SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Like many professional athletes, former NFL players Scott Mitchell and Jason Buck now report on games rather than play in them. What sets them apart though, is the way that they are covering the game in Utah for KSL-TV and 103.5 The Arrow. Mitchell, who played quarterback for 12 seasons, and Buck, who was a defensive lineman for seven, now travel to corners of Utah not typically covered by local media to shine the spotlight on high school football as it intersects with the lives of community members.
Game Night Live on KSL
For their new Game Night Live program, Mitchell and Buck live stream a high school football game in the KSL-TV app every Friday night, and in the process, they also broadcast the spirit of communities around the state.
Connecting With The Community
At every game they cover, they recognize members of the community who have made a positive impact on the lives around them with the Roseman University Spirit Award and an autographed football. One evening saw them celebrating the Fails family in Beaver. Shanna Fails, wife of Beaver High principal Brady Fails donated a kidney to her son, Payson, himself a former player for the Beaver High football team. The two imposing figures of Mitchell and Buck were on hand to share the recognition of a mother’s sacrifice for her son, something that might not usually make it into the reporting on a football game.
“What it means to me is an opportunity to celebrate the great and wonderful things about our communities,” Mitchell said. “Sports, especially football, has the ability to bring together so many diversified groups of people and celebrate the things that happen in our communities. These communities take pride in where they’re from and who they are. [Game Night Live] gives them a chance to celebrate that.”
Mitchell also commented on the different approach to broadcasting a high school football game. He explained that the people who are invested in the teams will most likely be at the game, so they have the chance to watch the action, see a different angle by watching the live stream in the KSL-TV mobile app, and then they can go back for the play by play afterward.
Mitchell and Buck also instituted a tradition to promote good sportsmanship and positive competition between opposing schools by presiding over a dance-off before each game. Mitchell and Buck walk the walk of friendly competition themselves in a recurring podcast, Rivals, which includes their perspectives from their days playing forsworn university rivals the University of Utah and Brigham Young University.
Utah high school football now has a new tradition with KSL’s Game Night Live, one that gives the people who support their high school teams and their communities a reason to cheer.