Marc Silverman truly is someone living the dream.
A self-described “newspaper nerd” as a kid, who, as a seventh grader, shadowed NBC Chicago’s Mark Giangreco for a homework assignment, sits behind a microphone most days for four hours and offers his opinions on sports on ESPN-1000 radio.
“I get to do what people do for fun. I get to spew my opinions on Chicago sports for a living,” Silverman said. “This is something people do during their free time. What they do to decompress, talk to their friends about sports. And that’s what I get to do for a living.
“Even though I’ve done it for so many years, it’s never lost upon me that this is how I make a living, getting to talk about our sports teams. Even if they aren’t very good at certain moments in time. Who could beat that?”
Silverman and his radio partner, former Bears receiver Tom Waddle, have 16-plus years together on the Waddle and Silvy show, from 2 to 6 p.m. on ESPN-1000, currently the longest-running sports talk duo on Chicago history.
Silverman will be sharing his opinions on the Bears with subscribers this season. He has been hired as Bears columnist.
WMVP,1000-AM is the new home of Bears’ broadcasts this season. Silverman will host the pregame show with former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs and ABC-7 sportscaster Dionne Miller. He will also do the halftime show.
“I don’t get to be on postgame, so this is kind of my postgame thoughts on everything,” Silverman said. “I’m coming at this from the lens of a fan. That’s how I do the (Waddle and Silvy) show. I’ve always come at this as a fan first. I’m doing this from, ‘Hey, this is what should happen from a fan’s perspective.’ How do we win and get what we deserve as fans?”
Silverman and his wife Allie live in Deerfield with their boys Mason (9) and Braxton (7). Silverman was diagnosed with diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma in April 2020. He was treated by doctors from Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital and been in remission since August 2020.
Silverman grew up in Niles and graduated from Niles North in 1989. He attended Southern Illinois University and graduated with a degree in radio/television in 1993. His first broadcasting job was at KILR Radio in northwest Iowa after SIU.
Early in 1985, Silverman took a paid internship at WGN Radio, where he worked his way to part-time and then to full-time reporter, covering a lot of professional sports.
Silverman fondly remembers watching Cubs games on a black-and-white TV with his mother Barbara at a young age. Whether it is true or not, Silverman said Barbara used to tell people his first words were, “Hey, hey!”, the famous catchphrase of late Cubs broadcaster Jack Brickhouse.
When other children were job shadowing people like doctors or lawyers, Silverman, already leaning toward a career in media, chose Giangreco. While at SIU, Silverman interned with Giangreco at NBC, and Giangreco later was a weekly guest on Waddle and Silvy.
“We had been looking for a columnist to cover the Bears. We wanted a talented writer with a significant social media following,” Shaw Media president and CEO John Rung said. “We just weren’t coming up with any names. One day I was listening to ‘Waddle and Silvy’ and Marc mentioned that he started his Chicago media career as a Bears beat reporter. It dawned on me that Marc would be perfect for the role.”
Silverman has written some columns in the past for ESPN Chicago and now will get that opportunity on a regular basis.
“I’ve always wanted to write a column. I grew up in the city as a newspaper nerd,” Silverman said. “I would grab the papers and want to read what the great columnists in this town had to say. This is a legendary columnist town.
“I would listen to (Chet) Coppock on the air (AM-1000) and I would want to read what the great columnists had to say. I’d get the newspapers on the doorstep and I couldn’t wait to read them.”