You might not expect a 40-year-old auto
parts wholesaler from Pennsylvania to come up with the catchphrases
“He jump-jacked that baby outta here” for a homerun
call, “Locked up in a tight one,” for a close game or
“Trifecta? You betcha,” for a 3-pointer. Despite being
eliminated from ESPN’s “Dream Job” 11 days ago,
loudmouthed Michael Quigley — who spent as much time yelling
play-by-play as actually reading the highlights — had a great
experience and hopes to continue working in sports broadcasting.
The Michigan Daily caught up with the newly-made celebrity earlier
The Michigan Daily: In previous shows like
“American Idol,” the person who wins the contest
isn’t always the person who winds up being the most
successful. Do you think that could happen in your case?
Michael Quigley: I have a lot of irons in the fire and
I’ve made a lot of great contacts. I think I’m gonna
get a job out of this, I’ve just gotta work harder —
but I’m good at that. I don’t wanna go back to selling
(auto) parts. Last Tuesday, it was hard to get the motivation back
to go and do it. I think everybody on the show is gonna get work,
if they put the time and effort into it.
TMD: Do you think all of those jobs will come in sports
MQ: It may be in different fields. There are some very
witty and intelligent guys, some comedians and actors on the show.
Sports might not be their gig. Nick Stevens was cut last Sunday
— he’s one of them. They told him he was smug, but
he’s very witty, in a wise-ass sort of way, and I liked his
humor. I think he’s very funny.
TMD: You survived the first cut amongst the finalists
before being cut in the second round. What was your reaction when
you found out you were eliminated from “Dream Job”?
MQ: If you watched the show, you could see that I knew I
was gonna go, because I didn’t do too well. I screwed up with
my script. I didn’t do too well that night, so I made it easy
for the judges, I thought, based on my performance.
TMD: What was your favorite part of the “Dream
MQ: Everybody I met, from the top producers down —
all the contestants were fantastic. We had so much fun. Zachariah
Selwyn is a comedian and actor, and we meshed well. Me and Nick, we
rubbed off of each other humor-wise. We kept a lot of people
laughing. Even Maggie Haskins has a good sense of humor. She would
pull my leg, punk me almost, tell me (false) things, and I’d
TMD: You mentioned that you had fun with everyone
“from the top down.” Other than Al Jaffe, who else from
ESPN did you have a chance to meet?
MQ: The highest guy at ESPN, (Senior Vice President and
General Manager of Programming) Mark Shapiro. He ran out into the
lobby while I was doing a bit on ESPN’s “Cold
Pizza” — this is one of the biggest guys at ESPN, even
higher than Jaffe — and he ran out and grabbed the USA TODAY
(which featured an article about me) and gave it to me, and points
out the article. People of that stature don’t do that. Next
time someone asks me what ESPN stands for, I just tell them
TMD: “Dream Job” had a panelist of judges,
including “Pardon the Interruption’s” Tony
Kornheiser, “Cold Pizza’s” Kit Hoover, Lavar
Arrington of the Washington Redskins and ESPN talent scout Al
Jaffe. What were your thoughts on the criticisms they gave you and
on their personalities as well?
MQ: I got to know Al Jaffe through different steps of the
competition. He treated me very fairly, and he gave me a great
opportunity. He was very objective to everybody, and you knew what
he was looking for. Lavar Arrington was really cool. He told me
something I needed to do: concise my information and bring it
tighter. He said I definitely have the voice for it. Kit was the
Paula Abdul of the whole thing. Kornheiser, he comes off the wrong
way. But if I didn’t like him, I wouldn’t like myself,
because he’s a wise ass, and I’m sort of the same way.
The only thing with the judges is that sometimes, somebody would
say one thing, and they would contradict each other a little bit
— you couldn’t please both of them at the same time. I
had no complaints across the board. The only complaint I had was
with myself. I would rather go out with somebody beating me than me
just screwing up the way I did. But that’s life, and you go
TMD: One of the things that people will most remember
about you are your catchphrases. What was your inspiration for
those catchphrases and how did they pop into your head?
MQ: I used to screw around when I was younger. I actually
came up with “jump-jack” like 20 years ago. One of my
buddies was like, ‘If you had a homerun call, what would it
be?’ When I was growing up, teams stayed together, so you
could become more enamored with a team, because there was less free
agency. Growing up, it was like a family — you could cheer
for the same team each year. That was an inspiration.
TMD: You obviously followed sports when you were younger.
What sports did you actually play growing up?
MQ: I played Delaware Country Community College baseball,
and I played in a semi-pro league for one year. I played football
in high school. I was too short to play basketball, but I tried
intramural leagues. I even tried ice hockey. I played everything.
There’s all those video games now — we didn’t
have that. We played stickball, hockey in the street,
TMD: What are some of your favorite pro teams and college
teams, and what are some of your favorite sports memories?
MQ: In college, I liked Joe Paterno and Penn State, all
of Big 5 basketball (LaSalle, Penn, St. Joseph’s, Temple and
Villanova) and Drexel. Villanova’s run in 1985 was
phenomenal. The Sixers in ‘83 — I went to every game
that year, and the playoffs. The Phillies of the ’80s, and
even the Phillies of the ’90s — even though they
finished second place, it was a great ride. They got close, but
everybody can’t always win it all.
TMD: You recently had a chance to meet (St.
Joseph’s head coach) Phil Martelli at a Coaches Vs. Cancer
breakfast. What was it like to meet someone you’ve admired
for so long?
MQ: He came up to me and yelled, “Quigs!” It
was funny. I’m coming off a little bit of a down week (after
being eliminated), and a guy with all the prestige he’s got
right now — this is his time, about to make a Final Four run
— and he’s recognizing me. It felt good. Some
Philadelphia Daily News reporters (were also there) who I respect
very much because I read the paper. I don’t go to the
Internet too much. I’m an ink-print guy, I always buy the
TMD: Since you’re a guy who’s familiar with
the Big Ten Conference, what are your thoughts about Michigan?
MQ: I like Desmond Howard. I loved Jalen Rose. I like
Michigan basketball, but I’m a Penn State guy for football,
and they’re in the Big Ten. I don’t hate Michigan, I
respect them. They have a great program. And they have a great
hockey team, too.
TMD: What qualities do you need to have to gain an
advantage in a competition like “Dream Job?”
MQ: We all brought our own different talents. A lot of
people liked the energy that I brought to the table, but I
couldn’t bring everything together and just hit the homerun.
If I had condensed my information the other night (when I was
eliminated), I probably would have gotten past the last round, but
I didn’t. It is what it is. I’m very realistic in
saying, ‘You move on.’ We all went through the same
exact things to get here.
TMD: Now that you’re no longer in the “Dream
Job” competition, who do you think will win it all?
MQ: I think Casey Stern is gonna win, even though last
Sunday, he didn’t perform up to his standard. Aaron Levine is
very good too, but I think Casey Stern has the desire and he wants
it really badly. There’s a couple guys who could win it, but
I have a funny feeling Casey’s gonna win. I roomed with him
for a weekend, and he’s a real good writer.