WALTHILL, Neb. (KCAU) — Being there for the big game, it’s something plenty of people dream about. For one Siouxland native the dream has come true.
If you ask Sue Maryott, she might even say there are days where she feels like she’s dreaming. From the Breeders Cup to the NCAA Tournament and the biggest games in the Big Ten, Maryott had a front row seat on the action, but you won’t find her in the stands.
For even the most dedicated sports fan, watching 500 sporting events in a single year would be a tall order. Not only does Sue Maryott watch at least that many games each year but she gets paid to do it.
“I’m Senior Coordinating Producer and that means managing the 500 or more games that are on our network each year,” Maryott said.
A 1988 Walthill, Nebraska graduate, Maryott is in her seventh year working for the Big Ten Network. KCAU 9 caught up with her over Thanksgiving during Nebraska’s final regular season volleyball game and while spending time back home in Walthill.
“This is where we did recess. We’d sit on the stage for games. You see [Walthill] Blujays. I tease everybody that I had to go to college at Creighton [University] to learn that there is an “E” in Bluejays. This hasn’t changed. There’s a lot of success stories up here. If you look at who’s come out of here and what they’re doing. People kind of think, ‘Oh the ‘Res,'” Maryott said.
A Creighton University graduate, Sue started her TV career in Sioux City in front of the camera. After only a couple years, Maryott moved behind the camera at an Omaha station before spending 20 years in various roles at what’s now known as Nebraska Public Media.
“I saw the producer role and I was like that’s who’s controlling everything and organizing and telling people how the shows going to run. I want to be that person,” said Maryott.
And that brings us back to the Cornhuskers and the Big Ten Network.
On Thursday night, Maryott worked remotely checking satelite coordinates and guiding the transition from one big game on the network.
In the role of Coordinating Producer at BTN, Maryott functions more like a swiss army knife. Fixing issues as they come up.
“We are hiring the talent, hiring the producers/directors working with crewing and facilities making sure cameras and connectivity is in place to do these games,” she said.
Sue Maryott now calls Chicago home and sees most of those 500 games from her office or the Big Ten Network control room.
“The general public doesn’t understand what goes into putting a game on TV,” she said. “People know the 2-3 people on the air, but behind the scene there could be 20-40 people working working on the game.”
From soccer to volleyball, field hockey, baseball, lacrosse, football and more, Maryott is in the game all year long.
“Football tends to be all hands on deck. Everybody is working in some capacity,” Maryott said. “I still try and watch as a fan. What would a fan viewer want. I dont think I really knew what the path would be. I saw control rooms and TV and thought pretty cool.”
Safe to say, most sports fans would say the same.
Maryott credits her days at Nebraska Public Media for providing a path to the Big Ten.