it is the same guy ....
From NFL to DIY
BY CONNIE OGLE
It's not that he didn't love football, which he played for the Miami Dolphins and the Minnesota Vikings. But there was a first love that kicker Fuad Reveiz never quite got over.
''I grew up with a grandfather who loved tools,'' says Reveiz, who grew up in Miami and kicked field goals and points-after for the Dolphins from 1985-89. ``He showed me how to cut a two-by-four. I watched him, and I always loved it. Building is my interest. If I wasn't in the trade, I'd be building a gazebo on the weekends. It's my relaxation.''
Reveiz, a professional home builder and president of Reveiz and Co., became a licensed contractor in 1995, and he has parlayed his passion into a new interest: acting as the host for the Do It Yourself network's Weekend Remodeling series.
The show, which debuted in January 2003, features step-by-step instructions for intermediate level do-it-yourselfers on such impressive projects as replacing a stairway or adding a tile and wood dining room floor. The idea is that the show will teach you how to complete a project over two days. Reveiz counts down how many hours each part of the process takes and gives preparation tips as well. Other experts chime in with tips of their own.
An old friend alerted Reveiz to the job when they ran into each other at a football game; she suggested he stop by the studio for an audition. It was a natural fit, perfect for the guy whose idea of a good time, years ago, was to extend the deck of his home in Knoxville, Tenn. -- where he attended college and fell in love with the city's lakes -- from 12-by-20 feet to 20-by-50 feet. And that was after a morning workout in the NFL off-season.
The show doesn't get ratings, but message board feedback on the DIY website has been active and positive, according to Bob Baskerville, senior vice president and general manager of DIY, a sister channel to Home and Garden TV. And Reveiz gets plenty of face-to-face reviews when he's out in public.
'When I go to a Home Depot or a Lowe's, I get a lot of guys who say, `My wife now thinks I can do things I can't.' I guess I'm creating a lot of Honey-Dos.''
Reveiz has a unique insight into what makes his viewers tick: He believes they're just like he was when his day job was with the NFL. ''Our viewer is someone who has grown up loving to go to the hardware store,'' he says. ``Likes to look at the new chain saws and circular saws, has an understanding of how building works and can work with his hands. But his day job is something totally different. He's a CPA, a bartender, whatever.''
This insight may be part of what makes Reveiz successful on the show. Baskerville believes Reveiz's combination of affability and skill make him a ''perfect fit'' for the network. ''He's the perfect person to preach the attainability of our projects,'' he says. ``He comes off as Everyman. He's not traditional talent who hosts the show and walks you through things but doesn't have the background. He's a licensed contractor. He knows what he's talking about and delivers it in a disarming and comfortable way. People can relate to him.''
Reveiz has had some previous experience in front of a camera: He did football commentary for ESPN International. But being alone in front of a camera is a whole different ballgame, he says. ''At ESPN I was talking about football with someone else,'' he says. ''You're not alone, you're conversing.'' He says he cringes sometimes when he watches the early shows, but thinks he's getting better, thanks to a coach in New York and the professionalism of the DIY crews. Not surprisingly, he's happiest on the set when he's holding a saw or a hammer or a drill.
''When we're filming, I enjoy that I'm actually doing something with my hands, not putting a budget or proposal together,'' he says. ``In my own business I'm more of a manager now, so the tool belt doesn't go around my waist as much.''
Reveiz should have plenty of opportunity to strap on the tool belt: He's preparing to start shooting a new series for DIY with the working title of Healthy Home Workshop, due to air sometime later this year. The five-part show will run in half-hour segments and show a house being raised from the ground up. Each show will highlight a specific part of the construction.
This should keep Reveiz fairly busy, since he estimates that on Weekend Remodeling, it takes four days to shoot 30 minutes' worth of show.
''There are so many angles,'' he says. ``Every time you move it's a 30- to 40-minute process. The set has to be relit. But these guys take pride in what they do. They're picky. If you see a screw going through a countertop, you know they've been meticulous and made sure that it's well lit, that the light is warm but not too shocking or bright.''
But you'll never hear Reveiz complain about waiting for lighting or set issues to be resolved. He's happy to be working with his hands again (and he won't stop: just last weekend, tired of seeing his paints and supplies all over the floor, he spent the weekend putting up shelves at the home he shares with wife Gayle, sons Nicholas and Shane, 15 and 14, and his daughter Bryanna, 13). This isn't just a job; it's his life. And he just may have managed, like his grandfather, to pass the passion along to the next generation, namely Bryanna.
''She really likes to go to the job sites, even to clean up,'' he says. 'She asks questions -- `why do you cut it that way?' My boys only like it because I pay them.''