Monday, April 06, 2009


I'm asked a lot of questions. Some through e-mail, a few over the phone, most when I'm out and about. For the curious, here are the most frequently asked questions, and some quick answers:
  • Are you a Hawkeye or a Cyclone? Thankfully both, and neither. I didn't go to either school. I used to provide mediocre TV play-by-play for the dog basketball games on the Iowa State schedule, but that came with the job at WOI. I love a good story, and don't care if it comes from Ames or Iowa City. When the Hawks are doing well and the Clones aren't, I'm frequently labeled a "Hawkeye" and vice-versa. My wife is an Iowa State alum, so keeping the kids objective is more of a challenge, though Colin favors the Hawkeyes because Herky is all over his favorite blanket.
  • Do you and Andy hang out off-camera? Yes. I consider Andy one of my best friends, and I'm constantly entertained by his humor and intelligence. Our wives, Jenny and Kahala, are also close, and sometimes accuse Andy and I of bromance---but only when we're not paying enough attention to them. We take the hint immediately.
  • Did you ever play sports? Yes. I lived to play sports. In fact, I wish I had been more well-rounded. I played four sports: football (quarterback/safety), basketball (point guard), baseball (pitcher/shortstop), and track (jumps)---though my high school baseball coach made me pick between my first love and track. I stayed with track because the high jump, long jump, and triple jump were so much fun. Football was my passion, and I played briefly in college as a tackling dummy before future Falcon Jessie Tuggle knocked me into broadcasting. He did me a favor.
  • Are you from Iowa? I've lived in Iowa longer than anywhere else---nearly 20 years---but I grew up in Vermont, went to high school in Florida, and attended college at Valdosta State University (Georgia).
  • What's your favorite sport? Hands down, college football.
  • Favorite athletes? Johnny Bench, Dan Marino, and Dr. J.
  • Favorite athletes to interview? Tim Dwight, Lolo Jones, Ha-Keem Abdel Khaliq, Adam Emmenecker, Fred Barr, Shawn Johnson.
  • Coach? Johnny Orr. Never knew what he'd say next. Just ask Dick Vitale
  • Why didn't you take that job at ESPN? I was under contract at WHO, and I love living in Iowa. It was flattering to hear from ESPN, but let's be real, ESPN didn't really need me then, and it sure never missed me. Working at a place like channel 13 is a chance to be more a part of something both on and off the air.
  • What are your favorite pro teams? Cubs are my top pro passion, though we go to more Royals games than anything else. For decades, I lived and died with the Dolphins, but geography, and Jimmy Johnson, dulled my enthusiasm. We enjoy the Chiefs, especially the tailgating. Lately, that's the best reason to go.
  • Favorite games? (on the job) Cap One Bowl, Tate to Holloway. Iowa State vs Michigan State in Elite 8. (off the job) Marino and the Dolphins spoil Bears perfect season on Monday Night Football.
  • How glad are you Andy came back? Thrilled. I really enjoyed working with my friend Heather Burnside, and I thought she was terrific, but even Heather wanted to see Andy and me teamed up again.
  • Why did Andy really come back? 1) Kahala 2) Des Moines 3) Channel 13 4) Have you ever been to Missouri?
  • Is that John Bachman's real hair? Yes. The man has been blessed. He doesn't age either. I can't help but like him anyway.
  • Hey, what happened to Round Guy? He retired from channel 13 shortly before his induction into the SoundOFF Hall of Fame, but he's still rockin' over at 95 KGGO in the mornings, and now co-hosts a sports talk show at noon on 1700 The Champ.
  • What's Ed Wilson really like? Funny, loyal, and considerate. Everyone should have a friend like Ed.
  • How long have you been at 13? 13 years. I've now been here more than twice as long as I worked at channel 5.
  • Why do you guys love negative stories? We don't. No one gets into sports to chase downers. I'd rather cover a Final Four than a fired coach any day of the week and twice on Sunday.
  • Do you get along with people at the other stations? Yes. We're friends, and friendly competitors.
  • What do you talk about in the commercial breaks? Usually something from our personal lives. Or we're laughing at what Ed's doing/singing/saying.
  • You guys look like you're having fun. Is that real? Yes it is.
  • Is Chris Hassel nuts? Yes. But in a good way.
  • Why does Erin love Nebraska football so much? She's from Nebraska. What else can you love in Nebraska?
  • Is Shawn Terrell related to Marty Tirrell? No. Different spelling. Different family.
  • Who writes your stories? Me.
  • Do you still get nervous? Not with the familiar, like anchoring a sportscast, but sometimes I still get butterflies speaking to a class or hosting a banquet. Basically, I'm an introvert who plays an extrovert on TV.
  • What did Andy do that time you couldn't stop laughing on SoundOFF? Which time? When he was off-camera. I can't tell... But I can smell.

That covers a lot of ground, but if you have any other questions or follow-ups, feel free to send them to

Thank you for the questions and the time.



Dave said...

The triple jump? I love the triple jump. What state did you grow up in?

Anonymous said...

I have a question. Do you know why todays Cubs/Astros game, scheduled to be shown on ESPN2, was not aired?

Keith Murphy said...

1) Vermont and Florda. I triple-jumped in Florida.

2) I'm guessing we're back in that nonsensical MLB blackout rule, where we're considered a Cubs market, even when they're in Houston!

Anonymous said...

Love the topic this week! Lots of questions I've wondered myself, and some I hadn't, and enjoyed the answers anyway. Thanks Keith!

Tim + Janice said...

"Valdosta State University "....hmmm.....I will have to pick them in the office pool next year....

Jon Stossel said...

Do you think Jon Stossel is the best journalist this side of the "Mighty Mississipp"?

Keith Murphy said...

East and west.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question for you Shawn Terrell single? lol

Keith Murphy said...


Anonymous said...

hmmm a Cubs fan, Hawkeye fan, and Pearl Jam fan and he's still single...something's not right there Keith