TV reporter’s chance encounter with ESPN’s Marty Smith at Bryant-Denny Stadium goes viral

Local News

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — A tweet by a weekend sports anchor/reporter for WRBL in Columbus, Georgia has gone viral in the biggest way.

Jack Patterson was wrapping up his work inside Bryant-Denny Stadium Saturday night when he was doing a standup. He messed up during the end and aborted it.

As that happened, ESPN reporter Marty Smith was walking by, on his way out of the stadium after the Alabama-LSU game. Smith took time to encourage Patterson, who started his job as a reporter at WRBL on Oct. 5 after working behind the scenes at the station for six years.

“The hardest part of our job is what you’re doing right now,” Smith told Patterson. “The taped standup, hate it. I hate them, man. It ain’t like when you’re live, you kind of mess up, whatever, you just keep on digging. This thing you want to be just perfect. I can’t stand them.”

The whole exchange was caught by Patterson’s camera.

He cut it and posted to Twitter about 10:30 p.m. Monday night. It blew up instantly.

“I thought it would be something to cool,” Patterson said. “Marty Smith is a really cool dude. I had no idea it would explode like this.”

By Wednesday morning, Patterson’s tweet had nearly 52,000 likes, 6,300 retweets and more than 2.3 million views.

Patterson’s viral video ends with Smith taking a selfie with him. Smith parted by telling Patterson to “keep grinding.”

“Good luck Jack!” Fox Sports anchor Tim Brando posted. “Follow Marty’s advice and remember to keep all your dreams alive! Hard work and good humor and transparent like this will only strike a chord with those of INFLUENCE in your future. Godspeed.”

Patterson thinks a lot of the interest came because Smith took the time to help a younger guy and it’s just a good story.

“I think chord it hits is there is so much negativity in the press,” Patterson said. “What Marty did was just fantastic. I am sure he didn’t expect it to blow up like it did. He just did it out of the kindness of his heart.”

Even Patterson’s employer, WRBL, took time during their broadcast to recognize him.


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