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Mel Bracht: Craig James enjoying time in booth

by Mel Bracht Published: November 13, 2009
Even with a grueling schedule of calling Thursday night and Saturday football games for ESPN, Craig James is glad he’s no longer working in the studio.

A former SMU and NFL star running back, James much prefers the lively game atmosphere to the quiet studio. And for the first time, he gets to cover games involving his son, Texas Tech sophomore wide receiver Adam James, who has 14 catches for 130 yards and one touchdown.

James, 48, will cover his son for the third time this season when he broadcasts the Texas Tech-OSU game at 7 p.m. on ABC. He will be joined by Mike Patrick and reporter Heather Cox on the broadcast, which will go to only 17 percent of the nation.

James of Celina, Texas, also is busy ranching his 10,000 acres west of Fort Worth, and he recently released a book, "Game Day: a Rollicking Journey to the Heart of College Football.” He discussed a few topics this week:

Can you be objective in broadcasting your son’s games?

"At kickoff, I pray that the Lord will give him the focus that he needs to do his job and for me to do my job. I look at it if I don’t call the game honest, I won’t go back and do another one of his games. Everybody who has listened to those games was amazed that I could do it. I did it totally unbiased. If (Texas Tech coach) Mike Leach messes up, I’m going to say something about it. If they are not going to do their job, I pointed it out.”

→What is your impression of some of Leach’s off-the-wall remarks, such as references to his players’ "fat little girlfriends”?

"Quite honestly, for a program that wants to win 10 games or more a year, it’s a challenge enough to do it on the field without distractions.

by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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