Rob Parker Column

Jaylen CarrSports Editor

During Homecoming week here on campus, Southern alum Rob Parker came back home to give encouraging words to students, athletes, faculty and staff.  

 “From Print to Podcast: Rob Parker ‘86” was an event that was held in the ballroom at the Adanti Student Center on Oct. 14, 2022. The event opened  with a video that told Rob Parker’s life story.  

He provided great advice that I will take to my future career in sports broadcasting. One piece of advice he gave was not to be afraid to fail. Growing up I was always afraid to fail and afraid of not living up to people’s expectations, but Parker’s advice resonated with me, and it changed my perspective.  

Another piece of advice of his that resonated with me was to be versatile. Knowing how to do multiple things will lead to more job opportunities. Parker was a sports columnist in Detroit, which is a major sports city. That is something I want to do once I graduate from the university. Then he was a sports anchor and contributor.  

Making your own way was another piece of advice that Parker gave me and the audience. His last advice he told  us was to work hard. Having a blue-collar mindset will get you so far in life, especially in journalism, according to Parker.  

Parker grew up in Queens, New York and had multiple jobs from sports columnist to TV anchor. He is one of my favorite sports journalists because he is well-rounded in every sport.  

Parker has always been one for a hot take which makes him stand out from his peers. One of my favorite hot takes from Parker was when he was on the widely renowned show on Fox Sports, called “Undisputed.” 

He had a tremendous debate with Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless back in Oct. 2016 about former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Farve who at that time was going to be inducted into the Packers Ring of Honor.  

They discussed where Farve should be ranked among the other great NFL quarterbacks of all time. Parker argued that Farve was a top ten quarterback of all time, but he cannot be in the top five because he threw so many interceptions.  

Bayless responded by saying Farve is a top five all time quarterback which sparked Parker and Sharpe to dispute that claim. This episode  was not only informative and fascinating to watch but it also brought some entertainment.  

Parker took a hilarious jab at Farve by saying, “When he comes out for the ceremony, they should allow him to throw an interception.” 

Another hot take of Parker’s I enjoy listening to it when he calls quarterback Tom Brady, the “LOAT” or the “luckiest of all time” instead of the “GOAT,” the “greatest of all time.” Parker always brings up the fact that Brady got lucky by barely winning his early Super Bowls by a thin margin.  

Seeing someone that graduated from the university with a degree in journalism and achieving things that I want to achieve is inspiring and motivating.  

Also, seeing a man of color be successful in journalism and know so much about baseball is inspiring because there are not many African Americans that try to get to know about the sport. Parker is trying to change that which I love.  

Parker has made it a priority to highlight Black and Brown major leaguers which inspires me to continue to cover baseball.  

This event was amazing to attend because Parker provided advice and mentorship on those like me that want to be journalists which will resonate with me forever.  

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