Scott D. Pierce: BYUtv's Robbie Bullough is not a kid
BYUtv's Robbie Bullough does a great job working the sidelines of Cougar football and men's basketball games. He's also an up-and-coming play-by-play man, working everything from baseball to women's basketball.
And he's older than he looks. Behind that baby face is a 25-year-old with a wife and big dreams.
When people find out how old Bullough is, "They're usually shocked, because I know I look like I'm 14," he said. "And then I usually get, 'That's going to be great when you're older.' And I say, 'Yeah, but it's not so great now.' "
Because 14-year-olds don't get a lot of respect.
And Bullough's presence has to be one of the reasons some viewers mistakenly believe that BYUtv is run by BYU students.
But Bullough gets why they might be confused.
"I barely look old enough to be a college student," he acknowledged. "It can affect your credibility.
"The most criticism I get by far is that I look really young. It's somewhat frustrating, but at the same time I look at it and say, 'OK, the one beef that people have with me is something that's out of my control.' I must be doing OK if that's the one criticism people have."
Bullough is good at what he does. He can even get news out of brief halftime and postgame interviews, which are generally useless. Like when he asked Idaho State football coach Mike Kramer about a late hit that knocked his All-American punter out of the game and Kramer looked like he wanted to kill somebody.
"He was upset, but not with me," Bullough said. "Here you have a terrible team and their one shining moment is a punter, and he gets hurt. It's totally understandable. I wasn't scared or anything."
A lot of people might have been under the same circumstances.
And, while BYUtv is clearly the home channel of BYU, Bullough didn't hesitate to ask Cougar basketball coach Dave Rose why he didn't use a timeout down the stretch in a narrow loss to Baylor.
Which apparently upset some BYU fans.
"I wasn't questioning Dave Rose's decision-making," Bullough said. "I just knew there has to be a good reason and I wanted to know what the reason was."
As young as he looks, Bullough is no novice. He actually started doing play-by-play as a high school sophomore back in Indiana, working games that were tape-delayed on local cable.
"And I probably looked just the same age back then," he said with a laugh. "If you ask my mom, she'll tell you that I wanted to do this since I was, like, 4. She remembers me doing sports talk-shows in the shower and muting computer games and announcing them on my own."
But what does the future hold for the BYU grad?
"That is a great question and one that my wife asks me weekly," he said with a laugh. "I'm not really sure.
"I'm covering BYU, which I love. But I don't necessarily want to do that for my whole career. In a lot of ways, this is a dream job just because I am able to do sports broadcasting and do it where my family back in Indiana can watch live. If I were at some small market somewhere, I wouldn't be able to."
Given his choice, Bullough would love to do more play-by-play. He prefers it to sports anchoring because, "I like telling people what is happening, rather than what happened.
"My dream would be to do play-by-play for college football on some national network. To be like the Keith Jackson or the Brent Musburger calling the game of the week for college football."
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. His Sports on TV column runs Mondays and Wednesdays. Contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.
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