This episode features the second part of our two-part interview with Tony Reali of ESPN’s “Around the Horn” (you can listen to part 1 here). In this episode, Reali talks about his faith, including wearing ashes on his show, his diet that has caused some stress for him with his family, and also his thoughts on fatherhood. We also celebrate fathers on this Father’s Day in our Italian American Story Segment at the end of the episode.
Tony Reali joined ESPN in July 2000 and in September 2001 became researcher for ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” a role that evolved into daily on-air appearances correcting factual errors by co-hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon at the end of each show.
In February 2004, Reali was named host of “Around the Horn,” a show for which he had been a regular fill-in host and guest panelist. Prior to joining ESPN, Reali was sportscaster for WFUV 90.7 FM at Fordham University, serving as the voice of the men’s football and basketball teams and hosting New York City’s longest-running sports call-in show. He also served as beat reporter for the New York Yankees, Mets, Giants, and Jets.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano
Tweetables (Click to Tweet)
- “That’s been my greatest success in life so far (on keeping family traditions).” – Tony Reali
- “It is important for people to see a person relatively young show that they are a person of faith.” – Tony Reali on wearing ashes on TV
- “My faith has become very personal to me in a lot of ways.” – Tony Reali
- “I feel it is important for anybody to constantly check in on what they believe.” – Tony Reali on faith
- “It was always a conscious decision.” – Tony Reali on going on air with ashes on his forehead
- “I am not someone who is going to avoid being who they are.” – Tony Reali
- “It is important for people to see that you can be a person of faith and talk about that.” – Tony Reali
- “It’s home for me. It’s somewhere a person with my energy and personality can relax.” – Tony Reali on church
- “If faith isn’t giving you comfort, than what’s the point of it.” – Tony Reali
- “Any spirituality is good spirituality.” – Tony Reali
- “I certainly think there are role models in everyone’s life, and they can be in a lot of different places.” – Tony Reali
- “I would love to act and behave in a way that my family will be happy and proud of.” – Tony Reali
- “It’s okay to be successful and still have family values.” – Dolores Alfieri
- “I want them to understand where they came from.” – Anthony Fasano on raising his kids
- “We’ve given the world so many beautiful things, and names are at the top of the list.” – Tony Reali on Italians
- “It’s all I know. It’s what I know being.” – Tony Reali on being Italian American
- “People see Italian Americans and they feel warm, they feel enriched. They make people feel at home.” – Tony Reali
- “My goal in life is to become the Italian Grandmother that I always wanted to be.” – Tony Reali
- “The one thing he was always very proud of up to the end was his family, his children.” – Anna Aflieri on her father
- “The sadness can get buried under the memories (over time).” – Anna Alfieri on losing your father
- “He played such a big role in our family. Everyone loved Daddy.” – Dolores Alfieri
- “Daddy is 100% one of the reasons I do this show.” – Dolores Alfieri
- “You use your mind & not beat up your body like we had to.” – Anna Alfieri on what her father told her about work
Some of the key points from this episode with Tony Reali include:
- Trying to keep traditions going.
- How diet restrictions can cause stress in Italian-American families.
- Wearing ashes on television, and how public of a thing that is.
- The importance of understanding what you believe in.
- His experience with wearing ashes on the air the first time, 15 years ago.
- Role models in life.
- How values can guide you in your life.
- Raising kids in today’s world and educating them about their background.
- Tony tells the story of his engagement.
- Anthony discusses appreciating your fathers and grandfathers on Father’s Day. Don’t take them for granted.
- Dolores and her sister Anna talk about the experience of Father’s Day after you’ve lost your father.
- They talk about growing up with a traditional Italian father, and dealing with the loss of your father.
Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri
Co-Hosts, The Italian American Podcast