Long before he was calling New York Mets games with Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez on SNY, Gary Cohen’s broadcast partner was George Stephanopoulos.
That’s right, apparently the New York Mets TV voice and one of ABC’s lead political commentators used to share a broadcast booth in college. Cohen recently joined an episode of The Adam Schein Podcast, where the SiriusXM Radio host inquired about Stephanopoulos the sports broadcaster.
“As a broadcaster he was as quiet a person as I had ever met,” Cohen told Schein. “I never heard George say five words off the air…I would say that he was very much a work in progress at that point and I would have had no concept of him becoming the shrewd political operative/media titan that he eventually became.”
Apparently, Cohen and Stephanopoulos called soccer games together while both majoring in political science at Columbia University. So while Fordham University famously boasted future New York Yankees play-by-play announcer Michael Kay and the voice of the NBA in Mike Breen, Cohen and Stephanopoulos were five miles away talking sports at Columbia.
Cohen parlayed that soccer experience into being the voice of the Mets, while Stephanopoulos used his political science degree to work for the Clinton administration before embarking on a long media career of his own.
“Very much a work in progress” is a great descriptor for any college sportscaster, so that certainly isn’t a criticism of Stephanopoulos. But until listening to Schein’s podcast, I somehow previously missed this nugget that Cohen and Stephanopoulos were once a sports broadcasting duo and now I need the tapes.