as in­ter­view­ing them on the var­i­ous shows they were on.

This month, we had lunch with one of our fa­vorite sportscast­ers grow­ing up, Sage Steele. You may know her from ESPN Sport­sCen­ter (and we're ex­cited that she is back on the network start­ing Au­gust 28th with Sport­sCen­ter AM), but one of our co-founders en­joyed watch­ing her in their mar­ket cov­er­ing lo­cal sports! We took some time in be­tween Sage's move back to CT from Ari­zona, prep­ping for her show with her team to find out more about how she got into the in­dus­try, who she cheers for, what it's like to be back on the network and how she takes some time for her­self!

ATHLEISURE MAG: What was your path to be­com­ing a sports broad­caster?

SAGE STEELE: Well it's some­thing that I knew I wanted to do when I was young as I was 12 years old. I knew that as a daugh­ter of an ath­lete and I had 2 brothers and I was an ath­lete my­self. I just knew that I wouldn't be able to play sports com­pet­i­tively past high school so the sec­ond best

thing to be around it was to be able to talk about it with these ath­letes. I was just talk­ing with my boss about this, the rea­son that we all - these sports fans love sports is that ob­vi­ously, it's about where we are from and about our teams. For 3 hours on a Sunday, you're watch­ing a football game and noth­ing else mat­ters. It's not about your race, your age, your re­li­gion, your gen­der - none of it mat­ters, we're just fans of that team! It's beau­ti­ful and I love how sports just brings us to­gether no mat­ter what. And I just wanted to be a part of that. Now it's 22 years in the mak­ing - I have been in this for 22 years! It's been a very long, uphill climb, but ESPN was al­ways my dream. Some­times I couldn't be­lieve that it has been 10 years that I achieved my dream and that I am still in it!

AM: What do you think the cur­rent state of women in sports me­dia is?

SS: Oh gosh it's come so far. It al­most cracks me up when peo­ple say, "oh women, women" and I al­ways say that yes we need more women, but do you not re­al­ize how far we have come? Not that it's enough, but I mean I was al­ways the only woman in the lock­er­room. For years - al­ways - that has changed dras­ti­cally. Big net­works specif­i­cally are look­ing for women to fill these roles on air. Years ago, that would have never hap­pened! ESPN lit­er­ally, doesn't think twice about hir­ing a woman. Is it the right per­son pe­riod? I am re­ally proud of how far we have all come. I just think now it's sec­ond na­ture. No one thinks, "wow they have a woman on Sport­sCen­ter". It's been like that for a very long time.

AM: Who are your fa­vorite teams?

SS: It's funny be­cause it's ro­tated through the years be­cause I am an army brat and didn't have a home town so to speak. The first NFL team I fell in love with was the Den­ver Bron­cos be­cause we lived in Colorado and we had come from Europe in 1984. That was dur­ing the Or­ange Crush, John El­way and the Su­per Bowl years. Once again, it con­firmed what I wanted to do for a liv­ing be­cause I was in awe of how an en­tire state could come to a stand­still on a Sunday and all be scream­ing and yelling for the same team and that was when I re­ally fell in love with sports.

Oth­er­wise, the NBA Pac­ers that was the first NBA team I re­ally cov­ered. I went to school in In­di­ana and went to high school there so I loved the Colts and of course Col­lege Bas­ket­ball, I'm a Hoosier. I have to say that I root for some of those teams, but at the end of the day, maybe be­cause I'm older and jaded, but I don't root for teams per se but now it's for peo­ple. It's about the peo­ple that I have met and those that I know are good hu­mans and not just great ath­letes and good coaches. That's what it has come down to now fo­cus­ing on cer­tain peo­ple.

AM: You're com­ing back to ESPN Sport­sCen­ter, what was it like the first time you worked with the network and what's it like com­ing back?

SS: Gosh well the first time was 10 years ago and I can­not be­lieve how much the cam­pus has changed and grown. But then again, it's also about how much I have changed - I was scared to death com­ing here 10 years ago! I re­ally was! I was 10 years younger - only 34 and I had 3 ba­bies un­der the age of 4. I was just in a dif­fer­ent phase and pretty stressed out. I guess now I am pretty stressed out for other rea­sons be­cause now my kids are teenagers and it's a dif­fer­ent kind of stress. I have grown so much through the years here at ESPN. It's over­whelm­ing some­times, be­cause I know I've be­come just a bet­ter broad­caster be­cause of do­ing it. Just like in any in­dus­try you just have to get to the point that you're in your own zone and you don't re­ally lis­ten to what other peo­ple say or think about you es­pe­cially to­day in the world of so­cial me­dia. You know if you have done a good job at the end of the day when the ex­ec­u­tives bring you back for more, then you know that over­all you have done a re­ally good job.

It's been such a whirl­wind and not just 22 years of my ca­reer but specif­i­cally at ESPN for the last 10, I've done so many things and so many events and it's been re­ally awe­some to just rep­re­sent this com­pany as I'm so thank­ful.

AM: You start on Aug 28th, what can we ex­pect when we watch Sport­sCen­ter:AM for the re­launch and what takes place in this show that is dif­fer­ent then the other Sport­sCen­ters through­out the day?

SS: This is the first thing that peo­ple wake up to. A lot of times, peo­ple have to o to bed they have lives and they have not been able to see re­sults of all the games that they have cared about or their fa­vorite ath­letes that they fol­low.

So you're go­ing to wake up to high­lights and anal­y­sis and a pretty fast paced show that catches you up on what you missed last night and help­ing you to look ahead on what to ex­pect for the day of sports.

There are three of us as hosts me, Randy Scott and Jay Har­ris. We're re­ally good friends. So it's a three hour show and we need all three of us, that's for sure! I think it's rare these days to have three peo­ple that are truly friends that are host­ing a na­tional show of any kind. Fast paced, high­lights, anal­y­sis - we're go­ing to laugh and have fun. We're talk­ing about sports and yes, there are some se­ri­ous con­ver­sa­tions these days but mostly it's fun. We're talk­ing about sports for a liv­ing! You will get some opin­ion in there as well, maybe more then when I started at ESPN 10 years ago, but it's not about us, it's about the high­lights, serv­ing the view­ers and kind of giv­ing them some­thing to start their day with. If they're at the cof­fee ma­chine at work, they can say, "gosh did you see what the Bears did last night?" We're giv­ing them in­for­ma­tion, tools and just stuff to talk about. Be­cause at the end of the day, sports is an escape which is my true be­lief! That's what we hope to pro­vide to help ev­ery­one be­gin their day.

AM: What are you most ex­cited about now that you're back at ESPN?

SS: I'm ex­cited about talk­ing about all the sports again. I have loved the last 4 years of talk­ing about the NBA. The last 9 months or so I got back on the road with Sport­sCen­ter on the Road cov­er­ing ev­ery­thing from the Su­per Bowl, Mas­ters - you name it. My main fo­cus for the last 4 years has been the NBA and I am more in love with it than I have ever been be­fore but, I have missed football and col­lege bas­ket­ball - to be able to talk about that again. I have such a his­tory with these sports in cov­er­ing it dur­ing my ca­reer in var­i­ous mar­kets that I can't wait to get

back to that while hang­ing on to all of my NBA stuff as well as it's im­por­tant to me. I'll just add that I'm still go­ing to be go­ing on the road with Sport­sCen­ter on the Road. That means so much to me be­cause I thrive in the chaos of the road. I love it when I'm stand­ing court side be­fore Game 5 of the NBA Fi­nals with Kevin Du­rant, Stephen Curry and Lebron James warm­ing up and some­how I have to stay fo­cused and on task and host an hour long show and do in­ter­views - that's the chaos that I just love! I re­ally wanted to hang on to that as­pect of it as well. So lots of in-stu­dio and on the road as well. AM: We en­joyed hav­ing lunch with you and get­ting to know you, what are your fa­vorite work­outs or ac­tiv­i­ties that you do to stay toned and in shape?

SS: I hon­estly think that my stress forces me to stay in shape. I have to have an out­let es­pe­cially since there is so much stress. There's travel as I'm al­ways on air­planes a lot. I will say that I do eat pretty well and that's im­por­tant to me and es­pe­cially with hav­ing kids and try­ing to set a good ex­am­ple.

Some­times it's about hav­ing a 10 minute work­out in a ho­tel room - lit­er­ally! For­tu­nately, there's no TV cam­eras or mir­rors

to see what I'm wear­ing or do­ing. And if I only have those 10 min­utes, then that is what I will do! It sets the tone for my day - hey I'm 44 so I have to work on it. I like to eat well and stay ac­tive do­ing some­thing. I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a set sched­ule now that I am back in CT be­cause now I can get on a set sched­ule with work­outs as well and not just fig­ur­ing out how to squeeze them in de­pend­ing on time zone or based on what the ho­tel gym has. I have done a lot of boot camps dur­ing the years. I am re­ally in­ter­ested in try­ing pi­lates and yoga as I have never done them be­fore at all. I think I need that in my life for my body and my brain.

AM: When you're not at work what's your per­sonal style when you're out and about with your fam­ily or tak­ing per­sonal time for your­self?

SS: Right now, jeans and flats. My fa­vorite shirts are by Rails, they're just ca­sual shirts. I love flan­nels and denim. Many times my hair is up, I wear very lit­tle makeup - I don't know, I'm re­ally ca­sual and sim­ple. I'm in the shower and out of the house in 25 min­utes. Maybe it's be­cause I have to dress up so of­ten to put makeup on and to care about what I look like.

Hey, when I wear what I want to wear, I feel like it's pre­sentable and cute - I can go to din­ner in this. But I could also go to my kid's bas­ket­ball game and not feel over­dressed. Hav­ing that flex­i­bil­ity is im­por­tant to me. I'm just re­ally, re­ally ca­sual. Some­times, my mom says, "Sage you're go­ing to the gro­cery store, you need to dress up a lit­tle bit and make sure that you put some blush on." And I'm like, "mom, you're lucky that I don't have my base­ball cap on to­day!"

It's all about be­ing TO­TALLY ca­sual and hav­ing a bal­ance from what I have to do when I'm at work and have to present my­self as some­what glam­orous.

You fake it un­til you make it!

AM: How do you take time for your­self to recharge and just to come up for air?

SS: That's what I need to work on be­cause right now, it's not enough. That's hon­estly the big­gest thing on my list now that I am com­ing back to a set sched­ule in CT. Mon - Thurs set hours and off by 11am. Up early be­cause I have to fig­ure out the sleep pat­terns first! In the past, I have done a lot of horse­back rid­ing - be­ing an eques­trian has been a big part of my life. I don't know and I'm so glad that you asked be­cause I have to fig­ure it out. For sure, I know I have to keep my­self men­tally healthy as well as phys­i­cally. But I don't think of tak­ing time for my­self and that's prob­a­bly my big­gest fault. So if you have any sug­ges­tions, I will take them from any­one and any­where! Maybe yoga will be that for me. I need to fig­ure it out for sure!

We're so ex­cited to see Sage on Sport­sCen­ter AM start­ing Aug 28th as well as Sport­sCen­ter on the Road. You can also catch her on 2018 Miss Amer­ica co-host­ing with ABC's The Bach­e­lor, Chris Har­ri­son on Sept 10th in At­lantic City.

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