Advice for broadcasting a new sport

In the last three years, I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up play-by-play for three brand new sports (volleyball, soccer and distance running – a half-marathon). I used different approaches for all three.
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Don’t let haters prompt you to change your broadcasting style

A college football broadcaster was in his second season with a new university. Message board trolls were complaining that he wasn’t enough of a homer on his broadcasts.

“The guy I replaced was not good with the fundamentals of play-by-play,” he said. “He was a big time homer who could complain about the officials and act like the game was a funeral if the team was losing. You could go 20 minutes without knowing the time and score, or even which teams were playing.”

School officials were pleased with the new broadcaster. Still he wondered, “Do I keep doing my thing and hope people get used to it, or should I be more clear than I root, root, root for the home team?”
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4 tips to instantly improve your football play-by-play

One of the first football games I ever broadcast on radio was McPherson High School hosting Hays H.S. This will sound crazy, I know, but I remember my headphones making me feel claustrophobic. I felt like the players, fans and band members were all part of the electric atmosphere and I was separated inside a tin can.

To escape the tin can, I moved one side of the headphones behind my ear. The benefit was immediate and more than I expected. Keep reading.
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A shortcut to a DI play-by-play gig

Neil Price’s recent move from women’s basketball and baseball voice at the University of Kentucky to the football and men’s basketball job at Mississippi State is part of a developing trend:

Doing baseball and men’s or women’s basketball at a Power 5 can be a shortcut to a Power 5 football and men’s basketball job.

MSU is the third university in 12 months to hire a voice who was not doing football at their prior school.
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Is national title game broadcast prep different than normal?

About this time a year ago, I was wondering if I would get the chance to ever to call another game, much less a national title game.

When my situation in Columbus, Ohio, changed, I went searching for work, and was fortunate enough to land a freelance job calling Division II Ashland University men’s and women’s basketball. It was not the “glamour” gig that I had calling Ohio State games, but it was a good way to stay alive and kicking in the business. (Maybe another blog sometime)
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