Noah Eagle is one of the fastest-rising play-by-play broadcasters in sports media, but the 25-year-old often faces criticism that he gets more opportunities than others because of the fame and success of his father, Ian Eagle of CBS.
In an interview on the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast, the elder Eagle explained why it’s “fair game” to explore Noah’s path in the industry so long as people are reasonable about exactly why the son of a broadcaster might have advantages.
“I understand why that becomes a storyline. I get it,” Eagle said. “I’m not naive.”
But Eagle said in the case of Noah’s first job doing radio play-by-play for the Los Angeles Clippers, his son earned the opportunity thanks to a recommendation from the director of Syracuse’s famed sports journalism program.
And when it comes to why Noah might have been ready for bigger jobs such as Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC, Eagle explained that it’s hard to replace the experience of growing up in the space:
“The one part of the equation that is hard for some people within the business and certainly people outside the business to understand is the amount of insight they gained just by osmosis being around it. Literally being in my office watching me prepare or sitting next to me next to a broadcast, watching me interact with an analyst or a producer. Or a production meeting when they’re (a teenager).
“That part of it, which is a huge aspect of it in my mind, are you comfortable and do you have command, that comes from years and years of being around it, and seeing it, and understanding it at a level that some are trying to get to because of experience…
“But the one part that you can replace and simulate is actually being there … And that’s something that he benefited from just because he was around it.”
Then Eagle called out anonymous folks and, effectively, the haters who want to critique his son unfairly.
“I understand that people might jump to conclusions, and I get it,” Eagle said. “I think it’s all fair game. The world that we’re in now. At the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow and it’s just you and your thoughts, you know how things work. SO if you allow things like that to bother you or get in the way or make you angry and perturbed, it’s not productive.
“If someone wants to have a conversation about it, a real conversation, then I’m more than happy to. If it’s just a tweet here or a posting there or a blog there, I understand. It’s all fair game.”
Credit to Eagle for addressing it head-on. Some may point out that the money and influence Eagle has gave Noah an advantage to get into a school like Syracuse over others in the first place. Or that the Eagle name carries weight that draws attention to Noah from producers and executives. Or that in the case of a job like joining the YES Network Brooklyn Nets broadcast, being the son of the primary play-by-play man goes a long way.
That all could be true.
But unlike many other fields, Noah’s job is incredibly public. If he was bad at calling games, we would all know it. And fans would certainly let him hear it.