NHL Network’s “On The Fly” host Jamie Hersch felt no need to expense a hotel room when she was here for last weekend’s Blackhawks-Wild outdoor game events, even though her bosses offered.
The Champlin native was perfectly happy to stay with her parents, James and Candy Hersch.
In 2015 the former Fox Sports North host and reporter made the jump to the big time, going to NYC to join NHL Network, which has merged with the MLB Network.
“So I get to do hockey and little bit of baseball, too, in the summer. A really perfect marriage of two networks and two of my favorite sports,” Hersch told me.
Her childhood exposure to sports focused more on baseball than hockey. “I wasn’t a huge hockey fan. My dad grew up playing football, basketball, baseball and my brother the same thing. But I was a figure skater as a kid so I grew up with a lot of hockey player friends, and being in Minnesota you can’t really get away from the sport of hockey. I knew the game, liked the game, just wasn’t a huge fan. But then again covering the Wild for three years, once you know hockey and once you start living it day to day, I think it’s hard not to love it.”
When Hersch came to the newspaper for our startribune.com/video interview, I took her to the sports mecca, Sid Hartman’s office, but the prophet was not there.
Q: What is the most fly thing about you?
A: The most fly thing about me? Oh, man. Probably just my sports savvy. My sports knowledge. I really pride myself on knowing what I’m talking about and not just being a face that reads the Teleprompter. I love sports in general. I like to think that’s a pretty cool thing.
Q: Which one of the old-timers are you excited about interviewing?
A: Dino Ciccarelli, of the North Stars. He was such a fiery character. He’s someone I’ve just heard such great stories about and as far as current players I’ve actually never interviewed Patrick Kane. I know Wild fans are not fans of his at all, but if you’re a hockey fan, he’s one of the most exciting players in the game to watch.
Q: You like bad boys. I don’t remember much about hockey, but those guys I know about because of non-sports matters.
A: They’re interesting, but also so talented on the ice.
Q: Who are better interviewees: baseball or hockey players?
A: I would have to say overall, hockey players seems more down to earth. Obviously, there are great guys and not-so-great guys in every sport and every walk of life. But I have found that most hockey players — whether it’s because their superstardom isn’t as big, maybe their salaries aren’t as big — I feel hockey players are easier to interview.
Q: I wanted to ask, when was the last time a hockey player hit on you, not noticing the wedding ring?
A: Honestly, I think the ring really helps and obviously it’s not just a prop. I’ve been married almost four years now, so I’ve been wearing a ring almost five years, since we were engaged. With hockey players — and they are the ones I’ve had the most experience with — they are very respectful as a general rule, so I don’t have too many problems. Luckily, my husband was able to come to the All Star Game in Nashville and meet a lot of them, and I think it helps when they see you with a husband; that they see you as a person with a family, as a wife and not just eye candy.
Q: Most embarrassing moment on the mike?
A: There have been a couple, but one time … I was so focused on something else when I came out of a commercial break at Fox Sports North I said, “Welcome to ‘Wild Live’ with Jamie Hersch. I’m Tom Chorske.” Really, you can’t even get your own name right? I introduced myself as my analyst.
Q: What’s more important for a man to have: hair or teeth?
A: [Laughs] That’s interesting because it’s hockey. I see where you are going with this. [Laughs] Yeah. [Pause] I would probably say [pause] hair? But only because I’ve met so many hockey players [who] are good-lookin’ dudes, great guys, too, who just happen to not have teeth and they are fine with it. There’s a confidence about them to not have teeth, that’s impressive.
Q: What do you miss most about Minnesota, and you cannot say, “the people?”
A: [Laughter] Well, then I probably can’t say my co-workers, either. I loved working at Fox Sports North. Besides the people, I guess, the seasons and we still have them a little bit in New York, but I do miss the amount of snow we get here. We just got 26 inches in New York and then it was gone in a few days because it was 40 degrees and raining. It’s very strange to say I miss the weather of Minnesota, but sometimes I do. [Laughs]
Q: What’s a New York stereotype you’ve found to be mostly true?
A: The pace. I guess everybody is moving and on a mission all the time. You come to life as a person just by being in that city because everyone around you is so energetic, is a nice way of putting it. Sometimes people say New Yorkers are rude or whatever. I haven’t found that to be the case but I would say New Yorkers are busy. We’re always going, always moving, but that’s what makes it so exciting. That’s what I love about it.
Q: What thing did you buy in NYC that inflicted the biggest dose of sticker shock?
A: Probably a dinner. I’m not big into material things but my husband and I love to go out to eat. You can imagine it’s impossible to choose one spot. You can stumble on any amazing restaurant on any given night, any given street corner. We go out to eat a lot. It’s definitely a different price tag than going out to dinner in Minneapolis.
Q: Haven’t you found that NYC doesn’t have any restaurants [ethically speaking] that we don’t have? They may have more of them.
A: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Minneapolis has a great food community as well. It’s very similar in that sense.
Q: Completely borrowing from Gayle King’s “CBS This Morning” interview with Kate Hudson … What would you rather, a good cry or good laugh?
A: A good laugh for sure. I’m definitely a crier if there is a reason to, but I would much rather laugh and smile. I remember doing a photo shoot and they said, “Oh, be serious.” I’m not a serious person, I’m not. We’ll go for a laugh.
Q: Again appropriating one of King’s questions asked on TV: Naked or clothed?
A: [Laugh] In general? At home? I’m always cold so we’re going to go with clothed.
Q: Do you have time for any hobbies?
A: I do, I have a puppy. She takes a lot of my time. I also am really into running. I didn’t used to be, but now that there are a lot of places to run and to explore, I really like to do that. Watching sports. I’m also a big sudoku fan, random fact. Boring.
Q: Are you cleaning up after this puppy, or is that the job of your assistant?
A: [Laugh] I have no life assistant, unfortunately.
Interviews were edited. To contact C.J. try firstname.lastname@example.org and to see her, check out Fox 9’s “Jason Show.”