Patrick Gleason is the Baltimore Ravens Public Relations Manager. He has now been with the team for five years. How did he come to get this dream job in so many peoples' minds and what is it like to be around this team and actually get paid for it?
I asked Patrick if I could do an interview with him about what his job entailed. He said he was used to putting other people, usually only players into the spotlight and liked avoiding it for himself. However, he relented and here is a little insight into his "limelight."
Patrick Gleason, Public Relations Manager:
Beatdown: Patrick, tell me about your job and what is a typical day for you.
Gleason: It's hard to describe a typical day in PR. There is a lot of structure in the NFL work week and they say coaches are creatures of habit. Each day is different. Not once is a single day the same as the other during the week. Here in training camp it is very much structured. I'll get in the office around 6:30-7:00 in the morning. One of the priorities is to read all the clips and the coverage that day, because as you've noticed out here, Bruce, there are anywhere from 25-30 different media members here on a daily basis, so one of our duties and the responsibilities of this job is to see what's being written about us, who's covering us, and that's something that we monitor.
BB: So you go read Carroll County Times, Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Beatdown and you look to see what's up there?
PG: We look at everything, we monitor it all and we actually put together a "Daily Clips" packet that gets distributed throughout the organization, including Coach Harbaugh.
BB: How long have you been with the team and how did you get your position in the first place?
PG: This is my fifth season with the team. I grew up in Colorado and early on in my life I loved sports and was always interested in the media. My dad was in PR, in politics and that it where my interest really peaked. My dad always told me that whatever profession you go into, make sure it's something you're really passionate about and you love. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me is "combine two things that you love," so I put them together. I was fortunate enough to get my foot in the door with the University of Colorado. From my freshman year on, I was involved with the football team and was there for four full seasons, doing PR for them and immediately, I knew that was my calling.
BB: What brought you to the Ravens?
PG: With my connections with CU, I was able to secure two Training Camp internships with the Broncos, That set up some contacts in the NFL and I was able to network a little bit. So once I graduated, I ended up meeting Chad Steele (Ravens Media Relations Director), who at the time, was in the current position that I am in now. I met him at an NFL Business Summit and they were the first to call me and offer a full season internship, which I jumped on immediately.
BB: How old were you?
PG: Twenty-two years old. Not knowing anything about Baltimore, just a kid from out west, the Rocky Mountain region, I said "yes" and made the move, thinking I'd only be here for a year. After that season, they created a full time position for me, so the rest is history.
BB: What's it like working at the Ravens' Training Complex in Owings Mills?
PG: They interviewed me over the phone, so I remember the first time I drove up and saw 'The Castle' I was blown away. I had no idea what I was getting myself into and I knew the Ravens were a highly respected organization, had a great reputation throughout the NFL but I didn't know I was walking into a workplace like that. Just a first class facility, everything you could want a team to need, from training to workspace. It's a beautiful place and it provides us with everything we need and that's a credit to Steve Bisciotti.
BB: First time I met you, we walked by the dining area and you said you hadn't gone food shopping in a long time because of the food there.
PG: Our food is outstanding. I really don't buy groceries. During the season they pretty much provide us three meals a day. We're there early and work late. You can get breakfast, lunch and dinner. Again, that shows how much class that Steve Bisciotti has and how much they value and take care of their employees because we get first class food service all the way. You certainly won't go hungry. We always warn our interns that during Training Camp, you might put on that Training Camp 10-15 pounds because you get so much food out here and your working so hard that sometimes you feel you have free reign at the buffet.
BB: Best and worst things about the job?
PG: I don't want to say worst, because there's nothing bad. The toughest part of the job is that it's 24/7 year round, and especially during the season you've got seven months where you are consumed by everything NFL and Ravens and while we know what we're getting ourselves into, say if we have a game on Thanksgiving, I don't get to spend the holiday with my family. It's tough on your family and friends because you are dedicated to it, like I said, 24/7 during the season and your family, the players' families, the staff's, they're some of the most understanding people in the world and you need to surround yourself with people who understand the nature of that. Now the best part of the job, hands down, is walking into the locker room after a win and there's not a better feeling in the world when you come in off the field into the locker room and everybody's giving each other a high-five. Coach Harbaugh gives his post game speech, you're so pumped up because you've put in so much work during the week, there's so much build up to it and anticipation, that when you win and you're part of that atmosphere and you can celebrate with the team, there's not a better feeling in the world.
BB: Which players on the team are your favorites and why?
PG: Two of my favorites are Joe Flacco and Haloti Ngata. I think anybody who's interacted with Joe has got to love his demeanor. He's laid back.
BB: He's the same off the field as he appears to be on it?
PG: Totally, 100%! We walk up to him and say, "Joe, you've got this today," you throw ten different things at him, he just shrugs his shoulders and says, "okay." It's like you can't faze him.
BB: And Haloti?
PG: Most people, if they see Haloti, they're probably terrified of him, just because of his size. Off the field, he's one of the nicest, most down to earth, very respectful. Both of them have great senses of humor, Most people don't see it come across in their interviews, but off the field two of the funnier guys on the team.
BB: Is there one player out there you love to watch more than any other?
PG: The guy I love to watch more than anybody is Ed Reed.Just because being around him on a daily basis, you see how much hard work he puts in, the studying he does, he goes out on the field and makes those plays. Like the 107 yard return for a touchdown against Philadelphia, it's unbelievable. There's no question that he is arguably the premier player in the NFL, or one of them, the top five. What he's able to do on the field, it's an absolute pleasure to watch him each Sunday, it's amazing. In terms of a guy, we've got a great group of guys in our locker room. You've probably noticed this too, all of them are very respectful.
BB: Well thanks for taking the time to do this, Patrick. I appreciate it and know the readers of The Beatdown will find this interesting.
PG: You're welcome, now make me look good, Bruce!
NOTE: You can read Patrick's blog, 'Insight To The Limelight' occasionally on BaltimoreRavens.com