Lloyd got an education from Bruce and Holt
By Lori Shontz
Of the Post-Dispatch
Friday, Oct. 01 2004
The *****' wide receiver was an intern for FSN Midwest while attending
Illinois. Like any intern at FSN Midwest, Brandon Lloyd started off with the
typical grunt-work assignment - log tapes - in the summer of 2002.
Compiling a detailed description of all the action on a videotape - complete
with the down-to-the-second time it happened, the precise camera angle, all the
stuff television journalists need to know on deadline - is important but not
Lloyd, however, liked it, in part because of a deal he worked out with his
supervisors. "I'll do it for hours if I can do the St. Louis Rams," he said. "I
will log tape all day."
He did have an ulterior motive. Then a star wide receiver for the University of
Illinois, he figured he could do worse than being forced to watch Rams
receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce run their routes. In essence, Lloyd got
himself a combination journalism internship and football independent study.
"We teased him, too," said John Venneman, Fox Sports Midwest's news director.
"You're going to watch a lot of film when you make it in the pros, so sit down
and watch our film."
More than two years later, Lloyd calls that summer "the turning point of my
career." He's still working in television, spending time as the host on "The
Last Honest Sports Show," a San Francisco Bay-area takeoff on "The Best Damn
More important - at least in the short term - Lloyd is playing his second
season at wide receiver for the San Francisco *****, who will host the Rams on
Sunday night. Because of a groin injury, he is listed as questionable.
While plenty of ex-jocks find second careers as television analysts, Lloyd's
interest in the journalism world is deeper.
"My family is really school-oriented," he said. "It was really like, 'What do
you want to do when you go to college?' and I (thought), 'Man, I don't know.'
My dad said you can pick anything you want to do in life, then go to school and
As a youngster, Lloyd provided play-by-play when his older brothers played
basketball in the backyard, and he has been known to commentate on himself,
whether he's playing football, basketball or video games. So he figured he
could study to be a broadcaster.
That's why Lloyd chose Illinois, which not only played Big Ten football but
also had a solid broadcast journalism program. It also turned out that when Fox
reporters appeared on campus - a frequent occurrence during the 2001 season,
which ended at the Sugar Bowl - they interviewed the team's top receiver. In
turn, Lloyd interviewed them about the ins and outs of the business.
Eventually, he sent an internship application.
"I think as much as he liked football, there were also things that interested
him outside of football," Venneman said. "From the day he walked in here until
the day he left, he wanted to learn everything possible.
"He has a million-dollar smile, and he's going to have a huge career on camera
when he's done, but he didn't come in expecting to be only in front of the
camera. Behind the cameras, editing, lighting - he wanted to know the
In a hectic newsroom, interns must speak up if they want additional
assignments. Lloyd excelled being an eager beaver.
"We'd be leaving to go to Rams Park," Venneman said, "and he'd be waiting by
Once he got to Rams Park, however, Lloyd found it impossible to confine himself
to the journalists' corner. He gravitated toward Holt and Bruce.
"I'd be standing by the drills - I'm down trying to pick up some things," Lloyd
said. "Isaac yells over, 'Hey, B. Lloyd, you guys going to beat Michigan this
year?' It was impressive that he even knew who I was."
Eventually, Holt invited him to lunch, and Lloyd sat with the two receivers.
"They gave me the blueprint, basically," he said. "How to work out. What to do
and how to go back for the next season, which turned out to be my final year.
... I'd have been a fool to forget all that."