Jay Onrait (aka “Anchorboy”) is a beloved sports anchor on FOX Sports 1. He stars in The Jay and Dan Podcast with his co-anchor, Dan O’Toole, and is the author of the recently released Anchorboy, a book of personal stories featuring the rise of the small-town Canadian prairie boy and his journey to broadcasting in the big city.
Today, Jay answers some questions about his job, his life in LA and what he’s reading. Let’s start with a good one:
1) You talk a little bit in the book about people who influenced you growing up. Is there anyone in particular who helped you along in your early days at TSN?
Well Rod Smith immediately comes to mind. Then and now he has always been one of the most professional broadcasters and employees I have ever worked with. He always had time for “the little guy” and he never ever treated me differently when I was writing for him or working alongside him as a broadcaster. A great mentor in this business.
2) What do you miss most about Toronto? What do you like the most about Los Angeles?
I really miss walking around Toronto and looking at all the beautiful old Victorian houses. I really grew to love that city and the great restaurants and bars. I am really loving Los Angeles because it’s so different. I have to confess my favourite thing is the weather, and the fact that I have a whole new city full of new restaurants to try!
I just got back from my Honeymoon in Paris and my wife and I talked about how much fun it would be to retire somewhere like that. The Parisians have truly “figured life out”.
4) Would you do the Olympics again if the opportunity arose?
I am going to Sochi and it was very important to me to go again. I would love to continue to go to every Games for the rest of my career. I never realized how much I wanted to work at the Olympics until I actually did it! Now I’m hooked!
5) The Jay and Dan podcast on iTunes has been really successful for you. Who had the idea to start it? Why do you think it has been so successful? Do you have a sponsor yet?
Haha no sponsor yet but we do have something in the works. As for the idea it was all Dan’s idea. Dan is always coming up with new stuff for us to do he is very restless. I have to give him total credit for the podcast. I just love doing it and we have been lucky to find great people in LA to keep it going.
6) Who is the one athlete you would love to have on the show that you haven’t already either interviewed or met?
Wow, great question. I would probably say Richard Sherman. I am a big Seattle Seahawks fan and I just love the way he plays and love his backstory.
7) What is the one thing that people should know about Dan O’Toole?
He really, really likes hot tubs. It is a serious problem.
8) Were you much of an athlete growing up? What professional sport do you think is the best fit for you?
I was okay. I played hockey, basketball, volleyball and golf. I was never destined to play sports professionally because I am a terrible poor sport.
9) If you weren’t in sports broadcasting, what other job would interest you the most?
I would love to be a travel writer. I just love to travel with my wife and if I had unlimited funds that’s what I would do, just travel the world, go to sporting events all over and write.
10) What book(s) are you reading currently? You’re a big music fan, especially of vinyl. What is one album people should go out and buy right now.
LOVE THIS QUESTION. Currently I am reading Jonathan Franzen’s book of essays How To Be Alone as well as David Sedaris’s new book Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls. The book I just finished was Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays, which I had always wanted to read. It was terrifying!
As for music I would say my favourite album this year has been Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City”. I think it is a classic. I find I am listening to a lot of old albums on vinyl now. I listen to Steely Dan’s “Can’t Buy a Thrill” a lot but the one I really love these days is the original “Buckingham Nicks” album before they joined Fleetwood Mac. It just sounds so good. I was one of the first records recorded in the original “Sound City” studios in the San Fernando Valley here in Los Angeles. Dave Grohl made an amazing documentary about that studio you should check out!
Thanks for the interview!
Follow me on twitter @J_Pratt15