The most recent move in the broadcast career of former Channel 7 and CNN anchorman Rick Sanchez looks like an open field zig-zag: radio color analyst on Florida International’s 12 college football games this season.
It looks that way if you didn’t know that Sanchez lettered three years at Hialeah High and, according to him, received a partial scholarship to play at Moorehead State. Or, if you didn’t know that after his firing from CNN, he spent last fall hopping around to FIU road games from his Atlanta home with his FIU student son, Ricky.
“I played college football. I love football,” Sanchez laughed. “That part of it is exciting. We all tend to think we could do play-by-play better than the next guy. I don’t need money or to chase the next anchor job.”
Or, if you didn’t know that Sanchez, Cuban-born and Hialeah-raised, brags of how much FIU’s enrollment and FIU’s team displays South Florida’s ethnic diversity all the way up to Cuban-American head coach Mario Cristobal. Or, if you didn’t know that FIU athletic director Pete Garcia has known Sanchez since they were at Mae M. Walters Elementary School, through Filer Junior High and to Hialeah High.
Garcia already had decided against bringing back Jeremy Marks-Peltz, the play-by-play man the last three years. Jorge Sedano, the 790 The Ticket morning radio host, did color analysis the last two years on the radio. But, for Sedano, a new weekend job in front of WFOR-CBS4’s cameras made continuing at FIU impractical unless he was the play-by-play man.
Instead, Garcia decided to make a wholesale change. He’ll pair play-by-play man Tony Calatayud with Sanchez.
“He’s followed our program,” Garcia said of Sanchez. “He did a piece on us for CNN a couple of years ago when we went to play Alabama. I brought [the broadcasting job] up to him to see if he was interested in it.”
Sanchez was. He certainly had time.
He said he’s been writing and blogging since CNN fired him last autumn. The offense was a radio interview rant that both claimed The Daily Show host Jon Stewart made sport of him because he was a minority and dismissed the idea of Jewish people as an oppressed minority.
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