A Voice of Integrity

There should be some sort of recognition for those successful people who came by their good fortune by honest means. After all, that is the American Dream. Hard work, conviction, and persistence should be rewarded with career advancement and achievement, right?

Too often that is not the case. Nowadays, the world is abound with rich and famous folks who flagrantly trounced upon basic societal mores and ethical standards, all the way to the penthouse… as well as the White house, for that matter. Drama and deception is portrayed as the norm on TV… and in our government.

It’s heartening and refreshing to see “one of the good guys” make it big. So much so, that we need to shout it from the rooftops, tell our kids, pass it on… it’s big news, especially nowadays:

You can keep your integrity, your word, your soul and still make it to the top.

That’s why I want to call attention to one of the best people I know: my Hubby, Bob Socci, who’s now living a sports broadcaster’s dream, and deserves to enjoy every second of it.

I’m slightly biased, of course, but trust me on this one. Here’s a guy who spent over three decades toiling away in relative obscurity, with no clear path upwards and no guarantee of any success. Here’s a man who often saw gossip, betrayals, and shady behind-the-scenes maneuvering rewarded with promotion, but never resorted to that crap himself. Here’s a total sports nerd who carted around a library’s worth of sports history and nonfiction books wherever he moved to work with whatever team, constantly reading and studying for some unknown but monumentally important test.

Football, basketball, baseball, lacrosse… Days bouncing along dusty midwest roads in a converted yellow schoolbus, sharing rooms in roachy roadside motels; nights spent in small towns out west, knowing not a soul… He moved from contract to contract, stringing together a living, no benefits and no vacations, for literally, decades. Slowly, slowly, the buses came with reclining seats and movies; then there were chartered planes, his own hotel room, comped meals… But still no guarantees.

Hubby strived to surround himself with colleagues of equal caliber, holding on to positions at the Naval Academy for sixteen years, proudly calling Patriot League basketball and Navy football games, while also covering AAA baseball for the Norfolk Tides, and any other work he could find.

I dragged him up North so I could take my current job at Massachusetts General Hospital and we could be close to my family, and here he re-established himself. Bob Costas had advised: “Politely but persistently knock on all the doors,” and so he did, and always with great humility (probably too much).

Ongoing relentless travel and calling all sorts of games, endless painstaking hours spent making audition CDs, and much tentative door-knocking resulted in the right ears hearing the right calls at the right time. First, from a field of God knows how many hundreds of hopefuls, Hubby was pulled to call the Pawsox (Red Sox AAA team) games, but for only half a season.

Then, legendary Patriots play-by-play announcer Gil Santos retired, and with that announcement came a rare opening for a long-shot, career-pinnacle position.

The decades of study matched by hard-earned experience, plus his well-established integrity and uncommon work ethic, put Hubby at the top of the short list for the job. The rest is history: four years, to be exact.

Right now, he’s in Houston, about to call his second Super Bowl. I’m so proud of him, I’m so glad that he’s a role model for our children, and I want everyone to know:

Sometimes, the good guys win.

Babyboy and Hubby in the broadcast booth at Gillette Stadium, 2016

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