Saturday, January 26, 2013

Basketball on TV

If I haven't mentioned this, then allow me to do so now.  Along with my friend Tom Prizeman, I've been adding some commentary to the broadcasts of Pleasantville basketball on PCTV (Pleasantville Community Television).  It's been a nice way for me to get back to calling hoops (and doing analysis at times).  Tom, Shane, CJ, and others have been very receptive to having me around, and it's been great fun.

Sadly, only one game is currently online.  The boys basketball coach at Plesantville has not allowed us to stream their games due to scouting concerns.  The girls coach is fine with it, and so, behold the Pleasantville girls' game against Briarcliff from Friday, January 18th.  With the girls playing at 4:30, I had to run straight from picking up Sean to call this game.  Because of that, Tom did the opening himself (which I'm normally there for).  I arrived, set up my equipment, and did color commentary on the first half, before calling the play-by-play in the second half.  If you watch the end of the broadcast, you'll see Tom and I doing our closing comments.

This is not my first foray into TV, having, of course, been "the voice" of the Kraft/Philip Morris (Altria) Softball League (and more).  That's a big part of why I'm at WGCH today, calling all of the games that I have.

TV is a different animal to call than radio.  With just one camera, though, I primarily call the game as if it is a radio game.  That means more description in my call, but perhaps not quite as much.  Every pass isn't necessary to comment on, meaning the analyst gets more time to talk.  Tom and I are working on our own chemistry, and it's pretty solid.  Sure we still step on each others toes, but that's where I try to work as a conductor.  How do you think we make it happen with Chris Erway, Ryan DeMarian and Chris Kaelin at WGCH?

I'm hoping that, by working with Tom, I'm helping to mentor a bright young broadcaster with a great future.  And I'm enjoying doing this - enough so that I'm happy to do more for PCTV.  At this point, I can't help but wonder if this is how the broadcasting game is going to play out for me.

Plus, if Tom is doing the public address announcing (which he does for home games), then either I'll call the game solo (which I've already done), or add in the WGCH crew (trust me, that would be a true treat).

I look at it as a chance to keep my chops solid.  Tom and I are discussing covering hockey, baseball, and who knows what else?

I tried to do TV once years ago here in Mahopac.  Football games (and some other sports) were covered here on community TV (they might still be, though I'm not sure).  The commentary was fun, but, well, it was fun.  Jim McDonough, an extremely well-liked person here, was one of the voices.  Sadly, he passed several years at only 43 of cancer.  The press box at Mahopac High School now bears his name.

My idea, well-intentioned, was to harness the fun they were having and make the broadcast sound more professional.  I talked to a few people, and they thought the idea had merit.  Eventually, I got as far as talking to one of the two broadcasters (not Mr. McDonough, by the way), who flatly rejected the idea.  Up until then, the notion had gone over well.

Sigh...well, I tried.  But now, it's better late than never.  Who knows, maybe I could still call some games for my old school?

For now, I'm happy to be helping out around Pleasantville.

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