Venturing out in the recent freezing temperatures Spot Magazine caught up with veteran sportscaster Ann Schatz in the warm wood-hued living room of her NE Portland home. Twenty-year locals, especially those tuned into sports, know well the gravel-voiced Schatz, who in 1989 became the first female sportscaster in Portland television history when she was hired by KOIN.
Schatz came to Portland by way of Omaha, Nebraska where she started her broadcast career as a weekend sports reporter, the first of her kind in that city also. With a degree in journalism and mass communications, Schatz never set out to become a sportscaster — but sometimes, luck, opportunity and good mentoring choose a path for you. Schatz’s path has taken her to where today she is still a sportscaster, now known as the voice of the Thorns, and the PAC 12 Network, and also a motivational speaker. When we talked about her high school and college sports career as both a basketball and softball player I asked if she’d ever considered coaching. She replied, “God no.” Schatz is a coach though — and when not teaching the fundamentals of defense and offense — her speaking skills certainly qualify as life coaching. I can say this because I’ve heard her speak — and she’s good — very good. Ann’s message always includes elements of inclusion and influence — influence in how we treat and respect others . . . how to make ourselves and others never feel “less than . . . .”
When asked what Schatz would like people to know about her — outside the realm of her career she says, “I always want to hear people’s stories . . . I want to know about them. I always want to listen.”
Schatz and her partner, Lisa Hunefeld share their home with two black Labs — two pups as different as night and day. Atticus is an aging senior gentleman who does his job of checking out a visitor and then quietly retires to snooze. Cash, the younger girl — well, Cash is a whole different story. Cash deems visitors as playmates who have dropped by solely for her amusement and entertainment. Cash challenged me to a rousing game of tug o’ war — while Schatz sat by and fell into the familiar role of broadcaster — watching as Cash and I battled for supremacy. Her first announcement — the rules of the game: Simply put: Cash’s house, Cash’s toys, Cash’s rules. My whining about the rules was meant with a stern, “Tough apples.” Ann Schatz does not favor whiners. While I was being pulled off the furniture and onto the floor Schatz talked about the value of having pets, saying they bring humor, energy and connections into our lives and make us better people for it. They also slobber on your camera lens.
At this point both Cash and I were getting into trouble with our rambunctious game. This brought forth the one other rule in the household: “No dogs on the leather couch” This was followed by “This time I really mean it . . . I really mean it . . . no dogs on the couch!”
As I left the dog was on the couch.
Tough apples, Schatz.
Now, about that shoe. See it there, the kinda ratty looking one with no laces? Well, that shoe means a lot to Schatz. This is her “Oh-hell-the-puppy-has-to-pee-how-quickly-can-we-get-outside shoe. Sometimes the answer is, “Not fast enough . . . uh-oh.” It’s her well worn, well used, now & then peed upon sloggy puppy piddle shoe.
About our Sponsor
Dignified Pet Services has served the Portland-area community for 13 years. In addition to their core business of cremation and memorial services, Dignified co-sponsors the beloved annual Service of Remembrance, this year Dec. 9th at The Old Church in downtown Portland, as well as serving as wonderful supporters and friends of pets and those working in animal welfare. Proprietors Michael, Randy and Avani live in Sherwood.
Marty Davis is a Portland writer and event photographer. She live in North Portland where is she closely watched over by Shasta, a bossy Aussie Shepherd. She is herded on a daily basis.