Steve Overmyer peered out at the Jets practice field, the one with all the green and white jerseys running about, plus the new guy in the red "hands-off" jersey with the No. 4 on it, and made an observation that was at once obvious and insightful.
"It just got a lot more interesting covering the Jets this year," he said.
Overmyer, SportsNet New York's Jets beat reporter who's never at a loss for words, amplified on his thought.
"As if the millions spent in upgrades this off-season weren't enough of a story, adding a three-time MVP at quarterback has put the Jets front and center on the nation's biggest stage," he said. "It takes a lot to steal the spotlight away from the Super Bowl-champion Giants in New York, but the Jets will have more eyes on them this year than the G-men."
"Life has certainly gotten a little more hectic since the trade for Brett Favre. Case in point: I don't think we've ever had a request for a story on a QB running a penalty lap until now."
Interesting and hectic, yes. But daunting? Never. Overmyer has become arguably the most recognizable face covering the Green & White. He's the field reporter and interviewer for SNY after games, he does on-location interviews with players for Jets Nation each week, and he hosts the weekly in-season show with the GM, "1st and Goal with Mike Tannenbaum." (And soon he'll be batting leadoff in *newyorkjets.com's *expanded blogosphere. More on that later this week.)
After TV stints in the Midwest, South and Southwest, it's no accident Steve-O ended up in this neck of the woods.
"I grew up in Indiana, and the NFL was always a passion of mine," Overmyer said. "When I got the job offer here at SNY, part of the reason was knowing there was a deal on the table between the Jets and SNY that we would have Jets coverage. So the Jets were the linchpin in whether or not I was going to make the trip to New York."
Overmyer has made a few trips that appear on his curriculum vitae. After graduating from Vincennes University in Vincennes, southwest of Indianapolis, he began his on-air career in 1992 covering the Colts for WTHI-TV in Terre Haute.
Two years later, it was on to Fort Myers, Fla., and WZVN-TV, where he was named Best Sportscaster in 1994 by The Associated Press for his anchoring and his coverage of the Dolphins and Buccaneers. Two years after that, it was on to KPNX-TV in Phoenix to anchor and report on the Cardinals.
Five years as a sports anchor on CNN and CNN Headline News gave Overmyer some great exposure, but it did nothing to cure his itch for pro football. So when SNY came calling, he jumped at the opportunity, and shortly after moved into the Hell's Kitchen section of Manhattan.
"Believe me, it helps our coverage a great deal to have me coming out here every practice," he said during a recent break in the Hempstead action, "because you know the guys and they know you.
"And it's not about being buddy-buddy and building friendships. It's about building trust, making sure you're covering the events the way they happen and not taking anybody's side when you're covering an event."
That doesn't mean Overmyer is covering the No Fun League. He's taken on Kerry Rhodes in Pop-A-Shot basketball and can converse with Laveranues Coles about Halo on XBOX 360. And with Tannenbaum, there is the GM's penchant for giving his host a "word of the day" off the air and then Overmyer trying to work it into his patter with Mike T — with his efforts sometimes leaving the two cracking up on the SNY set.
But when the whistle blows, Overmyer is impeccably attired and ready for business. And business this year is ratcheted up for him because he's in the last year of his first contract with the New York cable network.
"I'm very happy to stay here at SNY, if they decide to re-up me," he said. "I'm in a very similar situation to some of the players. I'm in a contract year. I'm going to have to perform."
Count on it. This Hoosier has found a home.