Monday, March 24, 2014

Blogging on HAN Radio

As part of my thing at HAN Radio, I want to occasionally add some writing to the mix.

So I did a little something here. It includes the same picture as above (thanks to Liz Skalka for taking it), and some thoughts on the crazy week that just ended.

It began with Greenwich beating New Britain in basketball. That was nothing.

In New Haven the next night, John Kovach and I watched EO Smith/Tolland topped Masuk, and Newtown take care of Tri Town (boys hockey). The next night, we saw Darien knock off Notre Dame-Fairfield, and Fairfield Prep take overtime to dispose of Notre Dame-West Haven.

Then came Thursday. I had the night off!

On Friday night, we called Daniel Hand's one-goal DII Championship win over Amity. John, Josh Fisher, and Paul Silverfarb helped me preside over, arguably, our best broadcast yet.

To Saturday.

It started with the emotional Newtown victory over Smith/Tolland for the DIII title. Again, one goal. Overtime. Chris Kaelin replaced Paul at ice side for this one.

John, Josh, and Paul then took a bag of equipment and set us up at Mohegan Sun. We'll get back to them in a moment.

Then in the Division I championship, Fairfield Prep got a goal midway through the third (just seconds after one had been waved off) to tie the game. They got the game-winner in OT. Kato and I couldn't believe what we were watching.

I left New Haven (the Yale Whale is such a cool place)

I had become a lightning rod for dramatic games!

In the meantime, Josh, John, and Paul began calling the Lauralton Hall/South Windsor girls Class LL championship at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Yes, that meant we were broadcasting from two different sites, with two different setups! It opens up more opportunities for us!

I thought I would join them at halftime, and maybe be the courtside reporter for the rest of the game. But, alas, no. I visited with Mr. Imus and his coffee.

I'll be the first to tell you I didn't like that feeling. But it all worked out.

I came back for my third call of the day - the Class LL boys championship between Bridgeport Central and Fairfield Prep.

By 11, we had finished, broken down the equipment, and had caught up with our significant others for a well-deserved beverage. We all had breakfast together on Sunday back at Mohegan Sun, then went our separate ways.

I won't forget this week for a long time. We've called 58 games since November 22. I've specifically called 56 of them.

Special times, indeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Anatomy of a Call

I completed my second night of calling games at Ingalls Rink (aka the Yale Whale) in New Haven last night, and it ended with a flourish.

In the early game, Darien advanced to the Division I championship game with a 3-1 win over Notre Dame of Fairfield. Good game for sure. Decent crowd.

The nightcap? Phenomenal.

Fairfield Prep took on Notre Dame of West Haven. The Jesuits of Prep grabbed a 2-0 through two periods and opened it up to 3-1 with just over 12 minutes to go. The Green Knights got the score to 3-2 at 8:34 of the last period and tied the game at 12:34.

We went to overtime. Over 3500 were in attendance at the Whale. New Canaan goalie Mac Wright told us on Twitter that the doors were closed and there was an overflow crowd outside watching through the windows.

I'd like to believe a few listened to John Kovach and I on HAN Radio.

At 5:45 of overtime, Matt Wikman strolled up the left side, moved in towards the net and shot...

At first, I was really happy with the call. It was excitable. John and I allowed the crowd noise to fill.

Then I listened to it a few times. I'll still take it...but...

I wish I had climbed back on the call a little quicker after John finished his analysis (as the play began).

I wish - this is my biggest regret - that I had given more details. You have no idea that Wikman came up the left side...across the Green Knight blue line...and through the left face off circle.

You don't know what kind of a shot it was, or what kind of effort Knights goalie Wade Conlan made.

I'm OK with the excitement of the moment, I guess. I would have been a touch happier to insert the final score into the call, but I did say it after the end of the clip.

Maybe I let the crowd noise go too far before commenting (that's not in the clip).

Maybe I'm nitpicking. A lot of things go on in a moment like that, and this is hardly the first time I've done this to a big play-by-play call of mine. It goes with the territory.

I'll still take it.

I guess.

A Sign Picture (or Two)

No, I haven't forgotten about the roads and sign pics. I haven't had a working camera since last July, when my camera got damaged somehow.

I still have to find out what the nice people at Panasonic will do.  Alas.

But I have an iPhone, so that helps a lot.

I noticed that the DOT put up some new signs around Ridgefield, including one just up the block from the home office of HAN Radio. I took a walk and grabbed the new one, which is at the top of the post.

In a different time, Connecticut route 102 turned to the right to end at the New York State line. It also continued ahead and then turned left to go to Georgetown.

Now it only does the latter. Hence the sign.

For comparison purposes, I found the picture that I took of the same location last year (from a different angle).

And that's that.

Monday, March 17, 2014

25 Years

My dad. Oh yeah, the late 60s/early 70s fashion influence. Those shoes...
Ah St. Patrick's Day. It's conflicting, as usual.

I like happier thoughts on this day. Driving through London. Being at Disney World. Sharing laughs and some corned beef.

Later today I will call the Greenwich/New Britain basketball game on HAN Radio.

Twenty-five years ago tonight I was a wee lad of 20. I had just finished my day in the General Foods mailroom. Intending to spend the night at home, I was instead talked out of it to take my girlfriend out to dinner.

I dropped her off to find out my world had changed.

My father died that night.

I think of him every day.

So I beg your indulgence if, on St. Patrick's Day, I want some happy memories.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

No Complaints

Saturday was the FCIAC boys hockey championship, and I'm thrilled to say that I was on the call on HAN Radio.

Sometimes, even if the game isn't the best, things come together for a special broadcast. I, to be honest, didn't feel my best (I still don't), but with a great team beside me, we rocked it.

Thanks to Chris Kaelin, Tom Prizeman, and Alex Hager for a great broadcast, with the steady hand of Josh Fisher on the controls, and Marty Hersam tweeting away.

We missed our colleagues John Kovach and Paul Silverfarb, but that allowed for us to show off the talent of our crew.

We love the page views here, but you can simply listen below.

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Back to It

The Winter Garden in Ridgefield
Things around (yes, Hersam Acorn Radio) are these days.

For one, we have moved over to Backbone Networks and are happy to do so. There's a bit of learning curve but it will all work out fine.

For another, we started a new show for you outdoors people. My friend John Kovach has thrown his line into the water for Yankee Fisherman. As he is a Mets fan, the show name is a little surprising. Don't expect to host anything with "Met" in the title as payback.

Then we have another storm. Less I say, the better.

Lastly, my dance card is beyond full with sports games to call. Between now and March 23, I will call too many to count. Some will be phenomenal, some will not. Simply the nature of the beast.

I love calling championship games, and I think it is an honor to do so. I had the pleasure of doing the FCIAC girls basketball championship on Thursday night. While sitting in the stands is a bit of a bummer (just different to call games from there), there's nothing to not like about a packed gym and two teams giving it their all.

And if all of this isn't enough, I should acknowledge that Sean turned 12 last Sunday. Time flies, blah blah blah. I cherish the time with the kid, and goodness knows I don't get enough of it. I feel badly about dragging him from game site to game site but I am happy to have him there.

Well, seriously, that's about all of the time I have. I hope things settle so that I can write just a little more, because I don't want to give it up. I do enjoy doing this, as in the back of my mind, I always loved the idea of writing a column, and hope to add that to mix as well (and, of course, still here at your favorite destination).