You Get Knocked Down
For Chris Wragge '92, playing UNH football was good preparation for co-hosting CBS' "Early Show"

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Chris Wragge '92

Q: Your job looks like one big adventure.

A: Morning television is a full plate. In a two-hour period, you go from talking about Cairo to coffee-table books to cooking.

Q: Do you have favorites from that full plate?

A: Going to school in New Hampshire, having my first job at WMUR-TV, I'm always going to have a special place in my heart for politics.

Q: You covered the tornadoes in Missouri.

A: It was unbelievable. I couldn't fathom being a homeowner and all of a sudden everything you had built literally blown away in a matter of seconds. And the tremendous loss of life. It was just so tragic. Almost 40 per cent of this entire town—the only example I could give you is putting everything you own into a blender. But the fight in these people, the resilience, the will to go on, rebuild and make it better, is just tremendous.

Q: Covering stories like that must really affect your perspective.

A: I'm a board member at five different charities and I spend three nights a week out—and this is not to make me sound like a patron saint at all—but I just really . . . I'm not married currently, I went through a divorce, I have no children. A lot of people think, Chris, you need more sleep, you shouldn't be out at night. But there's a lot to do, especially in the spring and fall.

Q: Which charities?

A: Make-a-Wish, National Down's Syndrome, March of Dimes, M.S., Covenant House for homeless youth. These charities mean a lot to me. I love spending time with the kids. I'm fortunate to do what I do. I know that. There's not a day goes by that I don't consider myself one of the luckiest people on the face of the earth.

Q: I was going to ask what you do for fun, but ...

A: There's not a lot of time left over. I like to play golf. Don't play as much as I used to. In my free time, I try to catch up with friends and family. There's so much preparation to this job. You have to read four newspapers a day. You have to be online during the course of the day just to keep up with everything. Before you know it, it's time to go to bed. I go to bed at 9 p.m. every night.

Q: You know we've got a primary coming up?

A: I know! I always speak glowingly of the school and of the state. There are parts of New Hampshire that I absolutely love. Every summer a number of us who worked together at WMUR get together for a little reunion at Foxwoods and play golf. We've all maintained a great friendship over the years.

Q: You attended UNH on a football scholarship. What did you learn from that?

A: Television is tough. You're constantly knocked down, forced to defend yourself—get up, brush the dust off your back. That's exactly the way it was at UNH. I was never a star. I had some injuries, some setbacks. I had to work for every minute of playing time I got. Playing football was like having a job, being in the work force four years earlier than everybody else. We weren't partying on Thursday nights. It was discipline all week long. It was studying and football, getting up, doing it again. It was a year-round job. What I learned is, it's all about being prepared, so when you get that opportunity, you're able to go out and handle your job. It totally shaped the person I am today. ~

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