When the Red Zone's Scott Hanson knew he was "born" to host NFL Network show

Clark Judge

(EDITOR'S NOTE: To access the Scott Hanson interview, go to 54:20 of the attached interview)

Scott Hanson doesn’t play for an NFL team, nor does he coach one. Yet you see him every Sunday afternoon during the season … and you see him at every game.

Reason: Scott is the host of the NFL Network’s NFL Red Zone, a round-the-horn seven-hour frenzy of live action and replays that has Hanson, a former roving reporter for the Network, taking viewers to the biggest and best plays happening that moment.

And often in … what else? … the Red Zone.

He’s glib. He’s wired. He’s flexible. He’s sharp. In short, he’s everything you’d want for someone in this position – and he knew it the moment he was interviewed a decade ago.

“Traditionally,” he said, “an audition for TV is 10 minutes long. They put you up on a set, and they want to see how you look and how you sound.

“The NFL Red Zone audition … because it’s a seven-hour show with no commercials … they wanted to test out stamina for the candidates. (So) we did a five-hour, non-stop audition.

" I flop-sweated suits in the middle of summer and didn’t know what was coming next. Because what they did was take random games from the year prior and, basically, just cued them up from kickoff and hit ‘Play’ on eight different machines at the same time and said, ‘Talk.’ ”

“I guess I did well enough that they said, ‘Hanson, you’re our guy.’ And here we are ten years later.”

It’s no accident Hanson is there. By his admission, he’s always been someone with “energy and enthusiasm,” and that didn’t start when he began covering the NFL. Nope, it started way back when he was a child growing up in Michigan.

In fact, Scott recalls watching a Sunday afternoon game on one TV at home before dragging out his father’s set to watch another at the same time -- and then grabbing a radio to listen to the Lions to complete the hat trick.

“So I would multi-task as a little kid,” he said. “My Mom said, ‘Scott, you were born to do what you do now on NFL Red Zone.’ “

Of course, she should’ve known that a long time ago. His classmates at school did. And so did elementary-school teachers who grew tired of trying to get him to do what he can’t … and shouldn’t … in his role on Red Zone.

Sit down and clam up.

“I was the talker … imagine that … in class,” he said. “In fact, there’s kind of an infamous story within my family where in fourth grade I talked so much that they tried to discipline me by doing everything they could to try to get me to stop talking with my classmates.

“They said the last resort is this: ‘We’re going to move Scott’s desk to the corner of the class room … the back corner … and the only person we’re going to put next to him is Danielle Wright.’ Now Danielle Wright was a girl in my class who never said three words in a semester – the super, super introverted shy kid in the class.

“By the end of that semester, Danielle Wright was getting conduct reports sent home to her parents. I converted her. I twisted her. I corrupted her. Whatever you want to say, but, yeah, I love to have a good time and I love to talk about whatever was on my mind. I loved to talk about it back then.”

He loves to talk about it now, too. Lucky for us.


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