Eyewitness News’ Brad Byrd talks to our producer, Chris Veech about his love of all things sports and his wealth of knowledge about sports. And he also talks about the webcast, Veech’s Nuggets of the Week.
Brad Byrd: Welcome to In Depth: Tonight, the story of a young man who has been producing our newscasts for the past eight years. He never misses a deadline and one thing I have learned you will meet all kinds of people who dedicate their lives to TV news. He is a walking encyclopedia whether it be high school, college or professional sports. His name is Chris Veech and he burst onto the internet last week for our Home Team Friday preview webcast in a segment called “Veech’s Nuggets’. And that got our attention immediately. Well, Chris thank a lot. I know you’re producing our 10 p.m. news but thank you for taking a few minutes to talk about your other love in this business and that’s sports. What turned you on to sports?
Chris Veech: When I was younger, my parents had season tickets to the Aces. Me and my brother pretty much grew up on the Aces and we went to every basketball game, whether it be on a weeknight or the weekend – we just loved it – and I also fell in love with High school sports. I remember watching a couple Harrison High School basketball games that went to regionals – I remember them playing at Roberts Stadium back in ’95 and I also remember being younger – Harrison had some good football teams believe it or not back in the 90s through the Mitch Marsh era. We went to every football game; I just loved the atmosphere – I loved the excitement and it just drew me in. And that kind of made me a big sports nut.
Brad Byrd: You have a historical perspective of sports and I know you love college basketball. Is that your favorite of all of it?
Chris Veech: That is definitely my favorite – college basketball.
Brad Byrd: Why is that?
Chris Veech: first of all, probably because I was raised on Aces hoop that probably has something to do with it. I remember going to my first NCAA tournament that was 1996 – it was the old RCA dome they would cut off half the stadium, and the crowd was just massive. The atmosphere was incredible. But I don’t know why it is – college basketball – why I like it more than the NBA, but I feel like there’s a little bit more emphasis on defense than there is in the NBA – I feel that way. Some people may argue with me on that. With college basketball it’s more of a team-oriented sport. NBA you could have one big star and that team could make it to the playoffs – they may not win a championship.
Brad Byrd: And I know you always cut to the chase – we’re looking at IU highlights. And as far college basketball, I remember you were a sports intern here back in the days of News25. And you went into news. You like to take the first round of March Madness off – you schedule those vacation days, right?
Chris Veech: That is an annual trip that me and my family do every year. We always take a few days off. And it doesn’t matter where it is, as long as it’s in reasonable driving distance – it doesn’t matter who the teams are going to be. We always purchase our tickets in the fall. We’ve been to Indianapolis, St. Louis, Nashville – last season we went up to Columbus, Ohio for the first time. We had a great time up there. And surprisingly, I’ve never seen the Indiana Hoosiers play live in the NCAA tournament. That doesn’t really bother me I’m there for the atmosphere and to watch a good game.
Brad Byrd: And this was probably when you were young, they actually played at Robert’s Stadium in the regional round. I think it was ’86 or ’87.
Chris Veech: I wasn’t even born yet.
Brad Byrd: You know your history very well. Let’s talk about this segment that’s on our webcast. It’ll be on at what 6:00 o’clock?
Chris Veech: Yes 6:00 o’clock is when it will be posted to our website.
Brad Byrd: Ok, Veech’s Nuggets. Tell me about that.
Chris Veech: Well, I can’t take all the credit for it. Our sports director Randall Parmley…I pitched an idea when I found out we were doing a preview show. I remember watching college game day every Saturday morning and there was always this one producer who was off to the side and his nickname was The Bear. He would always give some type of statistics, who is he picking for this game. I said, hey Randall, what if I did something like that? That would be kind of cool. He loved it and so he pitched it to our news director Bob Freeman, and when we put our heads together we came up with the idea Veech’s Nuggets of the Week.
Brad: What happened with Andrew Luck… I know that you were shocked by that because I think I texted you when I found out.
Chris: You did. In fact when you texted me, I was acting like, what are you talking about? What’s going on? And then I looked up and saw the headlines and of course I was shocked. I’ll admit, I was a little upset at first ’cause I’m a big Colts fan. I hated to see Andrew Luck go, but after hearing him talk and hearing about all the hardships he’s gone through, the agony he’s gone through, I felt so sorry for him. At the same time, I can really respect a person walking away from that. I don’t think we can really judge these football players on what they’re going through unless we actually put on those pads and helmets and go out there and play that game ourselves.
Brad: Thanks for being here.
(This story was originally published on August 28, 2019)