Job Envy: Matt Sebek
Editor and host of “The JoeSportsFan Show,” JoeSportsFan.com
It’s every die-hard sport-lover’s dream to get paid for the countless hours spent watching any and every big game from start to finish. But, for this hilarious sports-addict-turned-media-personality, there’s more to it than that. Matt Sebek gets his fair share of ESPN time, but he’s also writing, hosting podcast shows and answering to fans’ critiques (good and bad) on a daily basis—all with his unique brand of sports fan humor that has helped catapult the media outlet to its current success.
HOW HE GOT INTO THE BIZ
I’ve been obsessed with sports for as long as I can remember. I always appreciated joesportsfan.com‘s comedic sensibility and the bizarre array of people it featured in and around the St. Louis sports scene. I was originally brought in to redesign the website in 2006. After taking care of their technical needs, I quickly weaseled my way into a weekly writing gig. With founder Josh Bacott, we’ve taken joesportsfan.com from a small two-man operation to a website that averages 1.5 million page views per year.
I played college soccer at the University of Evansville while majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Needless to say, the intersection of technology and sports in today’s media is right up my alley.
During normal business hours, I manage the development of iPad and iPhone applications for the local software company Asynchrony. My responsibilities at JoeSportsFan typically involve an hour in the morning, an hour at lunch and an hour at night, in addition to engaging with readers/listeners on social platforms throughout the day.
BEST WORK DAY EVER
The first episode of the show was extremely satisfying. We funded the production through a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $6,000. Outside of the monetary support, it proved that there’s an audience for alternative sports content in St. Louis. Our first guest was also David Freese, a St. Louis native who shares our comedic sensibility and wanted to be a part of our maiden voyage.
WHY HIS JOB ROCKS
There aren’t many jobs that allow such radical transparency into successes and failures. Analyzing stats tells us what readers liked and what they didn’t. Over the years, we’ve gotten to meet interesting people from around the industry, but conversing with other fans that share our love of sports and comedy is extremely rewarding.
Being named one of Sports Illustrated’s “40 Sports People to Follow on Twitter” was a holistic moment of narcissism, but pretty cool nonetheless. Even my parents have heard of Sports Illustrated.
BEST JOB PERK
I’ll admit that receiving promotional swag in the mail is pretty neat. It’s also pretty cool when someone says, “I read your column today while I was on the crapper.” Toilet material is hallowed ground.
A few days after the Cardinals won the World Series, we were sent audio of Ron Washington’s Game 7 pep talk, in which he bad mouthed several Cards players and talked about what the Rangers needed to do to win the game—which they didn’t. The audio and column were posted on the front page of newspapers around the nation and featured on ESPN that day.
Photo credit: Photo by Attilio D’Agostino