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No, My Stapler Really Is That Important

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nom Chompsky, May 23, 2013.

  1. wexton

    wexton
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    So no, but it makes for good ratings.
     
  2. Parker

    Parker
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    How often have producers tried to get you to say something more provocative or exaggerate an opinion?
    Have you said anything not glowing positive about an athlete and have them say something about it?
     
  3. JWags

    JWags
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    Hold on, is he a broadcaster or is he a sports radio host/commentator? Its the difference between being Al Michaels and being Colin Cowherd.
     
  4. shabamon

    shabamon
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    I know a few broadcasters who are in the infancy of their careers. They each have game and studio experience. That's probably common anymore.

    What level and sport(s) do you broadcast? What's the shittiest minor league/semi-pro/small town environment you've broadcasted in and why? What was the best moment you've called? Do you have a dream job?
     
  5. thevoice

    thevoice
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    In my talk-show experience, producers are more responsible for lining up guests and ensuring that they are properly connected for their interviews, rather than being in charge of the line of questioning and the actual content.

    I have never had a direct confrontation with an athlete but I have had some unfortunate run-ins with coaches and parents.

    In 2009-2010 I had an opposing team's coach refuse to do his standard pre-game interview with me because I had allegedly slammed his team during a previous broadcast one week prior. He was instructed by the Team President not to speak with me even though it was a clear violation of the league's media policy. He told me very calmly that "My President has told me that I can't speak with you. And the reason is because you made some unfair remarks about our team in a previous broadcast." I was quite pissed off about this accusation, but I calmly told him what I had said on that broadcast and we shook hands and parted ways peacefully without conducting our interview. We ended up beating them 9-2 that night and he was fired from his job a week later.

    ---

    A season earlier I was calling a hockey game in a visiting rink about 7 hours away from home. The home team was winning 6-0 with less than three minutes to go in the game and were cruising to an easy victory. In the final minutes, one of the opposition defenceman coughed up the puck to our forward, and he beat the goalie to break his shutout bid. There was nothing malicious about my call. I simply said, "#4 made an ill-advised pass attempt up the middle, which cost his team a goal, and his goalie's shutout."

    Fast forward 8 hours later. I've just returned home at 5:00 AM and I'm about to crawl into bed. I notice that I have a voicemail waiting on my phone. The message was left by #4's Dad. He had taken the trouble of finding my phone number online in the whitepages phonebook.

    The message went something like this:

    "Hi 'thevoice' I'm calling from (A northern Canadian City) and I am #4's father. I wanted you to know that you made a glaring mistake on your broadcast last night when you said that my son turned over the puck that cost his goalie the shutout. My son has worked incredibly hard to get to where he is, and it's not right for you to point out a mistake like that."

    I deleted the message without even finishing it, and went to bed.

    Four hours later my phone rings again. Still half asleep I answer the call, and of course it's #4's Dad calling again.

    This time he acknowledged the fact that it was his son who gave the puck away, but was still upset that I threw his son under the bus like that.

    I responded saying, "I didn't mean to cause you or your son any problems, but the fact is that he made a bad play which cost his team a goal. His team still won 6-1, and he's no worse off even with the mistake he made."

    Then his Dad continues on with his diatribe about how hard his son has worked to get to this level and how people have been negative towards him his whole life. Blah Blah Blah.

    I stopped him and said, "Your son is a great hockey player who made one mistake. I didn't attack his character, and I certainly didn't shame him for what he did. I simply told the truth. If you have a further problem, take it up with my boss. I'm going back to bed.

    Neither my boss or I heard anything more from #4's Dad.



    I've done bits of both, but today I am responsible for the play-by-play broadcasts for a Junior Hockey Team.



    Right now I'm calling hockey games in a prominent Junior league in Canada. The shittiest small-town environment that I've called from is a very Northern Saskatchewan city about six hours north of Saskatoon. The broadcast area was located directly above the home team's bench and was more of an open platform then an actual closed off broadcasting area. The water condensation from the roof would fall on my face, my suit, and my notes like rain. The broadcasting area was always littered with garbage, water-bottles and old papers that were never cleaned up by the arena staff. And it was inevitable that at least two-or-three pucks would fly directly into my area. Ducking pucks while trying to call a game is a challenge.

    The best moments I've ever called:

    - The first goal I called with my current team (September 2011). It was scored with one second left in the second period. We won the game 1-0.
    - A linebrawl on Halloween Night 2009 where the coaches were throwing water-bottles and sticks at each other.
    - In 2010 we went to Double OT at home in a game we had to win to keep the series alive. We ended up winning the game with 3:30 left in Double OT. We then lost the next night on the road in the afforementioned shitty arena.


    My dream job would be doing the TV or radio play-by-play for an NHL hockey team, preferably in Canada.
     
  6. JPrue

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    How did you get started as a sports commentator? I'm sure many young men dream of doing such a thing, I know I did, but what steps did you take to actually become one? Did you have a great networking connection to get your foot in the door? Right place at the right time? Or did you start like everyone else, and you're more skilled and more dedicated, so you ascended the ranks? Did you go to college for this (possibly a very stupid question)?

    Could you call any other sports? Would you want to? In my opinion, hockey would be the hardest of the major sports to call; within your field, are you respected more than a baseball or football or basketball announcer who's also at your level?
     
  7. thevoice

    thevoice
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    I've wanted to be a sportscaster ever since I can remember. I remember being four or five-years-old and watching Hockey Night in Canada with my family, and for whatever reason, sports just 'clicked' with me. It didn't take me long at all to gain a legitimate understanding of the rules and concepts involved in the big four sports: football, baseball, basketball and Canada's favorite hockey.

    Getting my start was by no means easy, but I did some little things during my high school years that put me on the right track:

    - I was the guy at the very top row of the half-empty junior B hockey arena with a handheld recorder calling the game to myself. I would then go home that night and listen to my broadcast, and I would also play the tape for anybody who would listen. Long car rides with my family were a perfect time to play them back for people.

    - I did daily sports reports during the morning annoucnements at school.

    - I networked my ass off - Even during high school. I made a point of sending e-mails and volunteering with the local Major Junior team in my hometown and peppering their broadcaster with questions any chance I got.

    After high school I did two years of print journalism school (through the advice of my guidance counselor) where I continued to call games to myself in my handheld recorder. In college I continued to network aggressively, and after two years in Print I applied and was accepted into a broadcasting school in Vancouver, B.C.

    My 10-month program was outstanding. It gave me a true glimpse of what life on the radio/tv is all about. During class I learned how to host a music show, produce commercials, read and gather news and sports and everything else radio related that you could possibly think of.

    Once school I ended I started applying for radio jobs all over the country, and as luck would have it, there were two jobs open that required some hockey play-by-play. Because I had recorded myself calling games in various rinks, I already had an established 'demo tape' that I sent. Fortunately one of the stations hired me, and I was on my way. Seven years later I'm here, heading into year three of a job that I absolutely love.

    I've done a small amount of baseball, basketball and football play-by-play (mostly just local cable TV stuff) as well. If the opportunity presented itself I would love to do more baseball as that is my second love, but for now I'm all about hockey and I'm happy. I wouldn't say that I'm any more or less respected than any rival sportscasters. We've got a pretty strong fraternity among us, and often we'll use each other for interviews and for fact-checking, etc.