Remember the guy who walked 218 miles from Boston to New York City for Celtics tickets? No? Well, Tyler McGill, a 27-year-old surf shop owner from Rye, N.H., took a bet from his college buddies to make that walk in under a week. His reward? A court-side seat at games 3, 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals, featuring one of the sports greatest rivalries, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers.McGill's trek to the Big Apple also earned him some national fame and a seat in an interview chair on major radio shows and TV channels, including a spot on ESPN and CBS's "The Early Show." Producers at The Early Show liked McGill so much, they invited him to attend games 6 and 7 for them in LA, then they asked him to appear on the show as a regular corespondent, reporting from events around the world like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, interviewing MLB pitcher Kyle Strasburg, attending ComicCon and being a ball boy at the US Open. Were you nervous about being on live TV? From my first interview with Jay Crawford on First Take, I was told a producer was going to come on the earpiece and give me a breakdown of what was going to happen. Then Crawford came on set and said, "just have fun with it ... like I'm talking to my buddies at home." I think that's what works for me. I don't sound like your normal comb-over correspondent. My first live spot was hectic. I was live at 3:30 a.m. after watching game 6 in LA and slept for like three hours. You try to look as rested as possible but it's hard. It's harder doing it from remote feeds than it is in the studio.What is the toughest part about being on camera? Getting people to act naturally. I'll be shooting the breeze before the segment and as soon as the lights on the camera come on, people just clam up. It's the same way for me, my heart still starts getting going. I don't know if that will ever change.Have you Googled yourself since this whole saga started? The only thing I've heard is apparently there's a pro swimmer named Tyler McGill. I'm like a "Q-list" celebrity. I run a surf shop, that's who I am. I didn't do any of this to get any promotion. To be honest, I'm a little uncomfortable with all the attention.Which event that you've covered has been your favorite (NBA Finals, Kyle Strasburg, ComicCon, Pamplona, US Open)? Seriously? Come on, Pamplona was an insane experience. You're down there on the streets with bulls. Before the race I found a veteran runner and tried to stick with him. As soon as we started running I lost him. Then I came within five yards of a bull that gored two people pretty badly that day (they survived.) Whenever CBS calls me to do a segment for them I just can't believe that this is part of my life. I have access to events and places I would never be able to get to on my own. - Interview by Amy WolfeCheck out clips of Tyler on The Early Show at http://www.cbs.com/daytime/the_early_show/ or Google him - sthe results are impressive!
This article appears in the October 2010 issue of New Hampshire Magazine