TV jobs keep Zolak busy
Scott Zolak’s football playing days ended at the relatively young age of 32 when he was let go by the Miami Dolphins following the 2000 season.
Zolak, however, is still involved in the sport in a different role.
He’s now doing double-duty on television in both the professional and college ranks.
“I love it,” said Zolak. “It’s the closest thing to playing without playing and keeps you around the game.”
Zolak spent nine years at New England most as a backup quarterback before brief stays with the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins. He now covers the Patriots with reports on Fridays and Mondays as an NFL analyst in Boston on WBZ-TV and Fox Sports New England. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, it’s off to New York where college football is the subject.
He works with host Sid Rosenberg and former Notre Dame two-time All-American lineman and Green Bay Packer Aaron Taylor on the Wednesday Crystal Ball show on College Sports Television (CSTV), and Saturday does a half-hour pre-game and one-hour post-game show.
“The college thing is new,” said Zolak, who starred at the University of Maryland in 1991 after graduating from Ringgold High following his first two scholastic seasons at Belle Vernon Area. “I enjoy seeing the different upsets in college and getting to track the kids.”
Zolak had an inkling he might end up in front of the cameras after he quit playing.
“I always thought I might like it after watching all the football shows with guys like Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long,” he said. “It’s cool to talk about the games. It helps when you know a lot of the players.”
Besides doing the TV bit, Zolak also writes a weekly Crystal Ball column for CSTV.com, where he lists his top five Heisman Trophy candidates. Pitt’s Larry Fitzgerald headed his latest list, followed by North Carolina State quarterback Philip Rivers, Miami quarterback Brock Berlin, Michigan running back Chris Perry and Oklahoma State wide receiver Rashaun Woods.
Boone pulled his Eastern Michigan team out of the event, replacing four tournament games with a Dec. 6 contest at Illinois State.
Boone said he was unhappy that a change in the tourney’s schedule would require him to play Pittsburgh, Florida State, Wagner and Murray State. The original contract had called for him to play Chicago State instead of Murray State.
A schedule change would have forced the Eagles to play five road games in seven days.
“We don’t want to potentially start 0-5,” Boone told Ann Arbor News sports writer Mark Heller. “Guys have to have some confidence and momentum. We didn’t want to go into Christmas break on a negative note.”