Approach Shots – Steve Goldstein: From the Stanley Cup to the US Open
(August 20, 2018) FLUSHING MEADOW – Most people know him as the television and radio host of the Florida Panthers NHL hockey team. He’s covered the Stanley Cup playoffs and Finals as well as Olympic hockey. He’s a news and sports anchor. He has also made his way into the tennis world by covering events for the USTA, ESPN and the Tennis Channel.
Tennis Panorama News had a chance to talk to Mr. Goldstein about covering hockey versus covering tennis.
Tennis Panorama: How did you get into this business?
Steve Goldstein: In sportscasting, in sports media – it sounds corny, but when I was a kid, 8 or 9 years old, I used to turn down the TV and announce whatever was on. So, it was a dream to always do it. Somehow, it was a lot of luck, the right time, right place. It’s worked out. That’s how I got into it.
TPN: Calling hockey is very different from tennis. What are the things that make it different? What are the things that make it similar and how do you transition between the two sports?
SG: Similarities are the names. Cause they are worldwide sports – especially with the Russians and the Czechs. There are a lot of those types of players – that I understand from the pronunciation standpoint. That’s a big part of the sport and you want to get those names right. Accuracy is a big factor.
So that’s how they’re similar, and that’s the only way they’re similar – because in hockey you’ve got to be able to very quickly decide, you can’t say everything, because the game is going at 35 miles an hour. These guys are basically holding weapons with sticks. So, you’ve got to disseminate in your mind, what not to say. Whereas in tennis, the average tennis fan I think is probably the most savvy fan of any sport in my opinion watching the broadcasts. So, I don’t think you need to tell the tennis fan a lot of the obvious things and you have to know when to be quiet and let them just enjoy the match and the drama of the match. Especially when you are in a final set, a tiebreak or a championship-type situation.
TPN: In terms of learning to cover tennis, do you have any favorites, in terms of tennis broadcasting?
SG: Yes, that’s a great question. Over the last 15 months, probably, I have watched more tennis, I’m betting, than anybody else. I’m including the coaches that break down the film on the opponents. I’m watching a ton of tennis. I really became a very big fan, and part of it was the versatility of Patrick McEnroe. The fact that he does the play-by-play job at times and is also an analyst. Obviously, he is very knowledgeable about the game. He’s able to interact when he’s doing play-by-play with the analyst, when I know he probably or definitely knows the answer that the analyst is going to give. So, to me, that’s pretty that impressive that he’s been able to do that.
Justin Gimelstob -I like him a lot. John McEnroe – doesn’t hold back. Doesn’t care what anybody thinks, which is great, and you get the honest opinion. But really, I can go on and on from the Tennis Channel to ESPN, NBC. I have a lot of respect for all these men and women that do it because, I’ve watched a lot of it with a different ear, then just watching the match, see who wins and loses – and they really do a tremendous job and are very, very knowledgeable.
TPN: Are you just doing qualies?
SG: No, I will be here all three weeks in Queens, almost back home – I’m from Brooklyn. It’s great. Not going back to Florida until September 10th.
Follow Steve Goldstein on Twitter at https://twitter.com/goldieonice
Goldstein has a foundation called Goldie’s Gang which helps South Florida’s kids by granting funds to individuals, organizations, teams, leagues, and educational initiatives. The motivation behind Goldie’s Gang is giving kids special experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Karen Pestaina is covering the US Open for Tennis Panorama News where she is the Editor-in-Chief. She’s an award-winning freelance broadcast news journalist in the New York City market and a tennis freelancer whose work has been seen on various tennis sites and publications including the New York Times and Tennis.com. She first became a tennis fan when as a young child she saw Guillermo Vilas beat Jimmy Connors for the 1977 US Open title.