After almost a decade on Baltimore TV, Amber Theoharis signed off for the last time Thursday from a local sporting event. She starts Sept. 21 as a co-host on "NFL Total Access" on the NFL Network. She leaves next week for California.
Theoharis took a break from covering the Baltimore Orioles in their showdown with the New York Yankees at Camden Yards Thursday night to talk about her feelings and say goodbye to viewers who have come to know her over the years at WBFF (2004-2006) and MASN (since 2006).
Q. So this is your last game in Baltimore after almost a decade on the air. What are you feeling?
A. Oh, it's like leaving part of your family. This is what I've known. I've been around these people more than my family sometimes, traveling with this team. You know, watching the Cal Ripken ceremony, my eyes welled up several times just because those Orioles greats have become my friends. One of the first people to email me to congratulate me was Jim Palmer. I don't take for granted that my childhood heroes are now colleagues and friends. I've been doing a lot of reflecting today. It's been emotional. As excited as I am to go to California and keep pursuing what I set out to do a long time ago, I'm just realizing how lucky I've been to be in my home market and covering teams I grew up loving.
Q. Can you describe your new duties at the NFL Network?
A. I'll be hosting "NFL Total Access." Yeah, I feel really lucky. It's crazy, and it's going to be a quick adjustment. But I'm ready. I'm like, "Yeah, let's do this."
Q. In terms of saying goodbye to folks who have watched you over the years, is there anything you would like to say?
A. Oh, my gosh. Man, I'm getting teary-eyed again. I would say I have always been overwhelmed at how welcoming the fans were toward me and how they always treated me like I was their friend. I'm going to miss the conversations with fans at the Yard -- you know, people coming up to me. It's the same with Ravens games. So, I guess I would say thanks for giving me the opportunity to be part of the sports culture I grew up loving and giving me a chance to work with people who have taught me so much about baseball and football.
Q. I am sure 10,000 people have already said this to you at Camden Yards today, but you are picking a great time to leave the Orioles after all the bad years you spent covering them.
A. Are you kidding me? The players were giving me so much crap, like, "Do you know we're in a pennant race?" I mean, it's crazy how many losing seasons I covered and how many low times there were. Nights in Detroit in September are just depressing, and you're on a 10-game losing streak. And here they are now in this magical season, and I'm not going to be there to see it through. That's really tough. It was real tough saying goodbye to the coaches and the players. Buck [Showalter] wouldn't even talk. He was like, "I'm not good at this. I'll see you later." It was real tough. I've become real close to them. ... The one thing I do want to say is that Maryland will always be my home, and I hope to represent this city and this area well.