Warwick writer-editor covers Olympics in Greece

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Warwick-Mike Celizic's wife, Margaret Sinnott, likes to joke that she sees more of him when he's on the road than she does when he's home. That's because when the Warwick writer and editor is home, he's holding down two jobs. The first is as managing editor in neighboring Sussex County of The Advertiser-News North and The Advertiser-News South, two sister publications to The Warwick Advertiser in the Straus Newspaper chain. The second is as a freelance writer and sports columnist. For the next 17 days, that job is taking him to Athens, Greece, where he'll be filing daily columns on the 2004 Summer Olympic Games for MSNBCSports.com and NBCSports.com, for which he is a regular contributor. That's how his wife figures to finally see him. Working out of NBC's headquarters in the sprawling Main Broadcast Center in Athens, Celizic can also expect to be called on, as he was two years ago at the Salt Lake Winter Games, to provide commentary, insight, and the occasional joke for MSNBC television and any of the NBC family of stations, including WNBC-TV in New York. "They pay me what my commentary is worth," he laughs. "The same rate I get paid for sharing my opinion in a bar n but without the expletives." Celizic, who's lived with his family in Warwick since 1983, says it's easier talking to a television camera than it is to a high school class or a Scout troop, because regardless of how many people are watching, you don't see the audience. Besides, he learned long ago, when he did a weekly cable show with other sports writers from his old paper, The Record, of Hackensack, N.J., that most viewers don't really listen to what you're saying. At least not if his friends are any indication. "I saw you on TV!" they would inform him, as if this were the ultimate purpose of life. "What'd you think?" he'd ask, hoping they'd repeat one of the "terribly witty lines" he'd prepared for the show. "You looked good!" they'd respond. "No. What did you think about what I said?" They would look at him then as if he had three noses, then brighten and repeat: "You looked good!" He's never worried about what he's said on camera since. Between his brief stints on camera, Celizic, who has covered every Summer Olympics since 1984 in Los Angeles, will be commenting on all facets of the games, focusing on the big stories of each day and on what lies ahead for individuals and teams. His columns are posted at NBCSports.com and MSNBC.com. A veteran journalist with more than 30 years experience, Celizic switched from news to sports in 1983 with The Record of Hackensack, N.J., and a sports columnist a year later, eventually rising to the rank of senior writer. Four times he was a finalist for the Associated Press Sports Editors columnist-of-the-year award for mid-sized newspapers, winning it once. He also twice took first place for sports writing from the N.J. Press Association, as well as a first place for reporting from the West Bank and Israel in 1994. In 1989, he was nominated for a Pulitzer prize in Distinguished Commentary. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including The Biggest Game of Them All: Notre Dame and Michigan State in the Fall of '66, and Rudy's Rules: Game Plans for Life from the Real Rudy, with Rudy Ruettiger. Celizic's writing has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Chicken Soup for the Sports Fan's Soul, and Newsweek International. He has contributed to HBO Real Sports as a researcher. A regular guest commentator on sports on MSNBC, he has been interviewed by Brian Williams, Chris Matthews, Dan Abrams, Lester Holt, and Jerry Nachman, among others. He has also been a guest on Hannity and Colmes on Fox News, and, two weeks ago, appeared on the NBC Nightly News, discussing the apparent end of Mike Tyson's career. After the torch is snuffed on Aug. 29, Celizic, who has traveled to five continents and some 40 countries, plans to spend six days in Croatia and Austria before returning to Warwick and, he hopes, finally seeing his wife.