At 19 years old, Taylor Rooks was a sideline reporter on CBS Sports Network for the women’s NIT. At 19, I was probably getting penny beers at the local Hempstead college bar…and by that I mean I was doing homework and studying of course.
At 24, Rooks is now a reporter and TV host for SportsNet New York aka SNY, home of the New York Mets TV broadcasts and the home of New York sports. This comes after leaving Chicago, where she was a reporter for the Big Ten Sports Network while still in college. At 24, being in the number one market in the country in this industry…is pretty damn impressive. You got to pat yourself on the back a bit, right?
“I definitely look back and say I’m proud of what I’ve done so far, but I also know there’s so much more to do,” Rooks told me on The Jake Brown Show on Play.it. “Especially growing up around people I’ve grown up around, I have a long way to go.”
Those people she grew up around were the likes of good ole Uncle Lou and Uncle Marv. That would be MLB legend Lou Brock and former Pro Bowl NFL safety Marv Woodson. Some damn good genes in the Rooks family tree.
“He’s married to my grandpa’s sister, they’ve been married ever since I was young,” said Rooks. “But it’s funny, I’ll always tell people I remember once we went to a game at Busch Stadium and he was on the field throwing the first pitch and people were saying ‘Lou’ but I thought they were booing him and I got so upset, and I’m like ‘why are they booing him’ so now every time I go I think about that, but it’s been a lot of fun every birthday that he has we go to Busch Stadium and he throws out the first pitch and he lets us all go out with him and throw the first pitch and it’s given me a baseball team for somebody that’s such a football and basketball person.”
Brock had a pretty high ceiling…Hall of Fame, second all-time in stolen bases, two-time World Series champion. Uncle Lou set the standard high. What is Rooks’ ceiling?
“I really don’t like to believe in giving myself a ceiling or giving myself limits and I kinda just wanna just go as far as I can,” she said. “It’s really important for me to talk about things that I feel like really matter, things that aren’t talked about a lot. Sometimes in sports personalities we get really caught up in just talking about the good stuff and there’s things that need to be fixed within sports, within life, but the thing about sports is that everything I feel like intersects into it and I think it’s nice to explore that kind of intersection of politics, race, culture and gender that all comes along with sports. So I just kinda wanna expand a bit more on being a sports personality and what that means.”
Making it to TV is difficult. Making it in New York to TV is even harder. Doing both at the age of 24 seems almost impossible. Rooks has done that, and she’s just getting started.
Jake Brown is the Digital Program Manager at CBS Sports Radio and a columnist for CBS Sports Radio, CBS Local Sports, and CBS Local. You can catch him on The Jake Brown Show on CBS Radio’s Play.it, iTunes, and Spotify. It’s a weekly sports show mixed in with a bit of entertainment and interviews as well every week. He occasionally hosts SportsTalk1240 on WGBB in Long Island, and formerly hosted Brown and Troupe on Play.it and on ESPN Radio NH. Jake lives in Queens and being a Mets fan is finally paying off.