Tracks To Success

Charles Davis

May 11, 2020 Kraig Kann Season 1 Episode 7
Tracks To Success
Charles Davis
Show Notes Transcript

If you like football and you are hooked on both the NFL and the college game, you’ll enjoy an inside story on one of the game’s top broadcast personalities.

Host Kraig Kann goes in depth with new CBS Sports NFL analyst Charles Davis. 

Davis, who also breaks down the game for NFL Network and is the co-host of EA Sports popular Madden NFL Football, shares details of his most recent career change from FOX to CBS and his unique journey to the NFL booth.  

Don’t miss this one!  One of sports broadcasting’s most likable and well respected figures, Davis gives listeners the X’s and O’s of his professional and life story.  A highly entertaining edition of Tracks To Success! 

1 (4s):
Welcome to tracks to success brought to you by presentation partners. This is the podcast that brings you inspiring people, and they're inspiring stories. How did they find their way to the top and how can their path help you do the same? Here's your host network, broadcaster, executive and entrepreneur. Craig can

0 (25s):

2 (29s):
Now on this edition of tracks to success, you'll hear from one of the top sports television analysts in the business, a onetime division, one athlete who has found his way to the NFL in three different ways, and is now a familiar voice and face in living rooms across the country. He was once a mainstay in the defensive backfield for the Tennessee volunteers. His opportunity in the NFL was cut short, but that's where his impressive journey began. A former assistant athletic director, a director at the U S Olympic training center. The first African American tournament director on the PGA tour and into a television career that began with the golf channel and escalated quickly to an eventual seat.

2 (1m 17s):
As the lead analyst at the BCS college football national championship game, he became a mainstay at Fox calling the NFLs biggest games, and now it's a whole new team and a whole new network that he'll call home. So how does a career in college administration lead to calling the Superbowl? And what's his tie to the video game industry? His name is Charles Davis, his inspiring story. And this addition of tracks to success starts now.

3 (1m 57s):
Well, Charles, this is a thrill, a really good opportunity to chat with a good friend, a guy I respect so much, and I'm excited to dig into your success story, which we're going to do here during this podcast. So thanks very much for spending some time.

4 (2m 11s):
Well, thanks for having me. The respect obviously works both ways, and this is a thrill to spend this time with you, Craig. Thanks for having me on,

3 (2m 19s):
Well, this is a fun because we've got breaking news. Okay. Let's start with the Charles Davis breaking news. God loves social media. Don't ya? I mean, you must love what recently happened when they just burst the bubble and put it all out there. Tell us about it.

4 (2m 37s):
Well, I'd say that one of the things about that breaking news and social media is that sometimes it brings things to a head doesn't it, some of that plenty of things you don't want out there, sometimes it just forces the hand or what have you. But in this case it was the culmination of what was going on anyway. And then there was breaking news that I was possibly leaving Fox sports and going to, to CBS sports, to go and be part of their NFL coverage. And it wasn't official, but it was pretty, pretty spot on. And that helped culminate things one way or the other. And, and yeah, I'm very excited about the possible, but not the possibility, the opportunity to go to CBS sports now and, and, and continue my career as this is pretty cool.

4 (3m 23s):
So let's talk about the details what's being reported is you're going to go be the number two guy on the team with an Eagle and how accurate is all that that is accurate. That is definitely accurate. And, and I don't want to, you know, I'm not gonna elaborate too much just because I don't want to take up too much time, but there was an opening there with the number two team. There was interest there from CBS sports. Obviously the interest was reciprocated by me is, is really a flattering and an honor and a privilege obviously to have that chance. And I love my time at Fox sports. Believe me, I love being there being with, with Kevin Berkhart and, and, and that team, which was phenomenal, a great run, but things just worked out and, you know, I don't need to give a ton of details about, but things just worked out and it seemed like the best move for me was to move to CVS sports.

4 (4m 19s):
And I'm going to do that and not look back still at the NFL network, too. Right. You're going to still be able to do that. Yeah. My, my understanding is that I still have that opportunity and VFL network continues to want me to work for them. I will, I'll be happy to do so. So I just want to make sure that I understand CBS did not want to elevate you above Tony Romo. Can you, can you believe that I'm absolutely in shock personally. I mean, you know, when you pay a man $18 million, you're obviously looking for someone to replace him before he even does the next game. I love that the Tony Romo contract is one that all of us let's face. It is going to be like, if you're in a sports world and you heard the news that he was getting $18 million a year, you remember where you were when you heard that news.

4 (5m 6s):
It's one of those types of news Boltons that came out. And as I keep telling people, from my perspective on this thing, it was a perfect storm for him. He had put in fantastic work, right from the right from day one, he had done something very few people do, which is assuming number one chair in the NFL as an analyst, and be great from day one. That just, that just never happens. Right? So he blows out a wet. He's been there for a while. He's done a super bowl. He's been, he's been terrific. And now he's got two, two networks competing for him. You know, his, his work they're bidding on him. And this is where the bidding ended up. Look, we're all jealous because we all want to be Tony Romo, right?

4 (5m 47s):
It's that simple. We all want to be him. So, so let's face it as a broadcast. Are you jealous that way? But the other side of us, all you can do is sit back and applaud to him. He made it work and here he is. And he got there by being great from day one. And Craig, I think you can speak to that pretty quick. Pretty clearly having been in this business, how often do you get someone to makes that type of transition? And is that good? Right? From the bread from the first debt? No debt. That's like Alex Rodriguez, right? Doing what he did for other players with a big, huge contract. That's like tiger woods, elevating everybody else's career on the PGA tour. He helps everybody by getting that contract. But the bottom line is he's really good at what he does.

4 (6m 29s):
And now you get to go be a part of that team. So we'll get to Fox and just a second draft off of him a little bit, which is kind of cool. You do so. Alright. You just talked about two networks competing like they did for Romo, but they did for you too. So take us through that, Charles. What's that like to be in the middle of a negotiation like that? Well, it's extremely flattering first and foremost. The second part is there's a part of you that keeps thinking really that this is happening now. Let's be Frank about it. We just talked about Romo. It was nowhere light, you know, competing for Tony Romo. We all know that I'm not about to put myself in that category, but both, both sides wanted me to be a part of their networks, which is very nice.

4 (7m 15s):
And I'm appreciative from both sides for that. It just, at the end of the day, it turned out the better opportunity based on what both sides were telling me was good, was what CBS sports. And I'm very happy to have that chance and be able to join that team, get to wear that blazer with the patch on it. I have not gotten it yet, but I'm looking forward to it. The last time I wore it, I was a sideline reporter for CBS sports during the NCA basketball tournament in the early two thousands. So I've worn it before. This is, this is going to feel pretty special and indeed, to be able to have it again, that's for sure. All right. Let me ask this question. We need to clear something up because I read the reports and there was the potential that you might be doing some golf.

4 (7m 60s):
Now we're going to get into that later about your tie into golf, but is there any accuracy to that? Because if there is, I know you've got to ask CBS for some masters tickets. I mean, we gotta, we gotta make sure you get that thing covered, but could you be doing golf? We did. There's a, there's a possibility that is in there. Last time I did golf. I worked with you at golf channel. And then after that I did the first us opened at Fox sports. Did I worked on that? And so now the possibility is there it's listed. We'll see if it actually comes to fruition, that's going to be up to CBS sports more so than anything else we'll just see. But just the idea that the possibility to be there, to work on any of their golf events is really kind of cool itself.

4 (8m 45s):
And you know, as far as the master's part, a good friend told me, if you don't ask you, don't give anyone a chance to say yes, so, you know, yeah. Why wouldn't I ask for a few tickets? Hey, maybe I'll get lucky and they could actually give them to me. We'll see.

3 (8m 59s):
There you go. There you go. All right. Let's ask you about that Fox situation, because CBS is obviously an amazing opportunity. I know, you know, the reports are saying a longterm deal, five years, all that stuff, but Fox was a long run for you. What did Fox and the opportunity that you had there for many years do for your career?

4 (9m 20s):
Darn near everything. I mean, truthfully Craig, I've been writing, thank you notes to people from Fox in my past, who brought me over man, by the name of bill Brown, the deuce who pushed for me to be looked at ed Goren and David Hill ultimately decided to hire me for their BCS covers. Cause remember Fox got the BCS, but at that time, Fox didn't have college football. You know, they didn't have any of the big leagues or anything like that. So to do the BCS in a sense, we would do an entire season of no Fox football and then come VCs down, we'd orbit in and do the BCS. So it was a little bit of a different deal and how it went down.

4 (10m 2s):
But that gave me the opportunity. And the funny part is I got the phone call telling me I would be part of that after you and I had taped a show and the golf channel, I literally walked outside and got a phone call my way somewhere else. And that's when I found out I was going to be joining Fox. And that was 2006 and have been there since then. So it was a 14 year run and a tremendous run, but those are the people that, that brought me in bill Brown. You know, ed Goren one of the great legends in the business who had stone started at CBS David Hill, who had essentially started Fox sports. I mean, this is phenomenal.

4 (10m 42s):
So to look back and realize these were the people that brought me in, and then during my time there a man by the name of Jacob Oldman, who I've, you know, was there for the entirety of my run and help, help nurture my career along the way. So to be able to be a part of that and to go college and pro you know, to get opportunities, you know, look, you know, from the time David Hill left and Eric shanks took over, I still had opportunities there.

3 (11m 9s):
It meant everything. It absolutely did one final CBS thing. I mean, if you think of the history, CBS and the NFL go way back before Fox, right? Pat Summerall and Tom Brookshire, right. Remember the old days and stuff like that. And now, now you're a part of that. Yeah.

4 (11m 28s):
It's hard to believe isn't it? Because I remember it probably is going to sound blasphemous. I remember being in church and my dad putting an elbow in my side saying, man, the preacher hurries up here, we got to get home and watch it, watch the NFL today. And that was Brent Musburger, Jimmy, the Greek Irv cross, Phyllis George later, Jane Kennedy, that was appointment viewing. That was must-see television. That was Brent Musburger, opening up the show. And you'd hear that iconic voice of hear of his you're looking live. And you remember how they do that? Whip around Craig of every stadium that were there was going to be a game that day.

4 (12m 9s):
And he would tell you what was going on. And I was too young to understand it at the time. I think that, you know, I don't know, I don't know where you were in that and when you figured it out, but as we got older and then we realized, or someone clued us in, and for me, it was years down the road, but you're a member you're looking live at Lambeau field in green Bay where the gusts of wind are blowing up the 30 miles per hour left, or right. As you're seeing on the screen, the snow was coming down and he would give you the whole description. And then he go and now we're in Chicago, there's soldier be healed and it's 15 degrees, the wind chill and boys, pudding's going to be tough for the receivers. I had no idea. He was talking to the betters.

4 (12m 50s):
He was telling the gamblers what the conditions were before you got your last bed in on game day. It was one of the most, it was one of the most incredible things. When you look back on it, and if you ever watch any of the clips in the videos, he was phenomenal in doing it. Never mentioned a word gambling never mentioned bedding, Jimmy, the Greek handle that side of it for them. But when he laid that out and you went on that full whip around before you put your last bed in, you knew what the conditions were that day. And he might actually drop in whether a player, you know, where the hamstring and healed or not, or, you know, he's going to try and give it a go, but we're not sure where we're going to get to that. That would help them as well. So it was one of the coolest things ever.

4 (13m 30s):
When you look back, never mentioned it, never touched it. The lady couldn't say anything about it. And Brent Musburger would that great voice letting us know,

3 (13m 39s):
Oh yeah. As a young kid, I used to sit in my room with my own microphone going. You are looking live. I mean, everybody, everybody did that. So everyone did that. Proud of you, really great opportunity for you. We're going to, we're going to get into your whole background story here in just a moment. But as you've had time over the last few days, week, whatever, sitting around with your family during this pandemic and so forth, and the negotiation went on and then the news breaks via social media. As I said, have you ever just sat there, maybe said to your wife or your kids or whatever. Wow. I mean, seriously guys, wow. The life that I have stumbled into,

4 (14m 18s):
I love that descriptor stumbled into how fortunate are we? This is amazing. Yeah. All of that has come through. And one overarching thing too, because you've mentioned it in there, Craig, we are in the middle of a pandemic. We're in the middle of, and this isn't being Brent Musburger and extra hyperbole. This is just real. We're all fighting for our lives, right? We're all fighting to stay healthy. We're all fighting and hoping that others that we know loved ones are not affected by this. And how about the first responders out trying to help all of us putting their lives on the line with everything that's going. So here we are in the middle of all this, which is really important.

4 (14m 60s):
And this comes through. Yes. We're very happy. Yes. We're very fortunate. But you almost feel a little bit off if you know what I'm saying, right. Because this isn't what's important right now. Yes. It's important for our family. It's important for our career, but what's what going on in the world. Okay. This is fun, but let's temper it a little bit. We're not going to go running up and down the street, you know? Hey, because there's a lot else going on. We just consider ourselves extremely fortunate during this timeframe that something like this would come to fruition.

3 (15m 31s):
You just talked about the gambling aspect and the bedding. If you're a betting man, are you actually in a booth wearing the CBS blazer with the patch, this fall calling NFL football.

4 (15m 43s):
I think we're all realists about the whole thing. I think we're also optimists. I'm going to say yes, but we also understand how it's going. I mean, look, when the whole thing first started, I'll admit it. I had no idea it was going to be as big as it is, what it is. I thought maybe it might be a certain amount of time and we get right back to it because this is something we've never confronted before. So I've, I've been very, how would you say it, Craig? Very open about not holding people to how they felt in the beginning, because in the beginning we just didn't really know. Now we really know, we'll say, and look, the leagues, look, all the leagues are doing contingencies right now.

4 (16m 24s):
Do we push it? You know, I think I've heard college football now talking about doing spring of next year and then coming back and doing the fall, you know, that sort of a deal. So I think all the leagues have to be involved and have to talk about it, but I'm willing to be the optimist and say that we're going to find a way to play this fall.

3 (16m 42s):
Are you a guy who's comfortable, honestly, comfortable sharing and telling your story. Cause that's what I'm about to dig into.

4 (16m 50s):
I think I'm fairly comfortable with it. I think that I often think to myself one, why would anyone care about my story and two while I'm giving it, is it coming across the way I hope it should be? Which is just simply my story not, Hey, look at me. So, so that's kind of the only trepidation I really have about it.

3 (17m 11s):
Well, I say that because your story is actually being told so much more. I mean, if you Google Charles Davis now, not that it didn't come up before, but now so much comes up because of all the things you're doing and the profile that you now have within sports, Fox, NFL, and so many other things. So tell me this. How many times a year do you pinch yourself?

4 (17m 37s):
Ooh, that's a great one. I would tell you Craig, that five years ago, I did it more. I can't remember the last time I have, because with social media, people come to you, quote unquote, whether it's good, bad or indifferent. So I don't really go and find mine anymore. Funny story about 10 years ago, I guess it was, my daughter was with her friends and I guess she was feeling like her dad was kind of a big deal. So she Googled me. That was what was called commonly known as a mistake, came rushing back at her.

4 (18m 20s):
The girl's not suitable for home and not suitable for air. And then she found out right then and there that not everybody loves your debt. That's how it works.

3 (18m 29s):
Yeah. I don't know about that. A lot of people, a lot of people love you and they certainly respect you. It's a year round deal though. And I don't think everybody really truly understands that it's not just a slate of games in the fall. You know, where we see you on TV, calling the NFL in the fall, the winter months, whatever it might be. Do you wake up feeling year round? Oh man, I am so busy and I got to get doing this and you feel like you're never ahead.

4 (18m 58s):
Great question answers. Yes. I do feel like that all the time. And I'm sure you have the same feelings and thoughts and processes because of what you do and how you go about your business. Those are, I would guess that similar to me there's times when you have to almost force yourself to say, hold on a second. This is, I gotta relax a little bit. I can't go 24 seven on this. This is my time to retool refuel, recharge all of those things. But yes, every day I wake up thinking about how I can get better because I always feel like, you know, as my father used to tell me all the time, Hey dude, you can get replaced even when you're winning.

4 (19m 39s):
So you better make sure you get up every day, ready to go.

3 (19m 42s):
There's an expiration date for all of us. I mean, we are all replaceable. And I think people need to realize that and try to figure out how they can get better. What they can add, what their new value is, how they can update themselves, all that sort of stuff. And you've done that so well over the years, which we're going to get into, but you just mentioned your dad. So let's go back a little bit. Charles Davis, I'm telling everybody here, all of our listeners, what Charles Davis, the little kid was like, like, were you the kid that, that owned the block in your neighborhood? What was little Charles Davis? Like

4 (20m 17s):
I was part of a pretty good block. I grew up, I was born in Elizabeth and Tennessee and my parents moved to new Paltz New York when I was two. And the block I grew up in was terrific, great people, great kids, people that I'm still friends with today for the most part. And that's, you know, that's not often something you say, but it was a town of less than 3000 people. So in a lot of ways we had that little Mayberry RFD type of thing going, but we also had a college campus in the middle of town, the state of New York system, the SUNY system Newpaltz state. So you had a lot of things swirling around my little Burg, but boy was it terrific. I participated in everything.

4 (20m 58s):
I was a jock from day one. My dad was a high school teacher and coach and then coached him a junior college and division three basketball as well. So I grew up around all that and a lot of ways, my babysitters were his fields and gyms and my mother was a full participant in all of that as well. So yeah, I was that guy. I was a competitor from day one overly. So in a lot of ways, I was that kid that when my team lost, I was crying and furious. And so my parents had to get that coached out of me a little bit, but I hope I kept some of that competitive edge along the way. I was just unsportsmanlike at that age and that had to go, but that's who I was as a kid. And it really shaped me and developed me into being the jock that I am today and still working in athletics.

4 (21m 43s):
You got a weapon when you were a kid on sportsman, like conduct. Woo. Let me tell you something. My parents, I will, I will, I will give them this. The, the, the, the threat was always there. I don't ever remember my parents putting their hands on me that way, but like the old Chris rock line, you know, it never hit, but boy, they could, they could shake the heck out of me.

3 (22m 7s):
Yeah, they did. And you know what? You talk about that, like playing all the sports as a kid. And I was the same way. Remember the days, I mean, we'd be out in the middle of the street playing baseball or wiffle ball or softball, or we'd be at the local park, playing basketball and running until dark, you know, flag football, whatever it was. So there isn't that anymore. Don't you, don't you think we need that more in society, please bring it

4 (22m 34s):
Back and please bring it back fast. And it sounds to me like we had some similar upbringing, you know, the group of kids that you ran with and the whole deal. And I remember summer vacations, you would get up in the morning, go hang out with your, with your friends. And you probably wouldn't see your family until dinner, or maybe a little bit later. And it got to the point in our neighborhood where the parents got together, they all had whistles and they all had different whistle codes for your, for each individual kid. So if you heard three long ones, that meant it was Terry's parents. If you heard two short ones, it was Lisa's parents and right on down the line. So you knew when it was time to come home, but you usually didn't hear that whistle until dusk.

4 (23m 15s):
And I know that it's a different time, a different society. I understand why parents are the way they are, but I didn't read a paper about three years ago where it said crime hasn't really changed appreciably since the time you and I were kids Craig, but the reporting of the crime has, and that scared us big time as a society. And yeah, I miss that. I miss where kids go out and kind of do things on their own. Cause now it almost feels like if it's not organized, it's not going to get done.

3 (23m 42s):
Yeah. Where you legit at all sports, you said were an athlete and all that. And I know obviously you found your way to college football, which we'll get to, but like how good were you? Was football the, the sport or did you have other options?

4 (23m 56s):
I did. I did basketball. Definitely actually had some, some possibilities of being a D one basketball player, but football was the biggest thing going at one point while I was at Tennessee playing football, I joined the baseball team as well. I had a chance to play baseball and shoulder surgery ended up knocking that, knocking out that dream. But football came through the biggest, but I would have had options in three different sports if I had chose to chose, chose to pursue them. But the crazy part is in my little town, I keep coming back to it and I don't, I hope my people home take it the right way. I love Newpaltz New York. I don't want to be from anywhere else, but you don't get a lot of D one athletes traipsing through.

4 (24m 39s):
And in fact, we had never had one at my high school until I came through for football and I've taught bad. I'm going to leave it at football. All right. I was the first one in my high school to be a D one athlete. And that was 1982. So it's not like it's that type of a place. So even during that time, Craig, I wasn't sure I was a D one football player. Cause I didn't have any examples to point to.

3 (25m 1s):
Yeah. You found your way to Tennessee. I mean, you're evolve. I can see. Right. I can see why, why Tennessee, because, because that was also part of your roots or because you just wanted to wear the, the orange and white.

4 (25m 17s):
It was, it was part of my roots. My mom's from Elizabethton, which is East Tennessee. That's the one they call the TriCounty's area. Bristol Kingsport Johnson city. Steve Spurrier is from Johnson city science Hill high school, all right. Back there. So right in that area, you know, plenty of Tennessee, obviously, even though Spurrier went off and played at Florida because they actually threw the football around Tennessee was in front of the single wing at the time. My mom from there, my dad from West Virginia, we went back South every summer, but in 1973 or 74, I think it might've been 74 season opener. Conduit Holloway appeared on my screen, the quarterback at Tennessee and I was young, but even I realized, hold on a second, is that a black quarterback?

4 (26m 5s):
Cause you just didn't see black quarterbacks in 1974. It just almost was unheard of let alone at a Southern school. And he was, and they played UCLA and the season opener he played really well got hurt. Came back, ended up tying the game, 17, 17 tie. And I told my dad and my mom that day that, Hey, I'm going to go to Tennessee and play football one day. And I'm sure my dad was got a mumbled, something behind the newspaper. Okay. Whatever. And sure enough, I was lucky enough to have that opportunity later, but he was my hero, condor Holloway, their quarterback, the artful Dodgers, they called him. And the funny part is Craig. I went to Tennessee fueled by condor Holloway, but I'd never gotten to meet my hero until my college career was over.

4 (26m 50s):
Wow. Because he was playing up in Canada and you know, the Canadian schedule a summertime, they starting to separate and finish at Thanksgiving. He was always gone. I never gotten to meet him until my career was over. And then when I finally met him, I said, you're the reason I went to Tennessee. And he said, I know people have told me, I've heard this story. So that was pretty cool. And to this day, I'm able to call him a friend, which is really neat for me, but what would a story? He was going to Tennessee playing quarterback at a time. You just didn't have that. And I thought that was special. And I became a vol. I wore a number seven, which was his number, you know, around the, around the yard, playing pickup games, all that nonsense. And then I realized my dream plan at Tennessee, where he had played well, Phillip Fulmer had a pretty good African-American quarterback as well during the national title with him to Martin T Martin T Martin was good.

4 (27m 41s):
He was really good. So, all right, let, let's talk a little bit about your career and I know that in college you were good. Okay. You don't end up in the Tennessee sports hall of fame, which just happened for you last year. Congratulations, by the way on that. And I know part of that is your career and where you've gone and what you've done and who you've impacted, but you had a pretty good college career. Yeah, I was fortunate enough. I was able to a red shirted my first year at Tennessee. And that's when I found out what it was really like to be a division one player. And I remember thinking, I don't know if I'm cut out for this. I don't know if I'm good enough. Went through some bumps, went through a number of trials and tribulations that you would have at the age of 17 and thought about transferring all of those things.

4 (28m 28s):
Cause I was like, am I even good enough to be here was able to stick it out with some good encouragement from my head coach, Johnny majors and a few others and competed for a job that spring and came back and became a starter that fall and became a four year starter. So fortunate enough to have a good career, not great because great engineer, you know, you end up in the NFL or at least have a really good shot at it. I went undrafted and Craig, I went on drafted at a time. There were 12 routes. So like no luck. I went on drafted now where there's just seven. I mean, it was a 12 round draft. I had shoulder issues in college that might've contributed to it. Lack of speed, all those things.

4 (29m 10s):
But as far as playing college football, I would agree. I was a good player. Will I go down as one of the all time greats? No, but I was good enough to be a four year starter in the sec. And I'm proud of that. And then I had a cup of coffee would be a Cowboys is a tryout. And I like to say it was really decaf and probably about a splash. And I got cut and then I had to start working for a living, but at a good fun college career, one, one sec championship with my teammates in 1985, went to the sugar bowl, beat Miami and as a powerhouse Miami team and my colleague and NFL network, Michael Irvin was a starting receiver on that. So anytime Michael started chirping every now and then I'd remind him, I played on a team to beat you, Michael, that drives him crazy.

4 (29m 54s):
Did that, did that crush you to go on drafted? I mean, you were an sec guy, you had an interception that was huge. You beat Alabama, you know, come on. You were at an sec school undrafted that had to hurt. Oh it did. It did. And I'm not going to sit here and sugar coat it. I was depressed for a few days. I'd never expected to go at the top end of the draft, Craig. I really thought my sweet spot was round seven through 12. And I thought that's, you know, somewhere in that neighborhood and truthfully for ego purposes, I wanted to be drafted. I wanted to tell people I got drafted into the NFL and have an opportunity. It didn't happen and it hurt. And I kind of retreated for a while, hit out my apartment, drove home to New York, to hang out with my parents and cry on their shoulder.

4 (30m 38s):
I did all the, all those things and then had to bounce back and realize why on the college, what I'd worked for. But anyone who tells you that they just adjust easily. I don't think they're telling you the truth because my moment of truth was I went back to Tennessee to grad school and I was working in the athletic department and getting my finishing up my masters that first Saturday, that Tennessee played at home was probably the most difficult day because I'm no longer playing someone else's wearing the number I wore. Everyone's like, Oh, Hey, we're to miss you.

4 (31m 19s):
And they've already moved on. It's just natural order of things. But making that adjustment, it wasn't easy because that was part of my identity. I'd had to forge a new identity. Dallas Cowboys give you a shot. You talked about the cup of coffee. You get waived. Yeah. But there's a story there who did it. Who gave you that conversation? Tom Landry, head coach back at a time. And I'm not going to say that all coaches don't do that. Now. I think some of them still handle all the cuts and I admire them for doing it and actually understand some of those that do not just because timing all those other things. But when you get cut the head coach cut you back then.

4 (31m 60s):
And Tom Landry cut me and told me why he was cutting me. And he said, you know, we just don't think him, you know, your performance was, was satisfactory for us. We have to check this box. And he said, what are you going to do? And I said, I'm gonna go back to grad school. And he said, that's fantastic. And the funny part was after that conversation, I went out into the hallway and there was a coach who had been the friendliest coach you'd ever know from the day I'd gotten there. Hey, how you doing? What's going on? He sees me come out of that office. He turned his back and walked away and never said a word to me. And I've never forgotten that. And the reason I haven't forgotten it is, ah, now I understand what my value was to you, sir.

4 (32m 40s):
I totally get it. I thought you were being a good guy. It was just strictly, Hey, are you going to make the team or not? And once he turned his back and walked away, I've never forgotten it. And let's just add and it really rooted for him. And by the way, his career has been less than mediocre. So more power to it. So I know that sounds bitter, but it's just the way you treat people. It's got to count for something. But the last part of that story, Craig years later, I'm working at the Olympic committee and I met at an event and the guest speaker, Tom Landry. And so I was like, unbelievable. I'm telling my stoke, my, my, my, my table, the story of him cutting me. They're like, you gotta go over and talk to him. I was like, he's not gonna remember me. And finally, I went over his, Hey, coach Landry, how you doing my name's Charles Davis.

4 (33m 23s):
You're not gonna remember me, but I'm one of the, one of the many people that you cut on your way to the hall of fame. And he looked up and he smiled and he goes probably one of my mistakes. And I leaned in real close as a coach, you may have made mistakes, but this wasn't one of them.

0 (33m 38s):

1 (33m 44s):
In addition to hosting this podcast, Craig leads the Cannes advisory group focused on elevating communication for companies and individuals, company consulting and powering team and individual workshops, mind altering webinars. And Greg's inspiring keynotes for your conference or company meeting. They're all on the menu of services. Can advisory helps companies clarify their message helps professionals build and showcase their brand and helps everyone present their best selves. So if you're the leader of a team or company looking to give your employees a game changing one day experience or an individual who wants to become a speaker and presenter that gets other people talking visit Ken

1 (34m 33s):
And when you do connect, make sure to mention the tracks to success podcast, to receive a special discount on any of the can advisory services. That's can Now back to the interview,

3 (34m 51s):
Let's talk about post football because TV didn't just happen. And to me, this is the coolest part of your story is all the different little stops along the way. Now I don't minimize them by saying little stops because these are some impressive things, Stanford associate Ady. Now, what did you learn that you loved? And what did you learn that made you go do something else? After

4 (35m 18s):
What I loved was interacting with the student athletes and seeing them grow and develop. What I also learned is that in an environment like that in a place like Stanford, with all those incredible achievers, there's oftentimes where on their way to achieving, they may have forgotten that there's some people along the way that you got to treat the right way. A little bit of that, that I learned. There was also a part of me that realized, I just don't know if this office setting coming here doing this every day is really what I'm about. What I thought that was my path.

4 (35m 58s):
Frankly, my goal at the time was to be the first black athletic director in the sec. And that's what, that's where I was headed. And that's really what I had in mind. But then I was fortunate enough that I was able to change course a little bit.

3 (36m 13s):
Yeah, you changed course. You ended up at the U S Olympic training center. I mean, you could have been, come on, you could have been on that path. There's no doubt. Malcolm Turner was just at Vanderbilt. Right? We know that story. You could have been that guy. So, so why did you steer off? Because that opportunity at the Olympic training center came at you, you just couldn't say no.

4 (36m 35s):
Yeah. Couldn't couldn't say no. The person who was the executive director of the training center at the United States Olympic committee, it's a man by the name of Harvey, Schiller, dr. Harvey Schiller. And he had hired me as an intern at the Southeastern conference office when he was the commissioner there. And he called and said, Hey, Tom, for you to come, come back and work for me again. And you know, Craig, I'm guessing we, you have had mentors along the way, just like I've had. And so many people who will hear this, there's always those special ones that when they call you answer, right. You know, the old story about bear Bryant, going back to Alabama, what was, what was the answer? Well, mama called cause that's where he played college football.

4 (37m 16s):
That's why I went back to Bama from Texas a and M for me, he called and said, talk to you to come back and work for me. Yes, sir. And I was there and it still kept me on a path where if I want to be an athletic director, because running the Olympic training center was a mini athletic department, in a sense, because of all the sports you had, you had dorm life with all the athletes training there, you had the food services, the transportation, all the issues and their myriad with that, you get the idea. So it didn't knock me out at that point, but yeah. To work for him and to be mentored by him again, one of the best things that has ever happened to me, because I learned a lot more than just how to run a training center for that man.

4 (37m 59s):
And you know, when I talk with my fellow colleagues from back there every day, there's I think of him. And every day there's something that pops up that reminds me of something. He taught me along the way, that's the kind of influence he had. And I was pretty fortunate to have it twice.

3 (38m 14s):
This is where the path gets crazy. And it turns into golf, which is how you and I hooked up. You were running a PGA tour event at Disney, correct? First African American tournament director. Correct? Correct. So how in the world do you end up there and then we're going to have a lot of fun getting into the man. Charles Davis

4 (38m 36s):
Is on the golf channel. Well, I ended up there because while I worked for the Olympic committee, Reggie Williams, the former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, citizen, city of Cincinnati, Cincinnati town, Councilman whole deal of later general manager in the world league of American football. Remember that one? I do the New York New Jersey nights. Well, he ended up with a dream to build an athletic facility at Disney and bring in amateur sports and competitors and the whole deal. And you know how it works. If you bring in the young kids, it comes mom, dad, grandma, grandpa. And so Disney realizes that a value and a profit.

4 (39m 17s):
That was his dream. I met him when he came by the training center to look at some things. And then later on, he does start to think at Disney offers me a job. I take it all right, and come down there and help open Disney's wide world of sports. As it was known that that would have been 1996. I think we opened, I went there in 90. Yeah. They're 96. I think we opened in 97 or 98. So, so to be there and to be on the ground floor of that and be a part of it. And my job was what I call the poor man's Willie Lomans Greg. I was out recruiting people and recruiting sports to come in and play at Disney and am the more amateur, the better, the younger, the better, because that brought more people with each group.

4 (39m 59s):
And so it was sports fields. And you've tried to bring in football and basketball courts and tennis all bred on down the line. So Reggie was a huge influence on me as well. And my time there. And at that time, Disney ran a golf tournament, a PGA tour event, and the person who was running it ended up leaving to go work for the PGA tour. So the job was open. Well, when I was at Stanford, the golf course at Stanford came under my purview. And then, and you know, that golf course is Stanford. That thing at one point was one of the top 100 in the United States, the whole deal. It's a big, big deal out there. That's where I learned to golf, quote unquote, and learn golf operations.

4 (40m 41s):
You know, when I left, there was 36 varieties of grass and every fairway and we changed the change in the greens to Bermuda TIFF way, one, four 19. And you know, all these things I'd never known in my life. Well, this job comes up in a Disney and I scroll it and say, Hey, I've got a little bit of golf experience. I'm interested in applying for it. Well, as you might imagine, Craig, they went after every person possible who had experience, didn't get them. And then it got jammed up and they said, well, if you want to try it, and that's how I got the job, you're getting pretty far away from Stanford at that point, no doubt getting the job.

4 (41m 22s):
And that's how it worked from there. And then you and I met on another flute because I think a guest fell off of a show and they asked me to come over last minute and appear on the show. And that started my time at golf channel as well.

3 (41m 35s):
The original grey goose 19th hole, Charles Davis, come on. I mean, how many people still talk to you about that? By the way, that's one of the most enjoyable shows I ever did at golf channel loved it, loved the panel, loved to be able to do the banter and have opinion and share and you know, interview people, carve people up, all that sort of good, fun, all in good fun. But I enjoyed that. You were an original,

4 (42m 1s):
It was a blast. You remember how it was is me and Steve dooming, the big dog and God rest his soul. We lost big dog last summer, but he was also one of the original members of the big break. And do you remember how big his show that was for the golf channel back then? And he was kind of the dominant member there. He didn't win it, but he was the most memorable guy. But you asked a moment ago, you know, how many people were remembered that more people remember me for that show. And I say this without exaggeration then for what I do currently, I will get more mentions about that show and being on golf channel. And the last time I appeared, there was 2005. Then I do for my current work now NFL on Fox NFL network, all of that very quickly while I was in the middle of doing that, I was also calling college football games.

4 (42m 52s):
And I went to, I was in Lubbock, Texas, and I was on the field and pregame and one of the assistant coaches who I knew came up to me and he said, Hey man, what are you doing? Well, you just come to see the game. And I said, well, Brian, I'm calling the game. He goes, you're calling the game. Cause you do football. I said, yeah, Brian. He goes, Oh, I thought Joey did golf because of the grey goose 19 volts.

3 (43m 17s):
I still get people coming. Hey, golf channel guy, Hey watch. Every night. I'm like, watch me every night. I left there in 2011. You know?

4 (43m 27s):
And then the funny thing is when you tell them that, tell me I'm wrong here. When you tell him, well, I haven't been out since 2011. That's not true.

3 (43m 34s):
I saw you last week. That's right. That's right. Yeah, no, you can't get away from it. And you know, something, I take it as a huge compliment. You try to make an impact to try to treat people, right. You try to give the audience some value and some fun and some entertainment. I mean, it's just golf, but a, it's a huge part of who I am. It's a huge part of who you were. And you talked about the big break. Let's talk about that because you got your big break, you were talking about the football and then all of a sudden NFL network Fox, the BCS national championship game. Take us there. Let's get to the BCS national championship game. Cause all of a sudden you're popping up there, right? Yeah. And you're on Fox and this is Charles Davis doing the game.

3 (44m 17s):
I mean, we're talking the game in college football. So I need to know about nerves, the pressure you felt the stage, all that

4 (44m 25s):
Crazy. Absolutely crazy. In an, in a quick nutshell, I got the call getting that opportunity. Cause you know, along the way I'd been calling college football, you know, Turner, I did two games for Turner. You know, anytime anyone had a game, Fox sports, South sunshine network, I was trying to work. But anyway, I get the call literally after a taping of the grey goose 19th hole, I've actually driving away and get the phone call asking me if I want to be part of the BCS and the team that Fox is putting together. And that first team for us was Chris Myers on the sideline. Tom, Tom Brennaman is as the play by play guy, Barry Alvarez, the successful coach at the university of Wisconsin, the hall of fame coach and me.

4 (45m 10s):
And that's what we did. Our person in our first game was Boise state, Oklahoma with all the crazy plays at Boise state pulled off the big upset, the whole engagement. That was our first game together. And that was the first one. First time I was able to kind of hit the national scene and however people reviewed me. And what have you, you know, some like this, some thought I was horrible. The normal that you get mostly tilting towards average two, two, two, two, two bad. And a lot of that, Craig is you and I both know is if people don't know you before, they don't want the new people, they want to know where the ESPN people were. How come they're not doing it? Well, in the course of that game, you might remember at one point Boise scores and overtime and then goes for two to win it right there rather than kick the extra point and continue to plat.

4 (46m 2s):
Well, I had foreshadowed it and I said, Hey, I'm going to tell you guys, I think Boise's at the end of their rope. If they score here, I think they go for two and try and end it now. And after the ball game, cause it all came, it all happened. They went for to rent a statue of Liberty, one the ball game. I didn't predict that. I'm not that good. Okay. That's Tony Romo, right? He would've gotten that. What I did say long before it happened, I said, I think they slugged as long as they can. If they give score, they go for two because they don't want to keep slugging when Oklahoma. Well, it happens after the game, my boss, ed, Goren one of my bosses at box.

4 (46m 42s):
He pulls me aside and he goes, when I heard you tell everyone that they would go for two and not, and not continue to bless it. Oh boy, Charles just jumped out of the plant. I hope the parachute comes out. And what he was telling me was that took some, you know what? I liked that you did it, but if it hadn't come out, come down that way. I don't know that I'm sitting here talking to you right now. Correct. You know, I took a gamble, but to me it was a calculated gamble because I saw what I was seeing out there. I saw tired team would give all they had and it had made this incredible effort and here was their chance to put this thing away and they went ahead and did it.

4 (47m 22s):
And I got fortunate there. And that's how the whole thing started for me as my first game with the BCS is able to do, you know, three national championship games, a total of what, seven BCS games when you count the bowl games. And that was really what started to propel me towards where we're sitting here. Now,

3 (47m 41s):
Charles Davis is our guest on this edition of tracks to success. Tracks to success is brought to you by presentation partners, visual storytellers, passionate about connecting presenters with their audience. All right, let's go big picture. You're now one of the NFLs top GameDay personalities and voices. And yet the lights never seem to affect who you are as a person. That's one of the things I admire most about you. The next bit of ego will actually be the first. So if I was to say, Charles, what's your style in 30 seconds. Could you tell me what you believe your style is?

4 (48m 20s):
Preparation, preparation, preparation, history of the game, know the rules. Try to be nice to everyone that's out there because they're pretty nice to you. Pretty nice to me, for the most part, it just, you know, try and be, be me I guess. And you know, I appreciate what you said about ego. I've got as much ego as anyone there is out there. I just know that me putting my ego first and foremost is not going to help me along the way. I don't have enough skins up on the wall to be able to pull that off.

3 (48m 51s):
You're the voice of the Madden game too

4 (48m 56s):
Three credit from my kid first. Huh?

3 (48m 58s):
Yeah. Tell me about that. How'd that come about? And, and you must get, I mean like that's the whole different generation, right? Forget the guy in the booth, calling the, you know, number two, play off game in the NFL. He's on Madden.

4 (49m 14s):
Well, you nailed it too. You absolutely nailed it because that's what it was like at my household. My son is now 22. At the time I got the med and gig, he would have been high school, like 16, 17. All right. So when I told him that that was happening, Abe rushed up, hauled me, tears in his eyes called his boys. Also in the house is flooded with the fellows. These guys were locked in and it was, as I tell them about us, the first time I ever got street cred from my kid, he knew I had done the other things he knew I was calling NFL games, had done the BCS. That was fine, but Madden that's a whole different level.

4 (49m 55s):
The people prior to me and my partner, my partner's name is Brandon God. And Brandon does Fox sports games, big 10 network games. You know, he's, he's a riser. At one point, he was the voice of the Butler Bulldogs when they were going to the final four national championship games and basketball. So I'm lucky to be connected with him, but we replaced Jim Nance and Phil Simms. Not because they didn't like their performance, but I think that they felt like it had run its course for them. Plus they were going to a little bit of new model that would require more time, more hours, all of those things. And for guys who were kind of unknowns like me and Brandon, that fit us a lot better than it did for guys who were at top of the food chain, like a Jim Nance and a Phil Simms.

4 (50m 40s):
And that's where we took over. And we're for, we're fortunate that we're still doing it in incredible. I think we look at each other at times in the studio and go, can you believe they still haven't fired us? This is kind of cool. And you're right. A lot of what we get nowadays is wow, you're a mad and that's pretty cool. And other things aren't quite as cool to people. So we will take that and run with it and be part of the franchise at coach Madden and started and, and really put out there to where we are now hard to believe amazing what a great coach he was. And most people, you know, his legacy is his game. It's the video game. It's crazy. Now people don't go, Hey, real quick, anyone could hear us now and watch us look up, coach Madden's record as the head coach of the Oakland Raiders.

4 (51m 25s):
And I think you'll be staggered when you look at it.

3 (51m 28s):
Yeah, yeah. No doubt. Under appreciated people don't realize the commitment that you have to put in the workload. You know, you're, you're basically doing stuff for that show almost every week. What's the recipe to balance in the career that you have.

4 (51m 45s):
Ooh, great question. I think it's what we find. A lot of people tell us, right in. It's like what you do in your career. You're organized, you're efficient. You're dedicated, you're prepared when it's time to go. In other words, what I mean by that is when you either walk into a studio or you are planning to talk with someone you've done your homework ahead of time, you don't get on fool around and you know, Hey, let's okay. No, you know what you're doing? And that, to me, that's the way to stay balanced because then you've opened up your opportunities to rest when there's time to rest, because you've done your work. You've been on top of it the right way.

4 (52m 27s):
I think that's a big part of it. Sure. Of course is your family, your friends, all of that comes into it as well. But you can't enjoy your time with your family and friends. Craig, if you're not as organized as I know you are and efficient, as I know you are, it doesn't just happen. You know, that's what I tell people all the time. Plus you have to be willing to go the extra mile when people aren't around and don't see you. I know you well. And I know this to be true. If you have something that needs to be done and you have a commitment for your family, you're going to take care of the commander for the family first. But when that commitment is over and you have a flight the next morning at 6:00 AM get, you still need to knock out three things.

4 (53m 8s):
Those will get knocked out before you get on the flight the next day. But you don't go around telling people about it. You don't go, you don't get on the plane and go, Hey, you wouldn't believe tonight. I had, I had to do for that. No, you just don't because it's the job. It's the way to be successful. It's the way to get things done. And I feel like I'm pretty similar to that as you are, we're going to get it done. We're not going to, you know, go are our duties. As, as fathers, as, as, as, as you know, as people who have the, you know, you got to spend the time with the kids and you want to, you know, friends who count on you, all of that. But those other hours that people don't say, I'm going to get the job done the way you're going to get the job done, but we're not doing it to tell people that we're doing it.

4 (53m 51s):
It just has to be done that way. Don't tell people what you're going to do. Do it allow the work to speak for itself. I think that's one of, we've all hung out with people. Who've told us what they're going to do. And a lot of times it doesn't get done. So why am I going to tell you all this? You're going to know whether I get it done because there's a deadline for everything. And there's a performance curve. Yeah. Did I do it well? Did I do it to the satisfaction of the people watching, who are paying our checks? That's what, that's, what matters more than anything and that you and I both know, none of them are asking us how we got there. They just want to know when we get there. Did we do it? Well now you and I have done some giveback together on college campuses, speaking to student athletes and communication leaders.

4 (54m 37s):
We both give some time with broadcast students, which to me is so much fun at various schools, including the Dan Patrick school of sportscasting and a few others here in Orlando. But tell me about your definition. What is your definition of give back and legacy availability? Time interest is one thing to be on the end of the phone. When that youngster calls you that young man or that young woman calls you, and they're interested in doing what we do or how did we get there if they are interested? And you can always tell can't you Craig, if they're, if they're just knocking something off that they have to do, or if they truly have a passion for it, I'm willing to give whatever I can give to you.

4 (55m 22s):
Because one thing I discovered in my life, the most successful I've been, has been when I've shared, when I helped even people in kind of competition with me, because I went through a time frame of, Hey, I gotta protect myself here. You know, Hey, I can't, you know, let competition be a part of it. Hey, I gotta take care of me. I never did that. Well, but what I have found is people that I'm working with and, and people were interested. And even if we're kind of competing for the same light, so to speak, I'm better off helping them when they ask for help or guiding them if they ask for guidance.

4 (56m 4s):
And that's when I've been at my best. And that's when the better things have happened for me. And I know it sounds almost too good, right? It's almost saccharin dripping, but it's true. When I've tried to hoard things, hasn't gone quite as well for me. And I think there's a lesson in there for me, the, Hey, that's just how it's going to be. And if you're good enough, you'll get it. And if you're not, if they like someone else, they're going to like someone else, but that's kind of the way it's been for me. But my give back has always been, if you're interested here, I am to try and help you.

3 (56m 35s):
Yeah. That's a great definition of success is helping others to achieve something that maybe they think they can achieve on their own or other people have told them they can achieve. And if you're there to help become that mentor, give back a lot of people don't like to see others achieve success. I'm completely the opposite. I hope everybody that I've ever worked with reaches the top of the tree at the top of the mountain, whatever they want and whether they want the same for me or the people that I'm closest to. I can't control that. So I don't, I don't spend too much time worrying about it. That's

4 (57m 7s):
A great point. Shat shedding Freud, right? Isn't that the word, right? When you take pleasure in other people's misfortunes or, or their struggles, look, I'm not gonna sit here and act like I'm the greatest singer that's ever walked the face of the earth. I admitted it a couple seconds ago. I've been through that timeframe where I tried to have, you know, where I wanted to make sure I was taking care of who cares about anyone else. So there was some shad and Freud in there. And there's times when you still have to fight it, why should let me speak for myself? I stopped to fight it where you're like, Oh man, how come they get? What about me? But most of the time, I'm able to tamp that down pretty quickly and realize if I just do what I'm supposed to do, it's going to work out.

4 (57m 47s):
And I hope that I've helped people along the way, because I darn sure got help along the way.

3 (57m 52s):
Yeah, we all did a couple of things before I let you go. Charles, you've mentioned this on more than one occasion in our time together here, you talked about wanting to be the first African American Ady in the sec that's already happened. Okay. Somebody else,

4 (58m 8s):
David Williams, Vanderbilt university. And then after that Damon Evans at Georgia,

3 (58m 13s):
There you go. Are you a guy who wants to make that type of impact regarding race? In other words, be that for others who are African American that want to achieve similar success to what you've done is that, is that important to you?

4 (58m 29s):
It is. And, but it's not important in a way of we're going to trumpet it from the, from the, from the rooftops. People are going to discover it along the way. And I hope that that impact will help others. And people will see that. I remember a long time ago when, when I was the, I was the, you know, as we've mentioned, the first African American term of director BJ tour history, well at the Disney tournament, the second year tiger woods won it. So now we're going to have real history here, right? African-American tournament director handing the check to African American winner. I don't think that's happened before. This is unbelievable. Right? And I was mentioning it to a sports writer who happened to be African American.

4 (59m 13s):
I said, wow, that's pretty cool. Huh? And he said, yeah, he said, we're going to record it and report it. And then we'll let others discover it. And I've never forgotten it. Wasn't okay. Let's go out there and jump out there and get in everyone's face. And can you believe this is unbelievable. His low key approach to it at first kind of set me back. Craig was like, wow, this should be a big deal. But over time I've come to realize I kinda liked that. Like, yeah, it's important that way people can see that they can achieve things that may be in fields. They didn't expect to achieve you've got opportunity. But at the same time, it doesn't have to be something that I'm, you know, in everyone's face each and every day, the records there, it shows that it can be done.

4 (59m 56s):
And I take a lot of pride in that. So I'm guessing then that you're not a huge fan of the Rooney rule. Rooney rule has, so has a lot of wards to it. I like why it came about. And I liked the heart that it came from because if you know the Rooney family and I know them enough, not that they would ever like, you know, like we're not talking every day, but I like a lot of what they stand for. And they walk the walk because they helped initiate the Rooney rule. And then they hired Mike Tomblin who wasn't close to being at the top of their, you know, hiring list. He got an interview because of the Rooney rule, blew them away. And the thing about the Rooney rule preg for me is if that person walks in the door and he's got me interviewed because of the Rooney rule, but he absolutely does what Mike Tomlin does.

4 (1h 0m 45s):
It blows you away. Are you still going to consider it or are you still just checking the box and saying, well, I did the Rooney rule. I don't have to because the Rooney rule can't legislate heart. It can't legislate with what people really feel. And that's why I think that we're gonna have to continue to look at it and understand what it's all about. Because 32 people own NFL teams. That's a whole lot of money, right? Do we tell people every day how to spend their money answers? No. So at the end of the day, I would love to see more representation, but can we, by any measure, tell those people how they're going to spend their money and run their, run their franchises.

4 (1h 1m 27s):
Probably not. But the awareness is there. I think the people who are taking it seriously, we've seen them on record. We'd seen some advancements along the way, not what I would expect to see, but at the same time, I think it's a tough one to legislate saying, you're going to hire someone. Although in a lot of ways, I think a lot of people missed the boat on hiring people. I hope that makes sense. What's your next, do you have it? You're at the top of your profession right now as a broadcaster. Yeah. Yeah. My next is continue to do a good job in this. And I always have a plan B. I write down my list of goals every year. I do. I try and do it new year's Eve each year, each and every year to start with a fresh year.

4 (1h 2m 11s):
And most of the time I include a plan B lately. My plan B has been maybe going into the personnel side of the NFL, maybe trying to be a general manager. One day, I've watched some colleagues, you know, we've seen it out of our, out of our ranks. You remember Rick George running a Rick, Rick, Rick came in while he ran new Orleans first. And then he ran the at and T correct in the golf on tour. And Rick continued to advance get up. It was a, was a, was a high ranking member of the PGA tour administration. He's now the athletic director at the university of Colorado to watch Rick go through the ranks and achieve what I guess became his ultimate goal to watch a John Lynch go from broadcasting.

4 (1h 3m 3s):
And I replaced him in the boot, right, to being a GM because of his playing career and his smarts and get a team to the Superbowl. In three years, mother colleague, Mike Mayock, who was never a GM, but trained like he was going to be a GM. If you saw Mike at pro day's Craig, you could see he was a pure scout and worked his way through the ranks. So when he got the job, which was a surprise to most people with the Raiders as the GM, the Scouts applauded because Mike train like they did to them, it was like one of theirs coming out of there. That might be the next for me. I definitely have an interest in that

3 (1h 3m 41s):
This podcast is called tracks to success. Everybody's track is different. There is no straight line. I tell people that all the time I've had my career pivots, you've had yours. You could have gone on it a lot at different ways. So I'm asking you here and now, if you could identify one thing that has gotten you to where you are, right? Or given you those opportunities to make decisions, to get to where you are. What's the thing about Charles Davis that stands out,

4 (1h 4m 12s):
I would say persistence and belief. Those are the two, I'm a boil it down to two words, persistence in, as you mentioned, the pivots, which is a, which is a great word for a lot of times, for us, meaning either a failure or a block or a challenge, all of those things or whatever word you want to use that forced us to either do it differently or find a way around it or maybe make a different decision. So, persistence for me is once I got into this broadcasting, I wanted to try and get to the top belief in my abilities and my ability to work hard, et cetera. And I would do what was ever, what w what it was going to take, you know, in the bounds of doing it the right way.

4 (1h 4m 57s):
And I still believe that I still believe that persistence can wear things down in other places and get you where you want and get you an opportunity. And then the belief that you're good enough to get it done, then you'll hit it out of the park when you get a chance. So I'm just trying to give you two words on it there, but that's really what it's been for me and what I think it'll continue to be. And I wandered by and understand this is never going to be easy, and it's never going to be as simple as Oh, they told me no, I'll just keep going. There's times you retreat to your bedroom and pull this, pull the covers up over your head. Okay. And blot out all the light, which can't stay down for long. My dad calls it bottoming out at the bottom, come on, back up and let's go at it again.

4 (1h 5m 41s):
And I feel like that's kinda my personality. Cause I'll take some hits and they will hurt. But I feel like I can get back up off the canvas and start slugging again.

3 (1h 5m 50s):
You do a fantastic job. You just gave us two words. I'll give you one star might not have been the all America, but you're an all America person. And you're an all America broadcaster. I really appreciate it. I appreciate our friendship. And the time that we've spent anybody listening to this, they've taken a lot from just hear in your words. So I appreciate your time, buddy.

4 (1h 6m 13s):
Yeah. I appreciate yours and continued success to you. And thank you for the friendship, the guidance, and being able to watch you do things. And I've said it earlier, there are a lot of similarities in how we go about doing things, even though we've never discussed that, but it comes out when you look at our careers, when you look at how we get different places. And I do know in when, when it's quiet and people aren't around

2 (1h 6m 36s):
Two, three in the morning, and you're still grinding, I'm doing the same thing because we both have goals then you want to achieve. So I thank you for this time, Craig, I appreciate

0 (1h 6m 46s):

2 (1h 6m 50s):
In our conversation. Charles shared stories about the many pivots he's taken to finding his true calling, which leads me to my one last thing. If you want to be an influencer, don't allow yourself to get stuck with a one track, mind or path. It doesn't always work that way. The career ladder means chasing opportunity and not chasing money at each career landing spot. There's something to be gained and something you can add to your toolbox that makes you an attractive addition to someone else. One role might be in sales and the next in marketing and the next in leadership. But at the end of the day, those at the top never lose sight of their roots and can look back on something they learned in a prior job that makes them better and more relatable in their current role.

2 (1h 7m 38s):
So spread your wings, see what can be gained with every opportunity that might come your way. I hope these thoughts and this interview helps put you on the track to success. If you have a guest, you think belongs on tracks to success, share it on our Twitter site at tracks to success. We can't wait to hear from you until next time. I'm Craig Cannes. Thanks so much for listening. You've been listening to tracks to success, brought to you by presentation partners, visual storytellers, about connecting

1 (1h 8m 16s):
Presenters with their audience. Don't forget to subscribe to the show for more great interviews and thoughts on reaching your highest personal and professional summit. You can follow Craig on Twitter and Instagram using the handle at Craig cam and for exclusive tracks to success, content and news about our upcoming guests. You can find tracks to success on Twitter. It's at tracks to success.