In most instances, at all costs, do NOT check a bag. Especially during the holiday season. You have more flexibility to switch flights, switch airlines or even leave the airport and get a rental car to drive to your next destination. If the airline has your bag, they also have you.
Growing up knowing that I wanted to be a sportscaster and knowing that the best school in the country was right in my back yard, I certainly knew all there was to know about Marty Glickman and about people like Bob Costas and Marv Albert and all of the other greats that have passed through there.