A year in the life of Kathryn Tappen
I never thought that I would be on a plane every four days.
I’m the girl who dreads going to the airport, taking my shoes off at security, sitting next to someone I don’t know for an extended period of time, and taking off with the scary thought that I might never land.
But when the NHL Network recruited me in June 2011 after the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup, nothing other than the words “national TV job covering the sport you love” seemed to matter.
My world changed with a career move to the NHL Network. I live in Boston and, prior to making the change, I would commute anywhere from 3 minutes to the TD Garden, to 45 minutes to Foxboro to cover the New England Patriots. Life was simple. Now, I cross International borders to broadcast every night during the NHL season.
And I wouldn’t change a thing.
I leave Boston during the week for our NHL Network studios in Toronto. I broadcast “NHL Tonight” on the network and return home for two to three days a week. On my days off, I must see my husband, cram in laundry, cleaning, working out, and seeing friends in a matter of 48 to 72 hours.
Then it’s back to work to broadcast all over again. My nightly “NHL Tonight” schedule has me getting to the studios at 6pm for a 10pm show. We broadcast from 10pm until usually 2am, when the final West Coast NHL game is complete.
I feel like a vampire sometimes, but it’s the way the sports business goes.
I’ve had the opportunity to go on location for the NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the All Star Game, the GM Meetings in Boca Raton, Florida (that alone makes the gig worth the international commute!), the Stanley Cup Finals, the NHL Awards in Las Vegas, and the NHL Draft.
I’ve seen cities I never knew I would see. I’ve met some of the greatest people in sports. I’ve had the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and talent to be a broadcaster I never knew I could be, and despite what people think, I haven’t used a teleprompter in 6 years and I probably never will again.
I made a major career move that affected both my personal and professional life just one year ago. It presented many challenges, life changes, and major packing organizational skills.
But I did it!
And through it all I had the support of my loving husband, my family, and my close friends.
Life offers you great things. Making the decision can be a daunting task. But living with the decision can be a remarkable adventure.
I’m excited for my “sophomore” season at the NHL Network, and even more excited to be a new addition to “She’s Game Sports”.
Alice Cook has been a longtime friend of mine. She is one of the women I most admire in our business. She gave me advice in 2005 in my first year broadcasting local sports and it has stayed with me my entire career.
I am honored and elated to be a part of She’s Game Sports. Finally, someone has discovered a niche for the “gals” who love their teams.
So sit back, enjoy the journey, and buckle up because what we’re about to embark on is something pretty darn awesome.