Move over President Obama, Real Housewives of DC, and Beltway traffic. The biggest news in Washington is always the trials and tribulations of the Redskins. And fans of sports radio know one reporter who is always on top of the latest injury, heartbreaking loss, or Dan Synder sighting is Mason’s very own Grant Paulsen.
Paulsen, a senior who is taking the fall semester off to cover the football season, is radio station 106.7 the Fan’s Redskins beat reporter, interviewing players, attending press conferences, and filing audio reports from all of the team’s games—home and away.
“That’s the exciting thing,” Paulsen, a communications major, points out. “I get to go to places I’ve never been before.”
Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) got his broadcasting career going at age 10. After listening to Paulsen cite just about every stat and player from a Steelers/Redskins exhibition game, Paulsen’s uncle, a sports talk show host in Pittsburgh, brought his nephew on his morning show to pick football games.
Soon enough, news of the prepubescent prognosticator made it to Paulsen’s hometown paper in King George, Virginia, where he began writing a sports column. Liking the novelty of a kid sportscaster, Channel 9 News in Washington, D.C., then paired Paulsen in the early 2000s with its then sports director Ken Broo for a regular segment called “Ken and the Kid.”
Paulsen’s big break, though, came when producers of The Late Show with David Letterman caught wind of the young sportscaster and asked him to appear on the show at age 12. One appearance then led to six, and a trip to Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans, where Paulsen was Letterman’s roving reporter for the big game.
While at the 2002 game, some of the bits Paulsen did for the show included trying on linemen’s oversized jackets and having players say former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s name 10 tens in a row. “The whole week was sensational,” Paulsen remembers. “Looking back, it was just so humbling.”
Paulsen, who is now 22 and also hosts a baseball show on XM Radio, said the work at such a young age has made him “hungrier than ever” to make a lifelong career out of sports broadcasting. Up next, he says, is to finish up school in the spring and continue onward and upward through the broadcasting ranks.
“I want to do play-by-play for the NFL,” he says, adding that manning the broadcast booth at a Super Bowl would be the topping on his career cake. “That would be my dream come true.”