msnbc | December 01, 2012
>>> conversation with "the today show " and msnbc's willie geist . we talk about his roots in sports reporting and why he's already dropping the doors on his alma mater vanderbilt . i asked him about his official gig as a co-host on "today."
>> it's cool. i mean, i grew up dreemg of playing for the new york yankees. that hasn't quite worked out yet. yet. i'm still a free agent. i go to spring training every year. security ushers me out. i'm still going to make the team.
>> don't show up to "today" he got drafted.
>> the "today" show is like playing for the new york yankees. you've got a responsible to a 60-year legacy of greatness. and that's very humbling. and at the same time we're at a moment where we're pushing the show forward. it's time for some change, some self-reflection and all that is happening over there. when i go there, there's no head hanging of oh, my gosh we've slipped back. it's a land of opportunity. it's like okay, what do we need to do now. so to come in at that moment when everyone is thinking that way is really cool.
>> that's perfect for you. i've got to think, though, when you talk about it being an iconic brand, so is your father, albeit for another network with cbs. but your father must be so proud of you.
>> i guess so. i hope he is. he's the person i've looked up to obviously as a dad but also professionally just in the way he's carried himself and conducted himself. and always been professional and respectful of other people and done exactly what he wants to do with his life and career. he's been lucky to be able to do that. he's been at it at cbs now for 25 years. and still going strong . still doing it. so i hope he's proud of me. i'm proud of him. i actually started my career in sports. my first job out of college was at cnn " sports illustrated " which was a 24-hour sports network that i know you're familiar with. i really -- it was around for awhile.
>> a little while. when you left that was it.
>> right. it was a great place to learn the business. it was a bunch of young people in their 20s covering sports. that was i guess my first tv love was in sports. the nice thing was the audience went along for it. they didn't say wait a minute this is a news show. what are you doing a couple of minutes of sports on. they enjoyed first us doing it on morning joe hearing us bat around different sports stories. so i think there's a place for it in news definitely.
>> let me get with the vanderbilt thing. louisville slugger . vanderbilt . go dores.
>> i think you've got onto my strategy here. i mention vanderbilt university on television in lieu of donations to the school. i figure like every mention got to be 5 grand. helps the school a little bit.
>> have they worked out that strategy?
>> they don't seem to understand how that works. that's the way i'm looking at it. i'd like to say vanderbilt university should be going to the gator bowl in jacksonville, florida. if the gator bowl were smart they would choose the vanderbilt university . what a great story this year. 8-4, 5-3, a winning record in the s.e.c. mississippi state ? all respect, you could have them any year. why not send the nerds from vanderbilt on a little new year's day road trip to actionville? come on, gator bowl .
>> if we include this i think that's like 10 grand worth, don't you think?
>> that was big.
>> 25er. they shouldn't call me for like five years after that.
>>> tomorrow at this time my frugal friend willie tells me what he found most interesting during his time covering the london summer olympics . we're going to explain all this.
>> i'm not used to my lights. my dark office.
>> i'm going to have to use this for a tease, i think. what are you doing?
>> willie was kind of hot during the interview. it's not just because he's in people magazine 's sexiestmen alive issue. we'll