Saturday, November 12, 2016

300 Football Games

I will call my 300th football game later today, as Williston Northampton takes on Brunswick at Cosby Field in Greenwich. The game is available via the Brunswick School and Go Bleachers.

This actually means nothing, nor should it. It means something to me because I've tracked this stuff since 1999. It also means I'm 30 games away from 1000 total, between all sports (and yes, I'm including Cheerleading, so deal).

Anyway, it's always been kind of staggering to me that I've gotten here. As we might discuss when (or if) we reach 1000, I didn't call my first game as a professional broadcaster until I was 30. So I'm not exactly jaded. I'd love to have the opportunities that have presented themselves to the young broadcasters of today, but it just didn't happen that way for me. Again, another post for another time.

I wasn't necessarily sure I'd survive game 299 last night, as Greenwich fell to Ridgefield 30-21. The game time temp was 38 degrees at Tiger Hollow, and we weren't in a toasty press box. Chris Erway, Ian Barto, and I were outside. That's the way that it is at Ridgefield. The press box is simply too small for any media.

My back tightened up and, even today, I still feel pain. But obviously, we do what we love, so there's no complaining. Plus I can still taste that postgame chicken and rice soup from Orem's Diner in Wilton, so there's that.

Three hundred. A lot of partners. From Ron Lyons to Sean Kilkelly to Mark Rosen to Tom Kane to Ricky Fritsch to Chris Kaelin to Chris Erway to Ryan DeMaria to Paul Silverfarb to John Kovach to AJ Szymanowski.

Wait. There are more names. Ian Handwerger, Tommy Dee, Tom Pollina, Dave Rothenberg (yeah, that one from ESPN), Matt Hamilton, Ron Warzoha, John Collins, Amanda Romaniello, Nick Angotto, Zach Fisher, Tim Parry, Jason Intrieri, Rob Crowley, Nick Fox, Scott Gentile, Max Barefoot, Tom Prizeman, Eric Gendron, Mike Suppe, Phil Giubileo, Kevin Coleman, and Shawn Sailer.

I think - I hope - that's everyone. At least that's what my spreadsheet says (for football).

We've had countless special guests, from my own son to John Sullivan to Sam Rutigliano and many more. I remember interviewing the late David Theis on opening day in 2000 as they dedicated the Cardinal Stadium scoreboard.

To many, 300 isn't a big number. Nor will 1000 be eventually. To me, it's just a moment to reflect and say thanks to everyone who have supported the broadcasts, and gave me the opportunity to do the one thing I love (and am hopefully halfway good at).

We've gone from Cardinal Stadium to Staten Island to the Carrier Dome to Ken Strong Stadium to Arute Stadium to Boyle Stadium and to Naples, Florida.

And more.

As Shawn Sailer always reminds me, one of my favorite sayings is "Have headset. Will travel."

I have a game to call.

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

It's Almost Over: Election 2016

Just having a little fun. Thanks to Shawn Sailer for the nomination.

I've been pondering a lot about writing, and whether or not to do an Election Day post. Well here we are.

About a month ago, I was scorned by a few* (and lauded by others) for reposting an article from another writer on Facebook. In it, the writer suggested that everyone just stop with the social media rhetoric.

* Those few were of one side of the aisle, for what it's worth (yes, we sports people like stats).

Let me elaborate. I like discussion and debate. Hell, as a sports broadcaster, and more so, as a sports talk show host, I have to welcome it. There are a lot of people that I politely bite my tongue with, and those who I like and respect (and can handle it) get my two cents. Thus if you tell me, for instance, that Game 7 of the 2016 World Series was "The Greatest Baseball Game of ALL TIME!," you're likely to get rebuked.

Game 6, 1975...Game 6, 2011...Game 7, 1960...almost any game in the 1991 World Series. Plus games in 1912 and 1924 and on and on. I

With regard to the political stuff on Facebook, I frankly gritted my teeth a lot, ignored all, blocked some, and just kept pressing on. I would welcome the discussion, but few are willing to do so without it turning into mud-slinging. So I posted that and got slightly insulted in the process (you know, as in "you can't handle this, so here's a rainbow"). Ergo, point proven.

Let me tell ya something, nobody despises rainbows and unicorns more than I do. But you didn't ask. So we digress.

Anyway, that brings us back to Election Day. As I'm a broadcaster once again Election Night, I don't feel right telling you who I'm voting for or against. However I will tell that I'm with...

a person.

That's right. Although I could write in Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny, or something else, when I vote, it will be for a person. Might be male or female. There will be none of that gender-driven agenda.

I'll vote - as always - with my conscience.

And yet, despite what you're seeing, voting is a choice. What I mean here is that, if you CHOOSE to not vote, then you have voted. If you're too lazy, well then we're done here.

What I'm saying is, if Trump or Clinton aren't what you want -  or Johnson or Stein - then you're doing your duty by saying, "None of the Above."

I'll be at Greenwich Democratic Headquarters tonight, with Shawn Sailer, watching it all unfold. Follow me all day on Twitter, Facebook, in the Greenwich Sentinel, and on WGCH.

In fact, I'll be on WGCH several times, including a Greenwich Sentinel Doubleheader at 3 p.m., visiting the Lisa Wexler Show sometime between 4-8 p.m., and as part of the Election Night coverage beginning at 8 p.m.

Let's keep it civil. Is that possible?

I'll see you in print and on the air.