Ep 059

The Secret to NFL RedZone’s Success & Prepping for 7 Hours of Commercial Free Football with Scott Hanson

With

NFL RedZone’s Scott Hanson

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Inside This Episode

In this episode, I’m talking with the host of NFL RedZone, Scott Hanson.

For 15 seasons, Scott has hosted the wildly popular RedZone where he entertains millions of viewers (including Tom Brady) every Sunday of football season for 7-hours straight without taking a single bathroom break!

Listen in to learn about Scott’s extraordinary preparation process, his experiences with NFL greats like Patrick Mahomes and Marvin Harrison, the revelatory mindset shift that led to Scott’s success, and how adopting a similar mindset can help you connect with your audience better and achieve your wildest dreams in business and life.

3 of the biggest insights from Scott Hanson

#1 A behind-the-scenes look at Scott’s regimented preparation process which enables him to deliver 7 uninterrupted hours of ad-libbed content to millions of viewers every week to football fans around the world.

#2 The power of putting your audience first – and how serving, not seeking, leads to greatness.

#3 How the best broadcasters in the world simplify complexity and craft language that connects deeply with their target audience – and how financial advisors can model this same approach to serve their clients at the highest level.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: 

  • Fulfilling an NFL broadcasting dream
  • Playing with Marvin Harrison
  • Inside Scott Hanson’s RedZone routine
  • Why he hasn’t taken a bathroom break in 10 years!
  • Always put your audience first
  • Simplify complexity for your clients
  • How to captivate any audience
  • Tom Brady shares his love for NFL RedZone
  • A fun moment with Patrick Mahomes
  • The Iron Bladders Fantasy football team
  • Scott’s definition of “Do business. Do life.”

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE: 

PEOPLE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:

THIS WEEK’S FEATURED REVIEW

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MIC DROP MOMENTS WITH SCOTT HANSON

  • I’ve learned that serving is better than to be served. You can fulfill all sorts of dreams that you have if you focus on others first, and not just, what do I get out of it?” – Scott Hanson

  • “He who is first will be last, and he who is last will be first.” – Scott Hanson

  • Trying to establish a connection, I would say for me is this: Try and know your audience as best you can. Know what the assumed knowledge is, know how they want to be served, what they gravitate towards, and try and orchestrate what you do to fulfill their needs.” – Scott Hanson

  • “I want to be a ‘there you are’ guy, not a ‘here I am’ guy.” – Scott Hansen

Brad Johnson: Welcome back to another episode of Do Business. Do Life. I’ve got the one and only Scott Hanson here with us today. Welcome to the show, Scott.

Scott Hanson: Brad, good to be with you. Good to be with you and talk a little football, a little life, little business, a little mix of everything I understand.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, I mean, it is the Do Business. Do Life, so we can go pretty much anywhere, and in your life and business, it’s football. So, that’ll be a good time. Well, just for context, I think it’s always helpful how we crossed paths and was fortunate enough to meet you out in Scottsdale at our launch experience earlier this year. We have a mutual friend in Tim Tebow that, actually, my business partner, Shawn, I think, connected you at their big gala, where they support the Tim Tebow Foundation.

And then, fun fact, you do some emceeing for Tim that we found out, kind of on the way to our launch experience, we’re like, well, we should bring Scott out, too. And so, I just want to first off start by saying thank you. You did a masterful job of emceeing that evening. And I don’t know if you know the final number, but we raised over a half a million dollars with the Triad members for Tim Tebow’s foundation. So, thanks for the work you put in.

Scott Hanson: 100%. Thank you for having me to speak here. Thank you for having me in Scottsdale. It was my first experience with Triad. And I would just say, well, not only to you, Brad, because I told you in person, I believe that that night and Shawn as well, but to anyone watching this or listening to this right now, if you haven’t had much experience with Triad or around Triad, I can’t recommend it enough, top-shelf, first-class people treatment. The entire experience was great, and I hope it’s a relationship that’s just beginning and we’ll continue on into the future.

Brad Johnson: Well, I appreciate those kind words. And one of the things with us, being a guy whose career is in sports and in my research, I also found you spend a little time on a college football field as well. But as you know, you can never be content. It’s kind of, you always have to take things up a notch or two. And so, one of the things we always try to do is iterate and get better each and every experience. But those are very kind words, and I don’t take them lightly coming from you. I’m guessing you’ve been part of a few cool experiences along the way.

Scott Hanson: Oh, yeah. I mean, I was the guy in high school who, in my freshman year and maybe even into my sophomore year, I was still convinced from my 10-year-old dream that I was going to be an NFL football player. But by mid-high school, and I was a good high school player, I went on to play in college at Syracuse University, but mid-high school, I knew, yes, Scott, the Lord hasn’t blessed you enough to have the raw materials to make it to the NFL. But while I was going through that experience and that, I mean, disappointment it was when I thought, okay, all I wanted to do was be a football player. I was like, what am I going to do with my life? And so, I caught the dream of, okay, I can’t play NFL football, but let me get this straight. Those guys on TV get paid money to fly around the country and sit in the best seats on the 50-yard line and tell everyone else in the world about the game, that’s what I want to do.

And as it relates to your question about my experiences, I’m the guy from high school and I am very blessed. When I say it out loud, it even hits me again. I’m the guy in high school who actually lived out his dream. We all had our dream. We were young people about, oh, I’m going to be this or that or do this or do that. And I’ve been able to live it out. I’ve not only gone to, this last Super Bowl was, I think, my 15th Super Bowl, but I get paid money to go to the Super Bowl. I make my living, being around players and coaches and in the great game that is football, and at the highest level, at the NFL level. The only word I can think of is a blessing because that’s exactly what it is.

Brad Johnson: Yeah, that’s amazing. So, you had already started to figure out in high school. I’m not sure what my calling in is or what it’ll look like, but it will involve football. And if it’s not playing it, it will be deeply embedded into the game. Were you thinking announcer or commentator at the time? Or were you thinking other different angles?

Scott Hanson: Yeah. No, when you know you can’t play football for a living, but you want to stay around the game, there are different avenues. Of course, the main two would have been either to become a coach or to become a broadcaster. And there was some television in my family. I grew up when my dad was a photographer for news and sports, but I kind of grew up around TV in that whole ecosphere. And so, I said, now, I was also probably full of myself when I was a kid and think, I want to be famous when I grow up. I want people to recognize me when I walk into a steakhouse or something and say, “Oh, there’s Scott Hanson.” Just being fully transparent, that was probably part of my 15-year-old mindset, whatnot.

And so, broadcasting was what I wanted to direct my career towards from high school, probably even earlier, but high school, definitely. And so, I did a bunch of research. This is pre-internet, so I had to do research on colleges to find out where can I get the best education to try and become a sports broadcaster. And my dad and I discovered some articles about Syracuse University. And there are many, many great communication schools in the country and in the world. But Syracuse was and still is the factory for potential sports broadcasters. Just to say some names that your audience would know, Bob Costas, Dick Stockton, Marv Albert, Mike Tirico, Len Berman, Sean McDonough. And those are just some of the national names, Marty Glickman going back to the early, early days of sportscasting. There was a lineage of sportscasters that got their education in college at Syracuse University. And so, I said, if that’s where the best went, I want to go there and I want to strive and try and have the same experience they had to set myself up for a broadcasting career. And I ended up staying four and a half years. I took some extra classes in my last semester, but it was a great four and a half years at Syracuse University.

Brad Johnson: And I hope you enjoyed college a little bit. I mean, well, you deserve that, right?

Scott Hanson: Oh, I did. Yeah, I did. Yeah, I made all the stupid decisions that some young people make as well, but Syracuse was a great place, academically, socially, and then athletically for me as well, walking on the football team and playing for four years, even though my talent level was like a Division III player, which, for those who don’t know, is the lowest level of college football that you could play. Syracuse is I-A, they don’t call it Division I-A anymore, but it’s the highest level of college football.

And so, I was like Rudy, the movie Rudy. I was like Rudy without the glorified ending to my collegiate career with a quarterback sack on the last home game on Senior Day. I didn’t have any of that, but I was the walk on that, I was getting beat up in practice and just trying to have a great attitude and help the starters on Saturday get ready for the game each and every day throughout the week. But yes, SU was awesome for me.

Brad Johnson: That’s awesome. Now, did I read, was Marvin Harrison one of your teammates?

Scott Hanson: He was, yeah. The Hall of Fame wide receiver, Marvin Harrison, who of course is really back in the news these days because Marvin Harrison Jr., as you and I speak and record this podcast, Marvin Harrison Jr., is going to be a top five draft pick in the NFL. And probably, Marvin Harrison Jr., will be the first non-quarterback selected in the draft. He is unbelievable. And his daddy, my former teammate, was like no other athlete I had seen either.

Interestingly enough, he was a freshman when I was a senior, but he was a skinny little true freshman out of Philadelphia area, and I was a senior out of Michigan. And he was going to be a star. I was a senior, but I was still on the scout team, which is just the team that gets beat up in practice by the starters to get them ready. But because he was a true freshman, he was on the scout team and sometimes, we would have two wide receiver sets in our scout team where it was Marvin Harrison on this side and Scott Hanson on this side. And we would go out and do our things.

So, when he went on to the NFL and he was making all the Pro Bowls every year and winning Super Bowl with the Indianapolis Colts or actually, he didn’t win the Super Bowl, he was off the team at that point. But when he was going through his amazing NFL career, I would see him sometimes at games and I’m like, “Hey, Marv, we both made it to the NFL after all of this.” And I said, “I’m going to be here a lot longer than you will be because no one’s trying to cut my knees out from under me on the field.” And he laughed at that, and I laughed at that. And between the two of us, Marvin and I scored over 100 touchdowns in the NFL.

Brad Johnson: That’s a stat you should be very proud of, Scott.

Scott Hanson: Oh, yes. Yeah.

Brad Johnson: Was there any, like, just going back, one of the things already I’m picking up in your story is you kind of had this dream and you were willing to put in the reps to figure it out and get there. Marvin Harrison, obviously, became one of the best receivers in the history of the NFL. Obviously, partnered up with Peyton Manning, that helped a bit. But as a freshman, were there things you saw in him other than just sheer raw talent that led you to believe he could make it to the NFL and have an incredible career, where there’s certain things that stood out about him at that time?

Scott Hanson: The first thing that stood out was his raw ability. His talent was remarkable. He was and is kind of a quiet guy. So, I couldn’t just say, oh, you know what? I had a conversation with him one time, and that’s when I saw all the intensity and whatnot. And again, we only had one year together on the same team. We both drove Chevy Blazer. So, I remember we kind of bonded over that. He had a beat-up old Chevy Blazer. I had a Chevy Blazer. And we kind of bonded over that.

But the first time I thought Marvin Harrison is going to be something special was not on a football field. It was on a basketball court. In the off season, particularly like in spring after spring football practice is over, we would play a lot of pickup basketball. I loved basketball, loved playing it, and the football players would all get together and go to the rec gym and go take on other students from SU. And I was playing point guard one day. Marvin was on my team for this pickup game of basketball. I was running point guard. I was at the top of the key and I passed him the ball. He was on the right baseline, passed him the ball deep down to the baseline. He took one dribble and went underneath the hoop and did a reverse layup on the left side after catching the ball on the right side.

And I remember looking, and it’s like sometimes if you see a cat moved suddenly from one point to another point and you’re like, your eyes almost didn’t catch up with it, I remember thinking, a human being is not supposed to be able to move that quick. And that sort of a time from when he was stopped, when he received the pass to when he did the layup, it was like, and I’m around great athletes all the time playing college football, I was like, this guy is different. And sure enough, his NFL game translated to quickness and space and precise cuts and the rapport that he had with Peyton Manning, and being in the right place at the right time and having absolute money hands. You go YouTube to try and see if you can find many dropped passes from Marvin Harrison in his Hall of Fame career, you won’t find many, if any, at all. Yeah, he was different. He was special. And that’s why he has a gold jacket and a bust in Canton, Ohio.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Okay, let’s transition a bit. And I was looking, I was researching basically a day in the life of Scott when it comes to NFL RedZone, so your busy day on Sundays during season. And one of the things that I was blown away by was your preparation. I think oftentimes, people are tuning in watching, but they don’t realize all the work that you’re putting in before the actual camera clicks on. So, can you walk us through just the very regimented routine that leads to the seven hours of commercial-free football, if you would, please?

Scott Hanson: Yeah, sure. So, most of your audience is probably familiar with NFL RedZone that it is seven hours of commercial-free football, all ad-libbed. The first two minutes of the show, I actually type into the computer and have a teleprompter just to say, here’s what I want to say to set up the day. But as soon as the first kickoff happens, we’re off and running and we’re just reacting to whatever the football games present.

On an average NFL Sunday on NFL RedZone, I have 11, 12, 13 games with which to choose to, we’re going to take you to Dallas. Let’s go to Atlanta. Let’s go to Seattle. Wherever the action is hottest, we take you there, and then we just get a result of they scored a touchdown, they kicked a field goal, they had a turnover, whatever, and then bounced to the next game. So, it is an extraordinary amount of preparation for me to host the show well and for me to serve the audience. And I hope we get a chance to talk about that because I ultimately don’t look at myself so much as just a TV host, but I’m there to serve the audience. And we maybe talk more about that later.

But I prepare, like, every one of those games is going to be the 35, 31 walk-off touchdown, jaw dropping moment at the end of the game, controversy, drama, action. Some of those are going to be, they’ll end up being 42 to 7 blowouts. And we’re like, okay, that game was over at halftime and you don’t see it more, but I can’t tell you which one’s going to be like that. So, I prepare all 11, 12, or 13. So, for seven hours of ad-libbed hosting, I must do– I’ve never counted the hours, but it’s dozens, dozens of hours each and every week. Much like NFL football players practice for 40, 80 hours during the week, film study, practice, nutrition, weightlifting, rehab, and recovery, everything to play a three-hour football game on Sunday.

And I didn’t know you were going to ask me this, but I happened to pull out of my notes. These were my notes from week 18 of last year. And I don’t know if you’re going to look at this, but that’s just the cover page. I read hundreds and hundreds of pages of material starting on Sunday. Let’s just say this was the middle of the season. I come home from NFL RedZone. I go right over here to my couch on my right-hand side here in my place in Los Angeles. I flip on Sunday Night Football to watch that game, and then I put– can I show your audience something real quick?

Brad Johnson: Yeah, do it.

Scott Hanson: So, over my right shoulder, this is my media wall over there.

Brad Johnson: Oh, my.

Scott Hanson: It’s five big screen televisions. That’s a 70-inch TV flanked by four 50-inch TVs. And on Sunday night, after RedZone, I have Sunday Night Football on NBC on the middle screen. And then I’ll put the highlight shows, the NFL network highlight show, the ESPN highlight show, anything else I can see. And I literally just bounce my eyes around and I say, “Okay, how did we do today? Did we show that?” “Yep.” “We show that?” “Yep.” “We told that story?” “Yep.” “We had that?” And keep in mind that the highlight people on NFL network, on ESPN, they have a couple hours to pick and choose and edit together what they want. We’re doing it live real time on the fly.

And so, for us to be able to have 99% of the stuff you’re going to see on Sports Center that night, we had live for 10 seconds after it happened in real time, but that doesn’t happen without preparation. So, I take dozens of websites that I go to, follow all the storylines, injuries, maybe player movement, this guy is going to be benched this week, this guy is going to start this week, whatever it is. Anything that we could think about that we might have to talk about on NFL RedZone, I’m saturating my mind with Sunday night, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and boil it down to about 20, 30 pages of notes that I’ve taken to say these are the things that I want to make sure that I’m prepared for, and then I just react.

When the game gives me an opportunity to, I’m like, you know what? I remember that story that I studied on Wednesday. Let me tell the audience that story. I remember the stat that I came across on Friday night and now, here on Sunday, it’s applicable to this game. Let me disseminate that. I look at it as, and this is true in business too, I look at it as a tool belt. Let’s say I was a contractor, and I get called to go into someone’s house, and they might not have told me what exactly the problem is. It might be plumbing, electrical. There’s a problem with the drywall, whatever it is. If I’m a good handyman and I know every tool on my belt, when I show up and the homeowner says, “Oh, it’s this,” I got it. I know what the tool for the job is because I’ve mastered what is required for any job and I have confidence to go in there and say, “I can do that. We can take care of that for you, no problem.” So, I look at all the notes that I take on 11, 12, 13 games on a Sunday as tools that I can use if and when the job requires it. Does that make sense?

Brad Johnson: Yeah, I was just thinking, Scott, there’s a lot of financial advisors out there, they’re like, I look at building a financial plan the same way. I’ve got all of these tools, investment products, insurance, asset management, fill in the blank. And they’re just trying to do their very best to solve the problem at hand. So, I love that. And by the way, the best financial advisors in the world are the most prepared. No different than you. They’re educated in their craft. Going back to your prep, even your diet, I believe you’re eating high-salt foods in the morning just because you have to go seven hours without using the restroom. Isn’t that part of your preparation? Is that true?

Scott Hanson: 100%. I think about it, Brad, I’ll be doing cardio in the gym. In early June, when NFL football is probably the farthest thing from most of the public’s mind, I’ll be doing cardio in June, going, all right, this extra 20 minutes that I’m doing after, I just put in an hour on the elliptical, this extra 20 minutes is for that six-hour of RedZone. When my stamina, I might even be failing a little bit, or my enthusiasm might be tempted to wane a little bit, no, I want to be able to bring it. And you know what? If I’m in good physical shape, I can summon the energy, the intensity, the focus to give the audience the absolute best I can in our number seven as I did in our number one, in week number 16 as I did in week number one. So, yeah, and then that also extends to diet because one of the things, I guess, I am famous for or infamous, baby, is not going to the bathroom at all during seven hours of commercial-free football, 18 Sundays a year. For now, I think my last bathroom break was like 10 years ago or something like that.

And by the way, it’s not that I couldn’t take a bathroom break. It’s that I don’t want to. My earpiece, we call it the IFB in television, but my earpiece is wireless. So, let’s say I had to go to the bathroom. They would turn off my microphone, which is fixed on my lapel. But the wireless IFB, I could still hear the games if I walked down the hallway to go use the men’s room. And I am convinced that if I walk down the hallway and just take a two-minute break for the first time in a decade, that I will hear Jim Nantz or one of the guys, one of the play-by-play guys at the stadium go, “That might be the craziest touchdown we have ever seen.” And I’m not going to expose myself to that. I am not going to be gone from my post and have something happen that is going to be monumental or consequential on that day, that season, or the history of the NFL. So, I just don’t take bathroom breaks.

And knowing that, I arrange my diet, my schedule is per by the minute. I could tell you where I’m at. You could name a time from 4:30 in the morning when I wake up here in Los Angeles until 10 a.m., when the games kick off, you could just name a minute and I could tell you, oh, I would be there doing this at this time. And as it extends the diet, the chefs at NFL network, we’ve got a wonderful commissary there at NFL network, they make me the same dense protein, salty breakfast so that I can retain water so that I don’t feel like I need to use the facilities and I can stay at my post and stay focused and fueled up through all seven hours, through the whole five months of the season.

Brad Johnson: I love that.

Scott Hanson: So, Brad, what I’m trying to tell you and the audience is, yes, I am the man with the most bladder integrity in all of national television.

Brad Johnson: I don’t think anyone will argue that. You take that very seriously. But there’s a theme here, Scott, that I love. You said it earlier. You said you look at it as I’m there to serve the audience. And you know what’s funny? Like, I’ve had a lot of financial advisors that I’ve been fortunate enough, have listened to the show over the years that I’ve done it, and they’re like, what’s your mindset going into each podcast? I’m like, honestly, it’s take the very best Scott has to give, ask the best questions that pull that out of him, and then get the hell out of the way and serve the audience. And it’s about you and it’s about them. And I’m just a conduit.

And I really hear the same thing, the same approach. And so, a lot of that goes into the prep, but once you get on the show or maybe even pre-, like right before the camera goes live, is there any sort of pre-game ritual or mindset routine that you go through where it’s like, okay, time to turn on and it’s about them, not about me? Like, how do you get in that space?

Scott Hanson: Well, I would say, yes, there is a preparation specifically week to week where I think about that, but it’s become the overarching theme of my career as a broadcaster. I spoke earlier about being a young man and desiring to become a sportscaster. When I was 15 years old and wanted to become a sportscaster, I wanted to be famous, I wanted to be rich, I wanted girls to like me because I was on TV, I wanted– did you hear what every sentence I just said started with? “I.” And it was about me. And I’m not saying this with any pride. I look back at myself like, man, I was missing the mark, I was missing. We’re all prone to selfishness. But I wanted my career because I wanted it to be all about me and my glory, my enjoyment of life.

Through the years, through maturity, through my spiritual life, I’ve learned that serving is better than to be served. And you can fulfill all sorts of dreams that you have as a 15-year-old and even new dreams that you didn’t even necessarily know the dynamic of if you focus on others first and not just, what do I get out of it? So, therefore, when I do my research for NFL RedZone, I don’t think, ooh, here’s a stat that will make me look really, really smart on TV. I think, oh, here’s a stat that the audience will go wow to, they will learn something about the game that they love, that they will be edified, informed about some team or player or circumstance in the NFL world. I think about it that way. And it’s a big shift.

I speak to college classes a lot that want prospective broadcasters. And I tell them this, I’m like, dang, if I could go back in time and talk to Scott Hanson when I was your age, college, high school, whenever, I would say make it focus on the audience. Focus on serving them. And I use an analogy like this. If you go to a restaurant and you have a great meal, you remember it. You had, oh, the food, do you remember the spaghetti the way they had, do you remember all that steak was perfect, oh, this type of thing. Well, I don’t look at myself as the diner. I don’t even look at myself as the owner or manager of the restaurant. I look at myself as the server, the waiter bringing the food. The food is prepared, right? And the food is the raw ingredients. In my case, it’s football, but it’s the raw ingredients. And I believe that this meal is going to be a meal that these folks will love and talk about and have a great night over. And I bring them, I present it to them. They enjoy it. I make sure all their needs are attended to, but I’m focused on that. I’m not focused on, oh, man, my feet are sore because I’ve been on my feet. I’m not focused– I’m like, I want you to have this experience.

And then you, as a waiter, can enjoy the meal without ever taking a bite of food. I think everyone understands the metaphor there is if you focus on the customer, if you focus on them, and you have to do that, how can you do that? Hear about them. Hear about other people. Think of the financial folks that are watching this conversation right now. The power that they have to benefit others’ lives financially, especially with people that they’re trusting their entire net worth or a good chunk of it that they’ve worked for for decades here on Earth to someone to say, hey, help me achieve my financial goals here. If you care about those people and you have the talent and the ability and you want to use the best tools that you have or the best raw ingredients for a meal to serve them, that’s a beautiful thing. And it can be a beautiful, beautiful process.

And I hope and I think that folks that watch NFL RedZone feel like I’m a friend, I’m someone that comes by, and I’m about them. I want them to have a great experience because these people, whoever is in my audience, they’re probably busting their butts Monday through Friday or Monday through Saturday. This Sunday might be the one day they get off a week from work, and they could do any number of things, and they choose to turn on my channel for seven straight hours and this is their entertainment, this is their escape, this is their enjoyment, I’m going to give them everything I got because I care about them.

And it’s a massive, massive paradigm shift from that 15-year-old Scott Hanson who thought, let me all make it about myself and say, let me make it about them. And you know what, Brad? The rewards, the benefits, the perks of being a notable sportscaster have ultimately entered into my life. And I’m thankful and I consider those blessings. But that’s not my driving force. That’s not why I do this. That’s not the perspective that I have when I’m preparing or when I’m executing my job. Sorry for the long answer there, but I really feel that’s important.

Brad Johnson: Thanks for sharing that, man.

Scott Hanson: Yeah, all the way through life applications for that.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Thanks for sharing that, man. That’s straight from the heart. That’s where the best answers come from. Are there things, like if I look at the analogies, many of the financial advisors out there, many of them are– I mean, many are on TV, many are on broadcast, radio, podcasting, some form of audio, and then many do live experiences. They’ll fill a room, speak to room, educational dinner seminars, things like that. If you said, here’s some things out of Scott Hanson’s playbook, obviously, serve the audience first, but here’s some ways I connect or I know you don’t see your audience, but what are some things over the years you’ve learned in broadcasting, like this works if I want to develop rapport with the audience or connect with people?

Scott Hanson: Yeah, my job is a little trickier than probably some of the people that are watching this because I don’t get a tremendous amount, well, like a tremendous prorated amount. I’ve got a few million people watching my show. I love mixing with fans in person, but I might speak to a thousand fans a year in person about NFL RedZone and their enjoyment and whatnot. Pound for pound, so to speak, that’s not a great cross-section of the audience because there’s so many people watching. And I’m assuming that most people watching our conversation right now do deal face to face, voice to voice, Zoom to Zoom with their clients.

But trying to establish a connection, I would say for me is this, try and know your audience as best you can. Know what the assumed knowledge is, know how they want to be served, what they gravitate towards, and try and orchestrate what I do to fulfill their needs. Everybody loves high scoring, dramatic last second games. That’s what we do on RedZone. There’s 13 of them going on right now, ladies and gentlemen. We’re going to find the two, three, five that have the fantastic finish coming at you. And we’re going to serve you those.

Beyond that, there is a certain level of assumed knowledge. You’ll never hear me say, okay, the Dallas Cowboys break the huddle. They have 11 men on offense right now. Now, everybody understands that. We’re already beyond that. What I might jump in and do and say, oh, you know what? Here’s a formation that they haven’t lined up and there’s something out of the ordinary, something that my audience might not know. But how do I determine that? Well, I have to kind of know where the knowledge level is, where the understanding is, so that I can cater my language and my presentation to fill in whatever gaps there might be while not insulting their intelligence, but adding to their experience.

And I’ll tell you this. Speaking directly to the financial managers who are watching this, I’m a college educated guy. I did well in school. I love to learn. I love to grow and learn new things. Financially, myself, there are people, when I talk to my financial advisors that they can use acronyms and terms and things, and I’m like, I don’t know what’s going on here, and I’m almost afraid to say, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, what does WWWWW mean? And have them explain it to me.

There was the line in the movie Philadelphia. You remember the Denzel and Tom Hanks movie, Philadelphia? When they have their initial meeting, when he goes into his law office, he’s like, “Okay, explain this to me, like I’m a five-year-old.” I think we need to always not be afraid to say that type of a statement. When someone who claims to have the knowledge that they have, to explain it to someone who doesn’t have it, to say, hey, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, back this up and explain it to me simply. So, I think that ties into I have to know what my audience already comes to the table knowing. And again, there’s millions of people, so it’s hard to know.

Some people– everybody understands, okay, that’s the football that’s on the ground there. And everybody understands there’s 11 guys over here and 11 guys over here and they’re trying to move the ball over here. And everybody understands the difference between a forward pass and a run. But there are some people who might not understand. When I say the term, they’re in the shotgun, they might not understand it, or that the slot is in motion or even something more esoteric, like, yeah, they’re running a cover 3 man under, or whatever the case may be.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. No, I think that’s a really good point, Scott, because the very best financial advisors that I’ve come in contact, they simplify the complex and they don’t make you feel dumb for not knowing, right? And I think that is spot on because as you know, there’s all varying levels of football knowledge. And you and I both played football. So, we probably know some of the formations or the blitzes or different things like that, that probably the average American doesn’t. So, I love that you kind of start with an audience first view, and then back into how can I serve them and how can I deliver that.

Scott Hanson: Brad, have you ever seen there is a YouTube channel? I don’t know who runs it, but there’s a YouTube channel that takes a world expert in any given field. And then they have, I want to say it’s four videos that they have. So, let’s say they have a world-class physicist and they say, explain the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission to a five-year-old, to a high school student, to a college student, to a grad student, and then to another physicist. And you can watch these videos.

Brad Johnson: That is cool.

Scott Hanson: Isn’t that cool?

Brad Johnson: Yeah.

Scott Hanson: I’m sure people know which one it is.

Brad Johnson: Let’s find the link to that channel. Let’s put it in the show notes. I love that.

Scott Hanson: And I’ll sit there and watch it, on stuff that I have no particular interest in, but I’m like, oh, you know what? It would be interesting to find out how textiles are made, like I’m a five-year old, like I’m a high school student. I might never get to the graduate level course of someone explaining it to a peer, and there’s all different topics that they bring in. It’s from science and education and sports.

Brad Johnson: Well, I think what’s cool about that, Scott, like, I love that you’ve shared your journey and you’re cool being vulnerable enough to say, when I was 15, it was all about me and I just wanted to be famous and rich. And now, you’re older and wiser, and I hope most humans go through that journey in life.

Scott Hanson: Me too.

Brad Johnson: But the very best advisors, like I find when they’re young, it is about me because it’s like, oh, I’ve got to use these acronyms and seem smart so that they think I know what I’m talking about because the confidence isn’t there yet, right? But as they become older and wiser and more seasoned, they’re like, actually, if I can help them get it and understand, which is sometimes like a fifth-grade level, oh, no one ever explained it to me that way. I get it now. Like, back to the versions of those videos, those are the best financial advisors in the world, and I’m going to assume they’re the best broadcasters in the world, too, that help people get it and actually understand it. So, I think that applies perfectly.

Okay, I’m watching the time tick here, buddy. I feel like I’m on a shortened version of NFL RedZone here. So, you’re famous for some catchphrases, octobox, the witching hour. Can you give us some of those? Just pretend like you’re back on RedZone and maybe go into broadcaster mode, but I’d love some of your famous catchphrases, but then the story behind them and how they came to be, if you don’t mind.

Scott Hanson: Yeah. So, I guess probably the three most famous catchphrases that I came up with that I’ve tried to develop and hopefully, I don’t force them. I hope people never feel like they’re forced. They all came from a heart of enthusiasm for the game. Respect for the players and the coaches and the moments that we see on the field, and from a heart of caring about the audience to say, “Hey, guys and gals, this only happens 18 times a year, that we have a full NFL Sunday. And buckle up.” Whether people have their favorite team playing on RedZone, or they have their fantasy football team active, or they wagered a couple of shekels on a game or something, like we only get so many of these. So, I know you’re enthusiastic. I want you to know that I’m enthusiastic and let’s get after it.

So, the first one that you’ll hear on the show usually is the octobox. And the octobox is just that. It’s eight televisions built within our TV. And I came up with it because it was when you go to one game, Monday Night Football, let’s say, is on ESPN in prime time, how do they almost always start the beginning of the game? You’re looking live at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, where the Baltimore Ravens will take on the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. And they show a blimp shot, right? The big pull-out view of here’s the big thing going on. So, I say, well, if we’ve got eight games kicking off at the same time, 1 o’clock Eastern, in eight different cities, how can we do a blimp shot? I said, “Well, why don’t we just divide up the screen and just say, ‘Here’s the big picture, folks.’ We got eight games going on.” So, I’ll say, “Let’s go to the octobox. Eight games going on across the National Football League, three division games in Cincinnati, in Seattle, in Detroit. Let’s kick it off, ladies and gentlemen.” And the first kickoff will happen.

And then shortly after I do the octobox, I give kind of the kickoff of the day phrase, which is the one that I just came up with, probably because I’m limited in my intellect. I just said, “Well, how can I encapsulate seven hours of commercial-free football beginning in one individual moment?” Because think about that, the average TV show is a half-hour sitcom or an hour-long drama. A football game is three hours long. We got seven hours here and we’re not taking a break. We have no commercials. So, I literally thought about it, I was like, well, why don’t you just tell it? Seven hours of commercial-free football start now.

And then me with my fairly energetic style of presentation and enthusiasm, like I said for the game, I just said, just bark it out, Hanson, “Folks, seven hours of commercial-free football start now.” And then we get after it, wherever we go to first, and people tell me they have a Pavlovian response when I growl that out and probably like 1:04, 1:05 Eastern as the games are just kicking off, they love it and they’ll sit and watch it for seven hours, a lot of them, which is almost unprecedented in television today. To be able to capture the modern TikTok audience with a seven-hour show is remarkable.

And then the last one, they don’t come in the mid-afternoon, midday for us. When the games are getting to the end of the third quarter or the beginning of the fourth quarter, I was just in my three decades of covering the National Football League, I said, it’s amazing how you look at the scores of the eight games that are going on, the nine games that are going on at the end of the third quarter, and then look at the score at the end of the game. How many of those flipped from the team that was leading in the third quarter lost the game? How many teams that were trailing by two touchdowns came back and won the game? And I was like, there’s nothing like it in sports television that not only that this happens legitimately on the field, but that we on RedZone get to show it, unveil in real time, and that every week, there will be out of the eight games we’re showing, nine games that we’re showing, there will be one, two, five, seven games where the team that was leading at this point loses the game. The team that was trailing by multiple scores wins the game. And it’s thrilling, of course, when that happens for the average audience who doesn’t have a particular horse in either race of a game. So, I’m like, we got to come up with something because this one hour, at the end of the third quarter all the way to when the last game hits the end of the fourth quarter or overtime, that hour in sports TV is incredible.

And I heard from different people on social media, there’s different people who claim they came up with it, but we dubbed it the witching hour. And we just said that because that kind of conjures up a thought of like, ooh, this is when the weird stuff happens. This is when the unexpected happens. This is when it gets really wild. And so, I call it the witching hour, when wins become losses and losses become wins. And people tell me, they literally tell me, I’ve heard from fans in Germany, I’ve heard from fans in the UK, I’ve heard from fans in South America, in Asia, down in New Zealand and Australia, that there are text threads that pop up that say, Scott just called it the witching hour, like buckle up. If you don’t do anything else all week in sports TV viewing, watch this one hour because it delivers and it always does. And it still is remarkable to me. And the fact that I’m sitting in the captain’s seat when that happens is an incredible professional thrill.

Brad Johnson: That’s awesome, man. Thanks for sharing that. And thanks for putting on announcer voice there a little bit for us too. And I know, the listeners are going to have fun with that.

Scott Hanson: Admit it, you’re going to clip those than use them, right? You’re going to clip those?

Brad Johnson: Oh, yeah. No, no, we’re going to use them for sure. They’re going in there. And what’s kind of fun as I was doing some research before this, you’ve got a lot of NFL players that have come up and said, dude, when I’ve got my bye week, like I’m turning on an NFL RedZone, I believe Tom Brady himself came up to you and was like, Scott, I won’t steal your thunder. Like, what’s the story there?

Scott Hanson: Yeah, this was a remarkable story. One of my jobs after the regular season is over because RedZone only goes during the regular season when there are multiple games going on at the same time, and the playoffs in the NFL, as you know, only have one game in this timeslot, one game in this timeslot. So, there’s no RedZone. But after the regular season is over, when the Super Bowl has been established, the matchup has been established, I fly to the site of the Super Bowl and they do a thing called opening night, which is Monday before the Super Bowl when the two teams have flown into the Super Bowl city. We kind of do think like a boxing weigh-in when they have the fighters get up on the scale before the game and they stare at each other, all this type of stuff. They bring both teams in, they do their media sessions, and then they bring the team captains out on a stage and let the fans that are in the arena that we do it in just applaud them and get excited. Hey, six days from now, the Chiefs and the Niners will be playing for the Super Bowl.

So, I’m the announcer who gets to bring out, ladies and gentlemen, from the AFC champion, Kansas City Chiefs’ team captains Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, da, da, da, da, da, and then from the NFC champion, San Francisco 49ers’ team captains. Well, it turns out the Patriots, I’ve done this probably 10 different times. The Patriots have been frequent visitors, or at least were frequent visitors to the Super Bowl opening night and they’re incredible six Super Bowl title run with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick and company. Okay, so that’s the setup.

So, one of the Super Bowls, and it was early, it was like maybe the third or probably like the fourth Super Bowl that Tom Brady had played in, I’m getting up there and I’m like from the AFC champion, New England Patriots’ team captains Tom Brady, da, da, da, da, da, all the way through. And they come up and the Vince Lombardi Trophy is there. And then they shake hands with the opposing team. They stand there for a photo op. And we throw to a commercial break. And the stage lights go dim, and then the players walk off the field.

So, I’m like, “We’ll be right back with more, Super Bowl 50, whatever, opening night.” And the stage lights go dim and they go to commercial break. So, the players are walking off. All of a sudden, I get a tap on my shoulder and I turn around and it’s Tom Brady. And he’s tall, by the way, really tall. So, I look up and I’m like, “Tom.” He’s like, “Scott, I just want to tell you, you do an awesome job on RedZone. I love it.” And I was like, “Thanks, Tom Brady. You’re good at your job too.” I’m like, what am I going to say about that? I don’t get starstruck. And Tom and I have known each other for, gosh, I mean, pretty much, when he came on the scene at the Patriots, I’ve covered his career. So, we know each other. We’re not necessarily buddies, but like him singling me out to say this about my work when he’s focused on a Super Bowl, that really hit me a certain way.

And he is a football junkie. He tells me all the time, he’s retired now, of course, but when he was playing on Thursday night, on Sunday, he’d be watching RedZone. When he was playing on Monday night, on Sunday, he’d be watching RedZone. During the bye week, he’d be watching RedZone. That’s the way he loves to do it. And I was like, “Wow,” that’s really awesome when the folks that you’re working, they’re giving us the raw materials to be able to make this show that the fans love when they love to consume it too.

And I’ve heard from Josh Allen, currently is one of the highest profile guys that tells me he loves RedZone. Jared Goff, I just bumped into him about a month ago. He tells me he loves RedZone. When these guys aren’t playing on Sunday, that’s the way they choose to consume the NFL. And that’s pretty cool. And then I’ve heard from people in Hollywood and music and politics and everything else that watch NFL RedZone, it’s kind of become part of the zeitgeist of American sports.

Brad Johnson: So, all right, we’re just west of Kansas City. I think you knew that about Triad, but any fun Patrick Mahomes’ stories, just selfishly for me?

Scott Hanson: Yeah. Okay, well, as I told you, I got to introduce the team captains and then I did an interview on Monday before the Niners-Chiefs Super Bowl, I had this interview live in front of 10,000 fans that were in the arena that we did it in, in Las Vegas, and then, of course, millions or however many were watching on national TV. But when we were waiting to get our cue, we were in commercial break, it was me, Brock Purdy, and Patrick Mahomes. And the three of us were just kind of sitting there. And Mahomes and Purdy are talking. I don’t know if they had ever even met before. But they’re talking. And Mahomes asked him, asked Purdy, and we know his story, the last pick in the draft. He’s making the league minimum in his salary. And here he is, he’s going to start in a Super Bowl against the face of the NFL and Patrick Mahomes and the highest paid player in the NFL and Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes is asking him, “Yeah, so what do you do in the offseason? Do you like golf?” Mahomes asked Purdy, and Purdy’s like, “Yeah, I like the golf and whatnot.” He’s like, “Oh, we have to play sometime or something.”

And then I’m kind of standing there and I’m like, “Well,” and I turn to Purdy and I go, “You know, he’s got a golf course on his house, on his grounds.” And I’m not saying he lives on a golf course. He has a three-hole par 3 course, I believe, on the grounds of his house in the Kansas City area. And Purdy, the last pick in the draft, still a young man and whatnot, and that’s kind of what led to this. And then we were thinking, yeah, these guys come from a different place there, but it was all very respectful. And then actually, right after that, they’re not equals when it comes to finances, not in terms of their compensation. Of course, Mahomes has been doing it for a long time. Purdy might end up being a $100 million quarterback, we’ll see.

But we found a little more common ground because we talk about our faith a little bit. Brock Purdy is an outspoken Christian. I’m a Christian, and Mahomes is a Christian. And we just had a little moment before our interview on TV began about our faith and just how none of this in that moment, this meant the Super Bowl hoopla that we were all going into for a week is overwhelming because we believe in a bigger God that has a bigger picture than even the greatest sports and entertainment spectacle in the United States can deliver. And that was a cool moment as well. So, those are a couple of modern Patrick Mahomes’ stories. I could tell you some more, but we probably got to move on.

Brad Johnson: Yeah. Well, we’re almost out of time. Well, there is one team I want you to tell me about before we wrap this. It’s a little-known team. In fact, most watching or listening in probably have never heard of them before. It’s a team that goes by the name the Iron Bladders. Can you tell me about that?

Scott Hanson: Oh, God, I thought you might be going there. The Iron Bladders, my favorite football team. That’s my fantasy football team. And the Iron Bladders, of course, because I do not go to the bathroom for the entire seven hours. And the bladders were tough. We’re tough. Let me put it this way. Imagine there was a stock market fantasy league. If you played it against your buddies, Brad, you’d be expected to do really, really well. You’re sure in and you’re out.

Brad Johnson: For sure.

Scott Hanson: So, I play fantasy football. I’m in two leagues and my competitors, I’m expected to do very, very well with all of the information in the world in which that I have access to and the world in which I live. And the bladders were good. We are good. We are good. We’re going through a little championship drought here, but our competitors earn it. And you got to tip your cap sometimes. But when people ask who my favorite team is because people watch RedZone and they say, “Oh, you love the Dallas Cowboys because I can tell when Dak Prescott throws a touchdown to CeeDee Lamb, you’re extra excited about it.” And I’m like, “No, I’m excited about it because they made a great play.” I do not have a favorite NFL team. My favorite football team is indeed the Iron Bladders.

Brad Johnson: I love it. I love it. Well, my man, as we wrap, this has been fun. I knew it would be. So, thank you so much for grabbing some time with me. My final question as we were kind of talking before we took this live, at Triad, I mean, you’ve experienced, you’ve had a chance to come out and hang with this for a while and definitely contributed to that experience. And we’re all about doing business and doing life and the pursuit of leveling up on both of those. So, I’m just curious to hear Scott Hanson’s definition of what does Do Business. Do Life mean to you?

Scott Hanson: That’s a big question. I would say, no man is an island. We are all connected in ways that might be immediate in our lives or connected being a member of the 7 billion members of humanity, and we are all on this planet at the same point in history. So, we’re all doing life. It depends on how you do it. And I love to strive for excellence in all I do and try and find ways to serve and benefit others’ lives. I want to be a there-you-are guy, not a here-I-am guy. And I know that might sound unethical coming from a guy who makes his living, talking and looking on TV to millions of people who can’t directly respond to me, but I promise you that is my mindset that I try to go into, in my business, sports television. And I think that betters my life. I hope it betters my colleague’s life with whom I work, my audience’s life who consume the product that I and our staff are putting out, and the people that I deal with on a day-to-day basis after making the money that I make in business to be able to go out into the world of non-sports television and be a contributing member of society.

So, I would say focusing on others, it enriches your life in ways that is amazing. Not that that’s the end or not that that’s the driving force for it, but don’t be afraid of it because the world will tell you, get yours, do you. And I’m telling you, God’s economy is flipped on its head. He who is first will be last, and he who is last will be first.

Brad Johnson: And just what I was thinking as you were sharing that, Scott, by doing that, it served your business because it’s really clear to see that you truly do embody serving others on the show, and you’re just that conduit. And so, by doing that, in life, it’s served you well in business. So, I think that’s so true. Well, my man, thank you.

Scott Hanson: It’s taken years for the stubborn mule to get this in his head. Trust me. Trust me. It’s taken years of maturity. And today, I’m not where I’ll be at in a month from now or a year from now in terms of that maturation process. I hope to go through it throughout my life till my final breath.

Brad Johnson: Same. And I love to surround myself with people that think that way.

Scott Hanson: Yes, sir. And that’s why I’m glad to have met you, met Shawn, be a part of Triad, and be on the show here today.

Brad Johnson: All right, my man, well, I’ll let you run. I know you’ve got a full day, but I look forward to the next time our paths cross in person.

Scott Hanson: 100%. Have a great day, Brad. Thanks for having me on.

Brad Johnson: See you, Scott.

Disclosure

These conversations are intended to provide financial advisors with ideas, strategies, concepts and tools that could be incorporated into the advisory practice, advisors are responsible for ensuring implementation of anything discussed is in accordance with any and all regulatory and compliance responsibilities and obligations.

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