It was a stunning text I got at 3-30 one afternoon from a friend in television last week. A TV sports anchor we all knew, had been gunned down in front of his home.
Kyle Kraska spent days in ICU in critical condition. The CBS-TV-8 sports anchor was hit by 10-shots by a deranged house painter he was in a dispute with.
Being on air is fun, exciting, it’s where the action is, and it can be dangerous. You get to cover events, talk to the stars, deal with the stories, find out the inside information.
But you never know sometimes who is out there, who watches, who listens, and who takes things the wrong way. Sadly this wasn’t necessarilty about sports, but rather a business transaction gone bad.
The Kraska story was stunning. He’s a sports anchor, not a controversial guy. Covers the stories, is a man about town, with a solid reputation. When you hear about a serious incident like a shooting, all types of things cross your mind.
An incident with a woman; an incident with a viewer who took exception to something said or reported; a crackpot seeking revenge.
The police reports on the alleged assailant, Mike Montana, paint a picture of a troubled man; anger issues, drugs, past assaults, shady business dealings, and now tomorrow, he will be charged with lst degree attempted murder.
How Kraska survived the assault on his Mercedes Benz couple is amazing. Shot from behind? Shot while getting out of the car? Shot while trying to charge the shooter? We don’t know all the details.
Sports in the media, especially sports-talk radio, is not always fun.
I was punched by a sports columnist for something of a wise-crack I said on the air. Choked by another one. Cursed by another one in public. I received telephone threats from a gang member for something I sad about boxing in Phoenix. I believe I was tailed and nearly forced off the road coming home from work one night by an angry listener in San Diego. I’ve been spit on. Threatened with a lawsuit by a mayor. Had someone spray paint my garage.
As much fun as it might be to be a talk show host, a TV star, a columnist, it comes with some risks. You never know who is out there, what they think, how they will react.
He remains in a medically induced coma, is still in critical condition, and faces an extended rehab. Doctors have performed a second surgery, and removed 7-bullets that were imbedded. Say a prayer for him on his long road back.
Sports is supposed to be fun, but it spills into real life, and we know how scary real life can be.
Just ask Kyle Kraska, whom we hope will be back on the air.