On Monday, I wrote many words about Craig Laughlin, but only a few about his game preparation. As seen here, he prepares around nine looseleaf pages of hand-written highlighted notes for every game, which he almost entirely discards after the game.
So we all like to laugh at his quirks, and his jokes, and all of that, but there’s real work involved here.
“The evolution I’ve seen in him as a broadcaster is remarkable,” Al Koken told me. “His notes, his anecdotes, the homework he does, the preparation. He comes off loose and light and having fun, and I think that kind of belies all the hard work he puts in to what he does. And as I’ve watched him grow as a broadcaster over the years, I know just how much hard work he puts in.
“He never leans on back in my day, – he NEVER does that, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that,” Koken continued. “If you’re going to be an analyst, you can’t just talk about how it was done in your day, and he doesn’t. The ones who make it easy are the ones who are the most prepared, and he’s exactly that way, and that’s what people don’t always see. Other broadcasters might have a couple index cards and a lineup sheet. It’s mind boggling the amount of preparation he does, the attention to detail.”
I asked Laughlin about all that work.
“I want to be the best analyst,” he said. “When I first started, I’d come in with just some notes. But I got little things from watching other guys in the business, and I said you know what, I’ve got to prepare more professionally. I wanted more stuff than I had available to me....When I had a 30-minute delay in Long Island, if I wouldn’t have been prepared, what would I say? I think I need to be overprepared for every game.”
Below, via my best friends, please find a video of Joe Beninati and Locker talking about my piece.