One World Sports and Big Ten Network sportscaster Tina Cervasio has covered a lot of sports for a lot of outlets, but nothing was quite like covering the Boston Red Sox for NESN in 2006 and 2007 – and just because the Red Sox won the World Series.
“Being a broadcaster for the Red Sox, it’s like an extra sport that’s tagged in there,” Cervasio said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “You’re recognized on the T and in bars just as much as the starting pitcher that night.”
Case in point? A group of Red Sox fans once spotted Cervasio and asked if they could get a picture with her. Cervasio obliged. The best part? The fans handed their camera to Alex Cora, who, you know, actually played for the Red Sox.
“That was so funny,” Cervasio said. “I’ll never forget that.”
Of course, it took some Red Sox fans awhile to warm up to Cervasio.
“I was from New York, so my first year was not fun,” Cervasio said. “They were like, ‘She’s a spy for (George) Steinbrenner’ – all this stuff. ‘What’s this New Yorker (doing) coming in?’ And people fought for whatever reason. This happens everywhere I work. They cross you over. If you’re a woman, if you don’t watch 162 games or 82 NBA games, somehow you get blended with someone and they think you’re the other person, and they thought I was a Yankees reporter. I never worked at YES. It was so weird. It was just strange my first year, but then you just do your work and you come back and they realize you have an identity and what your job is and you just try to do it well.”
Damon Amendolara, who spent part of his career in Boston, really enjoyed his time there – in part because whatever he reported mattered. Good or bad, it was important to people.
“You appreciate it,” Cervasio said. “I agree. It was a different animal and it was kind of really fast. I had to get used to that fast. I didn’t expect it because I wasn’t living in Boston. I followed all the Boston sports and I knew the history, but I wasn’t physically there to see how the broadcasters were being treated by the Red Sox fans. It was a whole new animal for me at first.”