They say luck is all about timing and being at the right place at the right time. If that statement is true, much is explained about the recent success of the new weekend host at 95.7 The Game.
After competing in the sports talk radio station’s Lucky Break 2, an open casting contest searching for the newest on-air talent through a four week elimination process with more than 175 people auditioning for the gig, SJSU alumnus Matthew Bessette was crowned the champ.
“I definitely feel this is something I was born to do and I love talking about it (sports,)” Bessette said regarding his new job.
In spite of getting rejected at his first audition in Walnut Creek, Bessette tried out the following week in Livermore and advanced to the live on-air weekly competition at Pedro’s Cantina in San Francisco.
“I knew I could do it,” Bessette said. “I hit my stride when it got down to the final four and I had my best two weeks when it counted the most.”
A kinesiology major during his time on campus from 2006-08 and efficient in math, Bessette enjoys incorporating numbers and data along with his keen sense of humor.
“I look at the sports a little more in depth, a different angle,” Bessette said.
Bessette had the benefit of hosting his own podcast the couple of years before his big chance in attempt to break into the radio business.
Hosting the podcast helped him tremendously as he was practicing his future craft in hope of landing his dream job, according to Bessette.
Although always optimistic and prepared for his chance even before the Lucky Break competition, Bessette had to put his dreams temporarily on hold. The birth of his daughter Brooklyn and
marriage to his wife Amanda last November put his domestic life first and pushed radio to the side.
Unfortunately for him, things took a turn for the worse.
Bessette’s father Mark, who had been homeless the past nine years, became extremely ill.
Bessette found out his dad was diagnosed with cancer during his last days in the hospital and on the eve of the competition tryouts, his father died. The man who taught Bessette everything he knew about sports and statistics was not there to see his son reaching for his dreams.
Using adversity to his advantage, Bessette found strength and guidance from his father in the form of his state ID.
“I used to carry his ID with me in my pocket when I was trying out, so when my nerves would get me, that would calm me down,” Bessette said. “I definitely feel like he was a big inspiration on my life and a big reason why I won.”
Knowing his father would be proud of his son’s accomplishment, Bessette said he is set on making everyone in his family proud, as well as those at 95.7 who choose him as the Lucky Break 2 winner.
Bessette knows it takes years to get into something this big, working in a top five market and getting a foot in the door, but is hopeful doubters of it will listen with open ears.
“I have to work hard at it and make people realize that I’m worth it,” Bessette said. “Even though I didn’t work hard (years) to get there, that’s not a reflection of what I can actually do.”
And now, after surviving all the rounds of elimination and having interviews with All-Star David Lee from the Golden State Warriors and Hall of Fame defensive back Rod Woodson under his belt, he is at ease and optimistic about hosting his show, according to Bessette.
Also joining Bessette as he hosts his Sunday night show is Lucky Break 2 runner-up and Bessette’s co-host Nick Ghiorso from Walnut Creek.
“We’re two guys that are funny and love to talk about sports, so I hope the fans enjoy the show with the entertainment and knowledge we both bring,” Bessette said.