In between segments of hot takes from ESPN sports talk radio personalities, corny commercials and the familiar "dadda dum, dadda dum" interlude, you'll hear Christine Lisi's crisp, clear voice.
Since 2007, Lisi has been working full time as an update anchor for the "World Wide Leader" in sports. At times, she's had to temper her excitement whenever news about the Buffalo Bills flashes over the newswire. The 48-year-old grew up in Olean and even though she now lives in Connecticut, she considers herself a loyal Western New Yorker at heart.
"I became a Bills fan when I was really little," Lisi explained. "My dad would always listen to Bills games on the radio because they wouldn’t sell out in time to be on television. So, I heard a lot of Van Miller and Stan Barron growing up. I remember going to my first game when I was seven and saw the Bills beat down the Jets."
After graduating from Geneseo in 1991, Lisi worked for a few local radio stations and a public access network. A few years later, she ventured out east and started working for Hartford Newsgroup — a member of Metro Networks — doing news and sports.
It was Linda Cohn, a longtime ESPN veteran, who first told Lisi to tryout for an update anchor position at ESPN. Lisi took the advice and got the job.
In 2000, she began working overnights on Friday and early Sunday mornings. The network gave her more shifts here and there, and eventually made her full time.
"I love radio," Lisi, who writes her own update copy, said. "I love the people I work with and everything involved with it."
During her segments, which are quick and pointed, Lisi tries to cram as much sports news in as possible. She says she's constantly scouring the wire for breaking news, and tries not to let any of her bias show when it comes to the Bills.
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Name: Christine Lisi
Current location: Hartford, Conn.
Previous location: Olean, N.Y.
Favorite Player: Jim Kelly
Most memorable moment as Bills fan: When the Bills beat the Jets 9-6 to win the AFC East
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"Once, I was working on a Sunday morning and the on-air personalities were teasing me for being a Bills fan. And Russ Brandon heard the whole thing on the radio, so he had the Bills organization send me a Bills jersey with my name on the back. So, people know who I follow, but I keep it hidden during the updates."
While working at ESPN, Lisi has gotten to meet a few Bills legends, including Jim Kelly. But meeting Van Miller for the first time is a moment she says she'll never forget. To her, Miller is radio royalty. After all, he coined the phrase "fandemonium" when the fans tore down the goalposts after the Bills beat the Jets 9-6 to clinch the AFC East — one of Lisi's most memorable moments as a Bills fan.
"I love Van. Everybody who knew him called him Uncle Van," she said. "I've always loved listening to him and John Murphy and Rick Jeanneret. They are legends. They are guys that have been with their teams forever. So for me, those will always be my guys because they are the voices of my teams."
If you or anyone you know is a diehard Bills fan and has an interesting story to tell about rooting for Buffalo no matter where you or they might live, email LynsD21@gmail.com.