Sunday, September 30, 2007

Rye-Harrison Thoughts

I had the honor of calling the Rye-Harrison game for the third time yesterday, and the atmosphere was as electric as usual. The game really wasn't that great, as Rye took control in the second half, thanks to two Huskies turnovers, and won 27-7.

For us in "the booth", the experience was not as pleasant as would have preferred. Yesterday was the first time I had worked at Harrison's Feely Field, and finding a place to call the game from was difficult. The press box at Feely is big enough for the coaches, a time keeper, scoreboard operator, and PA announcer. Cablevision did the game from their own scaffold on the visitors side, and nobody had any available power for us to use.

Oh yeah, and Harrison seemed to think that nobody from WGCH called them to say that we were doing the game. It's more like somebody at Harrison didn't check their messages, as I called last Monday.


Anyway, thanks to some of the staff at the Harrison Ave Elementary School (where Feely Field is located), we were able to gain access to a classroom to call the game from. However, our science room provided us with a partial view of the field...and a wonderful view of trees. So large chunks of the field were obscured to us.

Oh well. We tried.

What made the game sound halfway decent was not the performance of yours truly or Sean Kilkelly, but the knowledge and insight of the aforementioned Nick Angotto. Because Nick was able to get a sideline pass, he became our eyes and ears to everything. Initially, Nick was supposed to give me updates on the scoreboard, which was nowhere near my line of sight. Eventually I realized that the only way we could even try to call the play-by-play was to send the game to Nick at times, and let him have at it. Though he had no idea that this was going to happen (neither did I), he didn't panic and really came through. Nick had never called any action before and did a great job under unique circumstances.

Nick also provided us with what one might call "inside the huddle" types of information, like formations and so on. Remember - he only stopped playing a few years ago (on the 2005 Cardinals). Yet he didn't violate the sanctity of the sideline.

My role in the broadcast became that of traffic cop. I anchored things and called the action when it came into my view. I had to rely on the crowd and officials for other things. Sean did a great job with his steady analysis and calming influence on me. While my stomach churned when we got there, I otherwise stayed cool with a "there's nothing I can do about this" attitude. In short, we sucked it up, explained the circumstances to the listener and moved on.

Thank God "The Game" is in Rye next year, and moves to Harrison High's new field in 2009.

No comments: