Everett in 2010
|Born||Neil Everett Morfitt
May 18, 1962
|Education||University of Oregon
B.S. 1984, Journalism
Born in Portland, Oregon, Everett was raised in Spokane, Washington and graduated from its Lewis and Clark High School in 1980. He was a two-sport varsity starter for the Tigers in football and basketball, named to the all-city team in football at guard, and played on the defensive line as well. Undersized in the late 1970s, he admits that he was "king of the cut-back block."
After high school in eastern Washington, Everett attended college in Oregon. He started at Willamette University in Salem, then transferred to the University of Oregon in Eugene and graduated in 1984. He was initiated as a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Willamette and continued that membership at Oregon. While he was a student in Eugene in 1983, his mother Jackie, a high school teacher, died from cancer at age 45. The use of his middle name as a professional surname is a tribute to his mother, a UO alumna and Astoria native, who would call him by his first and middle name when his behavior was less than optimal.
His stepfather, Dave Robertson, was a longtime high school basketball coach at Shadle Park and won the state title in 1981, led on the court by Mark Rypien. A math teacher, Robertson later coached at Gonzaga Prep.
Everett started out in broadcasting at KCST-FM in Florence on the central Oregon Coast, west of Eugene. He left the media field and moved to Hawaii, where he worked 15 years as an athletic administrator at Hawaii Pacific University. While still working full-time at HPU, Everett was hired at local ABC affiliate KITV, first as a news writer, then assignment editor, and finally as a sports anchor. He later worked at Hawaii stations KHNL and KGMB.
In April of 1999, Everett interviewed with ESPN on the recommendation of a friend, but was not hired. The following year, ESPN called him for another audition, and this time he was hired as an anchor on ESPNews. In March 2009, he relocated to California to anchor the late-night Los Angeles edition of SportsCenter, which debuted on April 6, 2009.
During his tenure as a SportsCenter anchor, Everett has added Hawaiian surfing sayings and other state references to the show's famous repertoire of catchphrases. When noting the time of an event, he will often use the Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone. He also uses, "Howzit" (Hawaiian slang for "How's it going?") to start each show and "Recognize the WAC!" in reference to the University of Hawaii Warriors, who play in the Western Athletic Conference.
Everett closes each show's introductory summary by shouting the words "Right now!" As a native of the Northwest, he frequently makes references to Spokane and its Gonzaga University, Washington State University, as well as the University of Oregon (his alma mater). He uses the catchphrase, "Bartender, Jack!" (as in Jack Daniels), in reference to home runs in baseball highlights. He often refers to The Grateful Dead lyrics, such as quoting "Tennessee, Tennessee, there ain't no place I'd rather be"—a verse in the song Tennessee Jed—when referring to the Tennessee Volunteers. He also frequently uses the verse from the Grateful Dead song, St. Stephen, "One man gathers what another man spills," as well as often referring to the Pearl Jam song "Got Some" with the phrase "Got some if you need it!". He also refers to the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song "Jammin' Me", in some cases when mentioning the Florida Gators (since Tom Petty is from Gainesville), along with the song "It's Good to be King" when referring to the Sacramento Kings. Most recently, he was noted paying tribute to the band Phish, after lead guitarist Trey Anastasio threw out the opening pitch for a Padres and Rockies game. He also makes numerous references to The Big Lebowski, a movie set in his current town of Los Angeles, with references such as "The Dude abides" and "careful man, there's a beverage here" and " Mark it eight Dude" during Top Ten Plays. He usually gets the number nine call, during Sportscenter's top ten plays, and a popular catchphrase that he likes to use is, "She's a Beauty That Number Nine," which is from Neil Young's "Ordinary People." During the 2010 Oregon Ducks football season he gave a shout out to "Supwitchugirl" and their smash hit "I Love My Ducks (Return of The Quack)" by singing the chorus. He occasionally references the George Thorogood classic One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, with the line "One shot ain't enough Jack, you better make it three".
- Pignolet, Jennifer (April 30, 2013). "Spokane native Neil Everett steps up". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Degerman, Eric (December 24, 2003). "Spokane's ever-so-smooth Everett excels on ESPN". Tri-City Herald. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- "Bench-warmer saluted". Spokane Daily Chronicle. February 5, 1979. p. 18.
- Goodwin, Dale (November 18, 1979). "Stars: GSL had super players, if not super teams". Spokesman-Review. p. C4.
- Derrick, Merle (November 27, 1979). "Mark Rypien, Martin top Chronicle all-city". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 25.
- "Panther on the loose". Spokesman-Review. photo. October 20, 1979. p. 20.
- Eggers, Kerry (January 17, 2013). "This is Neil Everett: from Oregon to ESPN". Portland Tribune. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
- Morfitt, Neil (June 5, 1980). "Criticizes critic". Spokesman-Review. Letters to the editor. p. 4.
- "Jacqueline K. Robertson". Spokane Chronicle. October 22, 1983. p. 6.
- Derrick, Merle (March 16, 1981). "Just the facts: Shadle Park is No. 1". Spokane Daily Chronicle. p. 17.
- Blanchette, John (October 6, 2009). "GSL coaching legend dies". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved January 3, 2014.
- Weaver, Dan (June 4, 1988). "Robertson can't wait for another court challenge". Spokesman-Review. p. B1.
- "Morfitt-Gullickson". Spokesman-Review. June 28, 1990. p. C10.
- Steve Murray (2013-02-06). "Representing The 808". Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- Paul Arnett (2000-05-17). "Everett leaving islands for job with ESPN". Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- "Phish References by ESPN SportsCenter's Neil Everett 5/7/12". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- Howie Stalwick (2013-03-20). "Many pundits love Gonzaga, but not all the way". Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- ESPN bio – Neil Everett
- Athlete Promotions – speakers – Neil Everett
- Beta Theta Pi Alumni Association – Neil Everett
- Neil Everett interview for "The Beta Theta Pi" magazine