Our guest for this week’s Thursday Q & A is Sports Reporter & Anchor Paige Pearson from WLUK, the Fox Affiliate, here in Green Bay.  I’ve often referred to Paige as one of the busiest & hardest working sports reporters in the area.  Paige is not only always up to date on all the professional sports, she’s a veritable fountain of knowledge & information as it pertains to Northeast Wisconsin Prep Sports as well.  So, without further ado, on to our questions.

Enlighten us on how you ended up in Green Bay and covering the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and other Wisconsin sports.

My parents moved to Wisconsin when I was going to college at Indiana University. I started making a few connections, and I ended up landing my first job at the NBC affiliate in Eau Claire. From there it was a pretty natural move to Green Bay.

Growing up in South Dakota, which is one of those states without any major league professional sports teams of their own, who did you root for growing up?

When you live in So Dak you’re either a Minnesota fan or a Kansas City fan. If you want to follow winning teams, you opt for Minnesota. Although, I’m NOT a Vikings fan. Gave up on them in the Denny Green era. I am, however, a Twins fan.

Being a Twins fan, is it hard to separate your ‘fandom’ when reporting on the yearly inter-league Brewers-Twins match-ups?

I didn’t really think it was until the Twitter revolution. Now I catch heat from Brewers fans, but it’s all in good fun. Plus, it’s nice following a National League team and an American League team.

Packer fans are a breed unto themselves.  Once you got to Green Bay, was there a single instance or occurrence which happened that made you say ‘Wow, these people are nuts about the Packers’, in a good way of course.

I’ll never forget walking into a gas station a few years ago and seeing eight different styles of Packers earrings.  I didn’t know one style was necessary! Plus, the people that park their RV’s and camp out before the Family Night scrimmage bring a smile to my face. Packers fans truly are a breed of their own.

You do a great job of covering the local high schools sports here in Northeast Wisconsin.  What do you enjoy more, professional or prep coverage?

I love prep sports. In my opinion, it’s the most pure form of sports. Seeing a coach teach and guide a player, watching a player lead his peers, and taking in a town’s involvement is so powerful to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy covering the Packers. Going to the biggest and best stadiums and getting engrossed in a different city is pretty cool too.

As it relates to professional sports, is there one sport in particular you enjoy covering more than others?

I’ve covered the NFL the most extensively, but I certainly wouldn’t mind living in a city with hoops and baseball too!

You’re pretty active when it comes to interacting with sports fans online, especially via Twitter. What do you feel is the role social media plays in reporting the sports?

I’m so amazed by social media. I think it’s fantastic. I’ve always enjoyed meeting people and “speaking the language” of sports. Now it’s right at my fingertips! As far as the journalism aspect, social media has really changed the scope. Now it’s all about getting the information out there first. Sometimes that’s not a good thing. You open yourself up for more errors. So, while I do enjoy Twitter, I try and take a breath and make sure I’ve covered all of my bases before tweeting news.

What are your feelings on the current NFL CBA discussions & do you think it will be settled in time to avoid a lock out in 2011?

I’ve been working on CBA stories for the past eight months. So far, I’ve seen little change. At this point, it appears that the owners and the NFLPA are going to wait until the final hour to get a deal done. That final hour could be next summer. I do believe there will be football in 2011. It’s way too big of a business for all parties to not get a deal done.

In your opinion, what’s the most interesting story so far that has come out of the 2010 Packers Training Camp?

Well, Quinn Porter being a cheerleader his freshman year in college is pretty nuts! As far as a story based on Xs and Os, I’ve enjoyed watching Dom Capers shift guys like Cullen Jenkins, Brandon Chillar, and Clay Matthews around. He (Capers) definitely keeps people guessing!

What advice would you give to aspiring sports reporters out there?

First, you must have a passion for sports. I’m not saying you have to be able to recite oodles of stats. I’m saying love what you do. When you first get into TV, the pay isn’t the best. You have to appreciate the other rewards. Second, you have to be a good writer and researcher. I think the allure of TV sometimes distracts people from being fundamentally solid at the basics. Third, embrace technology and the web. This business is changing and you have to get on board!

…and now for the lighting round.

Your all-time favorite professional athlete is:

Michael Jordan

Your favorite sports blog to read is:

Cheesehead TV

If there were no sports to report, you would be doing:

Sports Information Director at a University

If you were a professional athlete, your sport & position would be:

 I’m a former swimmer, so I’d like to be the female Michael Phelps.

Should I ever run into you at a bar, I should buy you a ___________________ for taking the time to answer these questions.

Miller Lite (I know where my bread is buttered!)

..and there we go.  Much thanks to Paige for being a part of our Thursday Q & A.  You can catch Paige on TV on WLUK as well as read some of her work on WLUK’s website .  Also make sure to give @PAIGER33 a follow on Twitter to keep up to date on not only her coverage of the Packers this season, but also local prep action as well…just try not to pay attention to her when the Twins are playing.

 

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