Tommy Roy's father was a club pro, but that didn't mean the golfing gene carried over.
Roy was majoring in business administration at the University of Arizona in the late 1970s when he had a chance to work for NBC at the Tucson Open. Roy thought, "Why not?"
He could either work at one of the portable bars on the course or be a "runner" and take coffee to the cameramen.
What's a college kid to do? Go for the money, of course.
"I knew a guy that did it the year before, and not only did the club pay him [to be a runner], but NBC gave him a nice tip," Roy said yesterday from the
"I had no clue about television or the business until that day, actually, and I just fell in love with it. When we went on the air, I knew that's what I wanted to do."
Roy is now the golf producer after 15 years as executive producer for NBC Sports. He has been nominated for more Emmys than anyone in the history of sports television.
"I love doing golf on television, but I love doing all the sports," said Roy, who has produced Super Bowls, Olympic Games, NBA Finals, and a college football national championship game.
Roy took two spring semesters off to continue his job as a runner, postponing his graduation. But after finishing at Arizona, he was hired as a full-time production assistant for NBC in New York.
"Don Ohlmeyer was the executive producer, and was the guy who gave me a shot," said Roy.
From there, he was an associate producer for three years, then a head producer. "So by working my way up, I got to know all the technical stuff, the production part, and the management part," he said.
Roy and his crew have spent a lot of time studying TPC Boston because he has never worked there before. "And we have a few different story lines, since it's a points playoff," he said. "We have to document the leader, the points leader, and who will go on to next week's tournament."
And will a runner be bringing him coffee?
"Well, I don't drink coffee, but they bring me Pepsi," Roy said with a laugh.
Blanket coverageESPN doesn't believe in doing things halfway. The network kicked off its college football coverage last night, and will feature 25 games over five days on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN360.com, and ESPN Radio. The second season of "Saturday Night Football" kicks off tomorrow at 8 on ABC with No. 15 Tennessee at No. 12 California . . . "Dale," the only authorized documentary on auto racing legend Dale Earnhardt, will premiere Tuesday at 8 p.m. on CMT. Narrated by Paul Newman, the movie will be repeated the following two nights at 8 . . . Julie Foudy, former captain of the US women's soccer team, and veteran play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera have been named the lead commentator team for ESPN's live coverage of the FIFA Women's World Cup in China Sept. 10-30. Other commentators include national team defender Heather Mitts, who is out with a knee injury, and former US women's coach Tony DiCicco. ESPN and ESPN2 will cover all 32 World Cup matches . . . Eric Lindquist of North Andover has been named play-by-play announcer for the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League. Lindquist, 28, a Northeastern graduate, was most recently director of media and baseball operations and the radio voice for the Long Beach Armada of the Golden Baseball League in California. Lindquist has also been color commentator for the former Lowell Lock Monsters of the AHL and the Lowell Spinners Single A baseball team . . . Big Ten football and basketball games will still be featured on national network broadcasts, but the conference, in partnership with Fox Cable Network, has formed the Big Ten Network. It will be offered to cable and satellite companies . . . The Red Sox Foundation and NESN will conduct a sock drive this weekend, asking fans to bring new white socks to Fenway Park to donate to the Boston Health Care for the Homeless.
Susan Bickelhaupt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.