Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module

New Voice of the White Sox Says Law School Changed His Delivery

Jason Benetti on taking Hawk’s place, sports video games, and having cerebral palsy

Benetti, 33, at Guaranteed Rate Field   Photo: Lisa Predko

You inked a deal with Comcast SportsNet Chicago to take over for your childhood idol, Hawk Harrelson—moving from doing home games to a full TV schedule in 2019. What drew you to sports broadcasting?

I didn’t have a lot of a choice—I wasn’t going to be a player. That would be a true feat. I grew up at the dawning of the video game era: Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball, Madden, NHL ’94. You’re playing the games, and I had the instinct to narrate them. It was an unpaid internship.

Working at Homewood-Flossmoor High School’s radio station must have helped.

[On my sportscast] I got to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about going on in sports that day. There’s some agency in it: Hey, I can actually do this.

You went to law school at Wake Forest. Did that influence your announcing style?

I think that’s why my cadence has slowed down. When I was doing trial practice, I realized that if I’m going to rush, I’m probably going to err, and if I use the wrong word about my client in a courtroom, I’m putting something on the record that the opposing party can use against me. If you rush, you’re not giving yourself any opportunity to stop and think.

You have cerebral palsy. Did that make it tough to move into television?

I’d be a little more stressed about it if there weren’t people who wanted to talk about it. In spring training this year, [color commentator] Steve [Stone] and I watched the on-camera [footage] that we had taped live. And he was like, “Hey, it looks like you’re looking away from the camera.” If I pick up the camera with my inside eye, the other eye just looks like it’s on vacation. But if I pick up the camera with my outside eye, then pick up Steve with my inside eye, it looks like they both have targets. I’m not for hiding a disability, but I think people will know when they’re watching games that I’m doing it in a more palatable way for them.

What’s been your most memorable moment with the White Sox?

Last April, Avisail Garcia hit a big home run, and I got emotional. Moments like that are why we love baseball. That’s when it sank in—I had my dream job.

Share

Edit Module

Advertisement

Edit Module
Submit your comment

Comments are moderated. We review them in an effort to remove foul language, commercial messages, abuse, and irrelevancies.

Edit Module