The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.
Thankfully, the coronavirus appears to be on the decline as millions get vaccinated. As the virus wanes, the prospect of actually announcing games from the venues in which they are being played appears closer. That has not happened since March 18, 2020 – 16 months ago.
This past year, like so many other things in our everyday lives, has been like no other. I know I have never had a broadcast year anything like this one. With that said, through great forethought and adaptation, we were able to still bring you the major high school events in football, basketball, and baseball.
As a high school student myself, I played them all. Unlike the high school specialist of today, I felt each sport offered up unique lessons about life and, thus, were equally important in one’s adult development.
Football was the ultimate team sport where you had to count on 22 or more players to gel as a unit. No sport brought more attention, both good and bad and, therefore, the wins were more meaningful and the losses were tougher to take, but there are lessons in both winning and losing.
The focus was greater in basketball on your individual skills and meshing those skills with those of your teammates. Individual offensive and defensive challenges were present throughout the game. Basketball, also, forced you to learn plays as a unit and each basket or defensive stop was contingent upon the group doing their job. Sounds much like the work environment, right?
Baseball was much more individualistic. It was a simple game on paper – a pitcher faced a batter; a fielder waited to react when needed; and everyone had to do their job, within the framework of a team game, when called upon.
Announcing football, basketball, and baseball, much like playing the sports, had their own set of challenges. Those challenges increased dramatically when you were not there.
Football – Who has the ball? What yard line is the ball on? How many yards were gained or lost on a given play? Who made the tackle? These were the questions that needed answers on every play. I feared looking like a fool trying to call this game. But help was offered – eyes at the stadium that could instantaneously get information to me; a scoreboard shot that would tell me where the ball was; and a close-up view of the teams as they ran their plays. My fears were unwarranted. Much like the game of football, the broadcast of football required all parts of the team to work together. No one was more surprised than me, but it worked.
Basketball – A new sense of trepidation crept in as I anticipated doing play-by-play for this fast-paced sport. Could we follow the ball? Could I see the numbers? Could I determine who made the shot, blocked the shot, made the pass, got the rebound, committed the foul, etc.? The answer was, “Yes, we could and did.” This was tougher. We may have been a split second late with the call, but the correct call was made.
Baseball – This past week, it was baseball’s turn. I arrived at the studio (not the baseball field) hoping that somehow I would know where the ball was hit. We would not have a camera shot of the scoreboard so calling balls and strikes might be a challenge. But we proved, once again, that we are a team, too. The camera work was superb. I could call balls and strikes just like the umpire because I had a terrific view of the pitch and the plate. I could tell where the ball was hit because our camera guys were flawless and our director pushed all the right buttons. We did not miss a play.
I can’t wait to get back to the actual venues again, but until that happens, I can guarantee you our “team” will do the very best to make you believe you are at the stadium, the court, and the ball field. We will “take you out to the ballpark” even if I cannot join you there.
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- I am predicting that it will be the Brooklyn Nets versus the 76ers in the NBA Eastern Finals. The Sixers need to get by the Wizards and, I’m guessing, the Knicks in the second round. That should happen and create a thrilling Eastern Conference final.
- In the NBA West, I like the Jazz over the Grizzlies; the Lakers over the Suns; the Trail Blazers upsetting the Nuggets; and the Clippers over the Mavericks.
- The Phillies have lost four in a row and they are doing it with poor fielding, poor hitting, and poor pitching. That combination will get them absolutely nowhere. They are now under .500 and sinking fast.
- Congratulations to Emmaus for winning the EPC baseball championship, their first league title since 2005. Pleasant Valley, the other finalist, deserves some accolades, too, for knocking off #1 seed Liberty in the semis. District baseball starts this week. We will have the 6A championship game on Tuesday, June 1.
- With the holiday weekend coming up, I will be taking a break from blogging next week. Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.