An aspiring broadcaster’s road to finding who he really is.
Ryan Bier, who is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has had an interesting road to find out what he’s wanted to do in his life. Through this the struggle and the journey he’s found what he’s needed in his last four years at UNL.
What does a football Saturday look like to a normal UNL college student? You might think about the student workers that assist the athletic department and work so hard to help a university succeed. But it probably makes you think of tailgating, drinking and cheering on your favorite team. Maybe you think of the Memorial Stadium sights and sounds. You hear the band playing before the kickoff or you hear the tunnel walk. You smell the popcorn, Valentino’s Pizza and the Nebraska staple: the Runza.
This isn’t a normal game day for Ryan Bier (pronounced “Beer”). While his friends may be prodding him to go to Barry’s, The Brass Rail, or another bar and hang out he just wants to stay at home and watch the day’s best games on mute. He sits in silence analyzing the many games in front of him wondering when his next opportunity will come.
His lore starts at Millard South High School in Omaha, Neb. where he believed that he would be a professional athlete. This idea soon smacked him in the face when coaches and schools didn’t recruit him the way he wanted because of his size. This 5 foot 6, dark haired and bearded athlete was going to play baseball at Iowa Western or Indian Hills Community College, but he decided that the junior college life wasn’t for him.
Bier, who is rarely seen without his camouflage Boston Red Sox hat, decided that he had to give up the game he loved. He concluded that playing at a four-year university would be best for him, but those opportunities didn’t end up coming his way. Bier even thought that some schools decided to not recruit him based on his size and stature.
“I never thought that I was going to end up at the UNL as a sports media major…I always thought that I would be a professional baseball player for the Red Sox,” Bier said.
Now as a senior in the SPMC 450: Sports Media & Communication Capstone with Jennifer Sheppard, Bier is working with the UNLimited Sports online news site producing content. He wants to be better at video and audio production and have a camera presence that is more comfortable.
The uncertainty with baseball ended up leading to one of Bier’s friends sending him a text asking if he would attend the UNL. On a whim he decided to room with his friends and declared to be a part of the journalism college where he has learned that he wants to be a sports broadcaster. He often thinks about when John Shrader, his broadcast professor, will give him his next chance to be a part of the student radio station. He thinks about what words he’ll use and how he’ll describe what’s happening, good or bad, for the Huskers.
“Some football games or video games, I just put the games on mute and broadcast them myself,” Bier said.
This passion has led to Bier wanting to be the broadcaster that every kid gets excited to hear from commentating their favorite team. This job won’t just fall into his lap and Bier knows that and that’s why Bier has keeps everything in perspective.
“Why I want to broadcast is because everyone wishes that they can keep playing, but you can still have an impact on the sport without competing in it,” Bier said.