I took a major stroll down memory lane last night and it triggered a wish that I have for you for the new year.
In January 1995, the San Diego Chargers stunned the NFL by winning the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh and advancing to the Super Bowl for what is still the only time in franchise history. That night, 68,000 screaming fans showed up at what was then Jack Murphy Stadium to welcome the team back home.
You wouldn’t believe the atmosphere inside that stadium.
Screaming fans. Painted faces. Highlights on the scoreboard. The stands peppered with flash bulbs (Pre-cell phone, you know). The cannon booming in the East end zone. Players and coaches getting off the airport bus and addressing the crowd. The atmosphere was as electric as any playoff game I have ever attended. And it was 10 o’clock at night!
I was broadcasting the party for my employer, XTRA Sports 690. When word started spreading across the country that this crazy event was occurring, ESPN Radio jumped in to simulcast nearly an hour of the live broadcast.
Ah, how times have changed.
With the Chargers likely moving to LA, the local media has been reminiscing about the greatest moments in team history. That night at The Murph is always mentioned in the top two.
Now here’s what triggered my memory of all of this. I happen to have the cassettes of that broadcast. (To my knowledge, the only copy of the broadcast in existence.) I was listening to it last night for the first time in 21 years. Brought back chills. It was one of the most memorable experiences in my sports broadcasting career.
I mentioned at the start of this post that I have a wish for you as we enter the new year. My wish for you is that 2016 includes many moments that remind you why you chose a sports broadcasting career and that they keep the flame burning on your passion for our profession.
From me and STAA’s Digital Content Coordinator Melodie Turori, best wishes for an awesome new year!