Justin Biegel is a sports reporter and anchor for NBC Nebraska (KSNB). A Baltimore native, Justin attended Elon University and graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism in May 2016. He’s a die-hard D.C. sports fan, except when it comes to the Orioles.
Earlier this month I celebrated eight months at my TV station. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost a year since I graduated college and moved to the Midwest to begin my career as a sports journalist in Central Nebraska.
There’s one thing that hails king in this state – the Huskers. Without a professional football, baseball, basketball or hockey team, these people – quite literally – eat, sleep and breathe their University of Nebraska athletics.
Unfortunately, I don’t get to cover the Huskers. My station is located about 90 miles west of Lincoln. But we do have a sister station in the Capital City who is kind enough to feed us everything Huskers – daily pressers, game highlights, special reports, etc.
As a guy who grew up watching my local sports reporters cover two professional teams and a major D1 university, it was hard accepting the fact that I wouldn’t be doing the same thing in my first job.
But now I’ve realized this: it’s OKAY!
Instead, I cover two smaller colleges – one D2, the other NAIA. I get to stand on the sideline/baseline without security telling me to back up. I’m able to get up close and personal in huddles for cool cutaways and close up shots. The access is unbelievable.
On top of that, all the coaches and I are on a first name basis and they’re more than grateful every time I show up for a practice or game – something I NEVER experienced in college.
And then there are all the local high schools. Like the colleges, I’ve built strong relationships with a number of the coaches. As for the athletes themselves, they never fail to show off for the camera.
It’s very much a small town feel with deep tie to the local sports. It took me a while to understand it. Now, I embrace it.
Like all sports journalists, I do have aspirations to move up and cover events like the Super Bowl and Olympic games in the future. But I look forward to continuing to strengthen my relationships within the community and grow so I’m prepared for that second job.