Mike Watson is competing to be a sports broadcaster in Gillette: Drafted.

Mike Watson is competing to be a sports broadcaster in Gillette: Drafted.

Local ready to be: Drafted

Vernon’s Mike Watson would love the chance to interview new Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella

Vernon’s Mike Watson would love the chance to interview new Vancouver Canucks head coach John Tortorella.

And you could possibly help Watson get that opportunity.

Watson, 23, is one of 24 finalists for The Score TV network’s fifth-year show Gillette: Drafted, which will give one lucky person a chance to be “Canada’s next sports broadcaster.”

“I think I’d do great around John Tortorella,” laughed Watson, a personable, well-spoken Clarence Fulton Secondary graduate.

“I truly think he’s funny. You have to take those guys with a grain of salt. They’re going to do their thing whether you agree with it or not.”

The third time auditioning for Gillette: Drafted proved lucky for Watson, a dark-haired, dark-eyed, bearded broadcast journalism student at BCIT in Burnaby.

He stood in front of a camera, answered some questions, did an interview and an off-camera rant about some topic on the world of sports. What he did was enough to convince show producers to name Watson one of the 24 finalists that will now head to Toronto Aug. 7-10 for a pre-competition boot camp.

“There will be a series of small competitions,” said Watson, who has watched the show every year. “Last year they did on-street performances, complete with camera crew, and they did streeters (interviews with the public on roadways).

“There will be a trivia test and a chance to sit in on a panel, join in the discussion and see how you feel as you add your two cents worth.”

After boot camp, the 24 finalists will be pared down to six. Two of the 24 will get automatic berths in the final six thanks to a Facebook contest promoting the show and the finalists.

Simply go to Facebook, type “Drafted” in the search bar, then click on the show logo. You will see a picture of the 24 finalists.

Watson’s photo appears with the name “Mike W.” All you have to do to help him out is click on “vote.”

Part of preparing for boot camp is the campaigning he plans to do for online votes.

“There’s really not much I can do other than be very personable to people and get comfortable speaking with people,” said Watson. “This weekend is a very big weekend. I’ve got my brother helping me. I’ve had a T-shirt made that has my face on it along with “Vote For Mike” on the front, and “Drafted” on the back.

“My family and buddies will be wearing them at Funtastic. People will ask about the shirt. We’ll tell them to take out their phone, go to Facebook, then Drafted and hit click.”

Posters for Watson have also been made up and put in local businesses.

A golf, soccer and basketball enthusiast, Watson said the broadcasting bug bit when he was a kid.

“I always thought it was really cool to learn about the knowledge of sports, then I thought deeper and thought how cool it would be to be doing what these guys are doing,” said Watson, who lists The Score’s Greg Sansone and legendary NFL play-by-play announcer Al Michaels as his favourite broadcasters.

Watson likes his chances of surviving boot camp, planning to use his confidence, personality and throwing in some humour, to advance to the final six. If successful, he’s that much closer to landing his dream job.

“It would be an unbelievable career,” he said. “If I couldn’t play professionally, the next best thing, in my opinion, would be to surround myself around it and to be almost as involved by covering it.”

Facebook voting runs through to August.

The overall winner will receive a one-year contract to work for a national sports TV network as its newest sportscaster.