By: Russ Goldman
In June 2010, Lyndsay Petruny became a reporter and a producer of Patriots Today which can be seen on Patriots.com. She is also a contributor to “Patriots All Access” on WBZ- TV. Before I share my Q and A with Lyndsay, I wanted to tell you a little about her history of covering football.
In 2009, she worked for the Big Ten Network covering Penn State University. She was also covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a co-host of “Steelers Saturday Night” on the CW Network. On top of that she worked “Subway Nightly Sports Call” on KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.
So, before covering the Patriots, she certainly has plenty of experience covering the game of football. I had the pleasure of asking Lyndsay several questions that range from her broadcasting background, to her current job working for Kraft Sports Productions. Here is my “Q & A with Lyndsay Petruny of Patriots Today”.
In 2009, you were covering Penn State as a correspondent for the Big Ten Network. How different was covering a college football program compared to an NFL franchise?
I think the two are pretty difficult to compare, only because it’s similar to comparing college football to the NFL. The environment is probably the most different. Most college stadiums at large schools are massive, for example, Beaver Stadium at Penn State can hold approximately 110,000 fans.
The NFL takes the in-game experience to a new level, with the jumbotron, music, and interactivity during the game. Also, many players in college aren’t used to being in the spotlight, but by the time they get to the pros, they are more comfortable and ready for the attention they receive.
Lyndsay Petruny of ‘Patriots Today’ photo courtesy of Becky Thurner Photography.
The same year you were also covering the Pittsburgh Steelers on two different talk shows. How would you describe your experience discussing the Steelers and interacting with their fans?
I enjoyed my experience working for Steelers Saturday Night on The CW Network in Pittsburgh because of how much I was able to interact the fans. The fans always brought great energy to the show and made my job easy. I mainly traveled to different locations around Pittsburgh to discuss the upcoming game with fans. It was always something new each week, so I never knew what to expect, but it made it exciting and helped me gain reporting experience.
Have you noticed any differences between the fans of the Steelers and the Patriots?
Both groups of fans are incredibly passionate and some of the most knowledgeable in the NFL. I haven’t had as much personal interaction with Patriots fans as I did with Steeler fans because of the different responsibilities of the two jobs.
With that said, I am so thankful for all the support from Patriots fans that I’ve received through Twitter, Facebook, and emails. It’s always great to hear from fans, no matter if it’s a compliment or constructive criticism. I’m looking for ways to bring Patriots fans the content that’s important to them, so I appreciate all and any feedback I receive and I always try to take the time to respond to each message or email.
You are now working for Kraft Sports Productions on several shows regarding the Patriots. How different is it covering a team you work for compared to working for an outside media organization?
The biggest difference is that my office is inside Gillette Stadium and that’s where I go to work every day. It’s also different because in other sports reporting positions, the reporter usually covers all teams in that market. I give a lot of credit to the reporters in the Boston area who have to keep up with four successful teams here. At the same time, I enjoy just being able to focus on the Patriots and really have a good grasp on what happens daily in Foxborough.
You wear many hats for Kraft Sports Productions. You are a sports anchor, producer, show host, and sideline reporter. What part of the job has been most challenging and also most rewarding?
Balancing everything can become challenging but I’m grateful because I’m getting so much valuable experience working for Kraft Sports Productions. I’ve had opportunities here that I never thought I would this early in my career.
Last season, I was reporting for four shows: Patriots Today, Patriots This Week, Totally Patriots, and Patriots All Access. This season, I will still be contributing to three of those shows.
The most rewarding experience so far was when I was part of the Patriots All Access live show last December on WBZ-TV in Boston. From what I remember, with the wind chill factored in, it was around 10 degrees, and we were outside on the field at Gillette Stadium for the show. It was my first time live on CBS in Boston and for a combination of being slightly nervous and freezing, I was happy with my reporting and it was an extremely rewarding experience.
You have done several interviews now with Patriots players. Is there one that stands out and why?
A very inspiring interview for me was talking with Gary Guyton and his family last year. Both of his parents were diagnosed with cancer and it is truly amazing to see how much they support each other. His mom is such a strong person and she proved she is a fighter by beating cancer. She is now a cancer survivor.
Last season, the Patriots’ initiative was to “Kick Cancer” and Gary’s mother was at the game and honored on the field prior to kickoff. She got to hug Gary on the sidelines and it was such a touching moment. To see a family power through something so devastating is something I’ll never forget.
In your first season with the Patriots they went 14-2, and had a successful season. However, when they have lost, what are the challenges of doing your job that next week?
We try to provide fans with lots of coverage and at least five editions of Patriots Today each weekday during the season. I think the hardest part is having to focus on the Patriots’ loss and improvements they will need to make for the next game when we would rather be focusing on a win.
At the same time, that challenge goes along with football and having one game a week. It’s not the same for most other sports, where teams have a chance to redeem themselves one or two days later. It’s part of the game and it’s what makes Sundays so highly anticipated for fans.
Do you feel the Patriots are far behind their progression for the regular season this year compared to last season?
It doesn’t really seem like it, to be honest. I know the players worked really hard in the offseason, and luckily, training camp started on time.
In general, what are you thoughts on the Patriots chances contending for another Super Bowl Championship this season?
I absolutely think the Patriots can be contenders. After building on their success last season and with so many players returning, especially players who are healthy this season like Leigh Bodden, I definitely believe they have a shot. With the combination of veterans from previous seasons, free agents the Pats’ signed, and an outstanding draft class, the roster shows a lot of promise for the team this year.