There’s likely no one alive who’s witnessed more sports in North Texas than Norm Hitzges. He’s worked in sports media here since the early 1970s – including a stint at KERA. He’s broadcast games for the Rangers, Mavericks and Sidekicks. And since 1986, he’s had a daily radio show – the last two decades on The Ticket. So who better to wax poetic about the history of one of America’s great sports towns? He does just that in the Frame of Mind documentary “Norm Hitzges: An Opinionated History of Dallas Sport,” which airs Thursday night at 10 on KERA- TV.
This morning I swung by The Ticket’s studios next door to the American Airlines Center to talk with him about his nearly 50 years in the business.
Norm Hitzges on …
… if he’s ever at a loss for what to say about a game:
“God, yes – loads of times. And at that point, I’ll just say, ‘I really didn’t have many thoughts about that.’ I think it is very disingenuous of sports talk show hosts to have an opinion about everything and think they have to have an opinion about everything.”
… if it’s easier in his job if the local teams are winning or losing:
“Yes and yes. It’s when teams are mediocre that your audience gets mediocre. When the Cowboys are winning, the city’s on a roll, when they’re losing, the city’s on fire.”
… his dream of being an NFL kicker:
“There was something about kicker that in a given moment of a football game – or sometimes two or three football games a year – the entire world will focus on one person. A 100,000 seat college stadium. Everybody on the sidelines of both teams. The entire television audience. It will come down to one player. Now you can say, ‘Well, that’s often the quarterback,’ and I agree. But in that final play, the quarterback’s not even on the field, unless he’s holding the ball. It will come down to that one person winning or losing, and something about that always appealed to me.”