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Patriot Profile: Grant Paulsen


Grant Paulsen with David Letterman. Courtesy of Grant Paulsen

Year: Senior

Major: Communication

Hometown: King George County, Virginia

Covering the Skins: Sports radio fans know Paulsen as 106.7 the Fan’s voice at FedEx Field and Redskins Park. Brought on as the station’s full-time Redskins reporter at the start of the 2010 season, Paulsen interviews players, attends press conferences, and files audio reports from all the team’s games. “That’s the exciting thing,” he points out. “I get to go to places I’ve never been before.” During a typical day, Paulsen is likely watching the team practice, checking up on players’ injuries, and reporting on any breaking news at Redskins Park.

Never Too Young: Paulsen’s uncle, a sports talk show host in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brought his then 10-year-old nephew on his radio show to pick football games. News of the prepubescent prognosticator made it to Paulsen’s hometown paper in King George, where Paulsen 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.”

The Late Show: Though Paulsen had already cut his broadcasting teeth on radio and local television, his big break arrived when David Letterman came calling. Producers of the Late Show with David Letterman eventually caught wind of the then 12-year-old sportscaster and invited him to Manhattan to tape a show. One appearance then led to a half-dozen over a nearly four-year period. “He knew I wouldn’t say ‘no’ to him.”

Favorite Moment: In 2002, Paulsen was asked by Letterman to be his roving reporter during Super Bowl XXXVI in New Orleans. 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.”

Hearing Is Believing: “Is that your real or radio voice?” Paulsen is asked often. What you hear beaming through the radio, he admits, is the real deal. “I can’t talk like Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite, and I never will.”

Hitting the Books: While already a working reporter, Paulsen is studying journalism at Mason to improve his writing and increase his credentials for when that dream job comes along.

Dream Job: Pass the mic, Brent Musburger, competition is on the way. When Paulsen looks into the future, he most often sees himself doing the play-by-play commentary for NFL games. The ultimate topping on his career cake, he says, would be to man the broadcast booth at a Super Bowl. “That would be my dream come true.”