Smith: You Can Be Southern And Articulate At Same Time

Marty Smith dropped by The DA Show to discuss his new book, "Never Settle"

The DA Show
August 07, 2019 - 12:44 pm

If you’re not familiar with Marty Smith, you might at least be familiar with his voice. Long story short, he’s the ESPN reporter with the Southern accent. 

And that, for Smith, isn’t just part of his identity; it’s a badge of honor – both for him and for so many people who live in the South.

“A lot. A lot of people say that to me,” Smith said on The DA Show. “It’s so interesting, too, because so many of them are aspiring journalists who might be from the Southeastern part of this country. I always maintain that you can be Southern and articulate at the same time. I often implore them not to lose their accent because there’s some authenticity about yourself that you’re forgoing as well. Unfortunately, in a lot of cases, journalism school will tell them, ‘You can’t make it sounding like that.’”

Well, Smith did.

“I had the great blessing that when I came into the television world, I was covering auto racing full-time, and so it was authentic to NASCAR,” Smith said of his accent. “I will tell you – I give ESPN all the credit. They have never said one word to me about that. I am so appreciative of that, and I do take it very seriously and I’m so proud to represent folks in the Southeastern part of the country like that.”

Smith also discussed his new memoir, “Never Settle: Sports, Family, and the American Soul,” which covers numerous topics, including college football, racing, the relationship between fathers and sons, how sports can bring people together, and his rural upbringing in Pearisburg, Virginia.

Click below to listen to Smith’s interview in its entirety.