Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Another Night in the Broadcasting World

Two views of the nice East Campus Arena at RPI in Troy, NY. Both pictures were taken from my broadcast perspective, above the arena (kind of different, but nice). Now here's this brand-new arena, right? What could have possibly gone wrong for me when the Blue Knights visited the Engineers?

Let's back-track. MSMC (Mount Saint Mary College, y'all) Sports Information Director Justin Satkowski had been in touch with the RPI sports info department weeks ago about the Knights bringing a broadcaster along, and they told Justin: "no problem." Fast forward to yesterday morning, and imagine Justin's shock when they told him, "we don't have a phone line."

BIG problem!

Oh they have phone lines. Just not ANALOG phone lines, and that is what our system (and many other like us) use. So Justin and I put our heads together and thought. Justin tried everything - called RPI's radio station...the RPI sports info department called other radio stations around Troy, and so on. There was talk of bagging the broadcast.

My thought was - no dice. I'm going.

Why not take the equipment and give it a try? Seriously, what did I have to lose? The only thing I lost was a partner, as Christine Baker and I decided that it was best for her to skip this one. Sure, I could hand a phone to her for analysis (been there, done that) but why do it if it's not necessary? Why waste her gas to go all the way to Troy, NY?

So I took the team bus, and arrived on-site ready to go. Everyone at RPI tried. We tried my equipment as is (bust). We tried to plug their equipment into mine (crash). We tried ways to make my equipment work without holding a telephone (boom).

In the end, it was me...with a phone from RPI in my hand (a VOIP phone, to be exact, and that was the very nature of the problem). The quality was good enough, and better than the alternative of a cell phone. Sadly all of this fell into the hands of a board operator working for the first night alone back in the studio. I've been that person and it's rough, but you try to make do.

The less I add to that, the better. Let's just say it was rough seas.

As for my end of the broadcast, a big thank you goes to the folks at RPI for getting me internet access to live statistics. It made me sound a little more informed.

Yet we got through it, and the Blue Knights...lost, 85-80.

We grabbed Burger King after the game (YIKES, though it was fun for me to be with the team) and got back to the college around 1:30 AM. Thankfully I caught some sleep on the bus, or I'd really be dragging today.

Honestly, these are the perils of broadcasting. All you can do is laugh at it!

We're back on the air with the women next Tuesday night from the Kaplan Center, as the Knights take on Purchase College. Our coverage begins at 6:50 PM.

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