I knew he was fast. Practiced and quick. Like a gunslinger.
As the time neared for my telephone interview with beIN SPORTS anchorman Jeremy St. Louis (LOO-ee), it felt like high noon and when the smoke cleared, I would not be the one left standing.
He was the revolver.
I was the pistol.
But, I had a plan.
What Jeremy didn't know and couldn't see was my secret weapon—a 17”x22” spreadsheet which was likely more superfluity than sensibility, but it gave me comfort and it offered some assurance that I would at least get off a good number of rounds.
It didn’t take long for those notions to vanish.
You see, Jeremy St. Louis has a way of putting people at ease even while popping off a few rounds of statistics and analyses, enough to send me scurrying to discover that none appeared anywhere on my gargantuan spreadsheet.
As an example, I asked for his thoughts on Louisiana Tech's sophomore defensive end Jaylon Ferguson and my chest swelled as I talked about “six-foot-five, 255 pounds, with 20 tackles and 12 sacks” and blah-blah-blah.
St. Louis fired back, like a machine gun---albeit a polite one—-reciting not just additional stats from this season, but also how they compared to stats from last year.
A white flag would have done nicely at that point.
With all of his knowledge and instant recall, it seems little wonder that St. Louis is the anchor for C-USA football games. However, in watching his quick analyses and seamless transitions, it might be easy to think that it has all come naturally to him, but that isn't true.
Jeremy wasn't raised with NCAA football. He was born and raised in Canada and after graduating from college, he spent more than a decade covering soccer which carried him to different parts of the world and included a one-on-one interview with international soccer star David Beckham.
It wasn’t until 2013 that St. Louis joined the beIN SPORTS staff in Miami and the matter of being saturated with the knowledge of American football became critical.
When I asked him about that, he replied, “Well, I had to study hard, a lot harder, that's for sure. It helped that even back in Canada, I had already followed the CFL and the NFL and I had some knowledge of NCAA football, but yeah, I had to study very hard.”
And, all of that study brought reward when beIN SPORTS signed an agreement to broadcast C-USA football and Jeremy wanted in.
“I charged into the boss’s office and said, ‘I wana be a part of this!’.” After passing auditions, he was named the anchor. “That was in June and I can tell you, I studied harder than ever.”
He laughed. “I now have two full binders of information!”
I have asked several beIN SPORTS people what it is like to work for the organization and the common answer has been that it is a first-class outfit with state-of-the-art facilities. Those traits are evident to viewers of the C-USA telecasts.
In addition to those facilities, BeIN has gathered impressive personalities for the studio program such as O.J. McDuffie, Ki-Jana Carter, and former NFL Player of the Year (ESPY 2005) Donovan McNabb.
I asked St. Louis what it is like working alongside McNabb.
“He's fun to work with,” Jeremy said. “And, he's quite a character. He's so personable and down-to-earth, so we have a good time. He really knows the game because he studies a lot. And, he's been a big help to me. He's always telling me that if I need something, I can call him anytime. That’s the kind of person Donovan McNabb is.”
BeIN SPORTS will cover the Florida Atlantic University vs Middle Tennessee State University game this Saturday. It airs at 5:30pm ET, but tune in early so that you don't miss Jeremy St. Louis, Donovan McNabb, and the others. It’s a show that is fun, fast-paced, and enlightening.
SB Nation and Underdog Dynasty place a high value on our relationship with beIN SPORTS, so I am grateful to beIN's Maggie McMahon for creating and coordinating this interview and to Jeremy St. Louis for taking his time to speak with us.
More about Jeremy St. Louis, from his beIN SPORTS profile:
Jeremy St. Louis joined beIN SPORTS in January 2013 and is the current host of The Locker Room & The Express Xtra Weekday. Jeremy brings an extensive background in football and sports broadcasting, having covered everything from football to cricket to Formula 1 racing. His primary area of expertise is soccer and through his previous work on "Fox Soccer Report," Jeremy has helped grow the game in North America.