The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

National sports show presenter shares career expertise

Despite his current success as a sports news anchor for Fox Sports Net, Patrick O’Neal recognizes the dificulty in finding a career and encouraged students to pursue a career they are passionate about when he visited the campus this week.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life,” Patrick O’Neal said.

“I spent most of my twenties doing different jobs,” he said.

After bartending, being a personal assistant and acting for a while, O’Neal said he finally discovered his passion.

“My passion is sports; I was walking around with sports pages in my head,” O’Neal said.

“It took a long time for me to realize what my passion was,” O’Neil said of his experience in determining a career.

O’Neal said that given the fact that “you’re your own harshest critic,” he did not think he could accomplish his goal until he got some advice.

“It took a very close friend to say, ‘You know your passion is in sports; you should really pursue that, you should be a sports editor, a journalist,'” O’Neal said.

The advice from his friend allowed O’Neal realize that he had a lot of ambition and to try and pursue a career in sports journalism.

O’Neal’s parents, both prominent actors – his mother Leigh Taylor-Young who starred in “Dallas” and his father Ryan O’Neal who starred in “Love Story”- – gave him some help starting his career in journalism, O’Neil said.

Being related to people who are famous gave him certain opportunities but, ultimately O’Neil said he had to “nail” the auditions himself.

O’Neil said he knew that if he didn’t go and do the audition on time and do it right, he wouldn’t have gotten the job.

“I really used those connections and just kept pushing; what can I do, what job can I do — I’ll start anywhere, I’ll start at the bottom,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said his big break came when somebody saw that he had a lot of energy and enthusiasm for the job.

O’Neal, who was hired by Fox Radio in September 2000, said that once he got through the door, he said he was going to try to stay there as long as he could.

After two years of radio, O’Neal said he got a crack at his first anchor job around April of 2002.

Currently, O’Neal is hosting two national shows on Fox Sports Net.

“I host ‘The Ultimate Fantasy Football’ and ‘Totally Football,’ O’ Neal said. He also hosted “Minnesota’s Sports Tonight.”

O’Neal said he believes that he had accomplished a lot within five years.

“I didn’t give up – it was thrilling to put that much effort into something that you love,” O’Neal said.

O’Neal said students who want to pursue sports journalism should not be discouraged, should not take “no” for an answer and should keep trying.

“The squeaky wheel gets the grease – if you believe in yourself and know you can do it, fight for it,” O’Neal said.

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