Friday, December 06, 2019


Not that Joey.
I want to tell you about Joey.

But I know that professionalism won't allow me to go all in.

So I won't tell you more about Joey than he's a broadcaster.

One that thinks everything is about him.

Look, we're reporters. We inform and educate.

We entertain.

But we're there to tell the story of the game first.

The athletes, coaches, and fans are the stars. We're the conduit.

That being said, our own personality is going to infiltrate. It simply has to. Even Vin Scully does that.

Some get more personal where you learn about kids and interests and experiences.

It's much more obvious in a blowout because that's where our entertaining skills come into play.

But in a tight game, the big moments need to be buttoned up. My whole demeanor changes.

My body language changes.

I've been told it. I've learned to recognize it.

Internally, I begin to shake a little. I know the pressure of calling it right.

I've also learned that my call becomes the soundtrack of that moment.

So whether it's "Insanity" or "Eat a sandwich" or "It's KC Cunningham to send the Greenwich Cardinals to the state championship" the call is honest and unscripted.

I don't have a list of one-liners sitting next to me. There's nothing scripted.

I'm not concerned about a cult following on Twitter.

I'm concerned about getting it right and hopefully creating a call to be proud of.

So, start with "What would Vin do?"

Or Ernie.

Or Mel.

Or Gary Cohen or whomever you admire.

Because aiming to be the best millennial broadcaster or whatever isn't a noble goal.

Joey will probably make it somewhere. He creates silly videos with him dancing on the beach interspersed with play-by-play calls. Someone will buy into it.

But they'll discover there's no sizzle with the steak. There's no staying power.

Can he tell a story without it being about him?

He's a poster child for the entitled young broadcaster who gets it all handed to him and has yet to deal with criticism and downfall.

And that's where our story turns.

I know these broadcasters. They're the ones that can't be criticized because they're "only a kid" or whatever other nonsense.

Nate Stidham -- unafraid of criticism (and he embraces it) -- had enough of the Joey Show and let him have it on Instagram.

The result?

The comment got deleted and Nate got blocked.


So Nate went to Twitter. I'm sure the tweet will soon be deleted and Nate will be blocked by Joey.

Joey will not survive in this business if he can't handle criticism.

The cutesie one-liners will lose their luster. A collection of critics will rear their ugly heads.

Anti-Joey social media accounts might appear.

I see more of this than I prefer to admit.

I once had a person in this business at a sports broadcasting camp tell me I'd make a good game show host. I've never forgotten it. It was his way of saying I wasn't going to be a successful play-by-play announcer.

Like anything else, it's about survival. I've done just fine.

I wish this could be a happy story and I've tried to build this in such a way that Joey doesn't get ripped truly by name.

Because we all know a Joey. A Joey is not about quality, but about masking their drawbacks, not matter how gargantuan.

Nate said what many want to say.

Don't be a Joey.

Mike Francesa stepped down again today at WFAN.

I realize how many people detest him.

I'm not here to debate about him, but I am here to say what he's meant to me.

I'm a better talk show host because of Mike and Chris Russo. I'm better because of all of those days when they guided me through sports debates that infuriated me. But they also taught me that slow days were ripe for movie discussions or history or whatever extemporaneous stuff they had.

They taught me that a format wasn't necessary.

They helped walk me through the Gulf War and Sep 11.

Their split ripped me. Then Mike left for the first time.

Then he came back.

And now he's gone again.

I get all of the criticisms of him, and they're valid.

But when I think about the list of people who have impacted me -- even mentored me -- in broadcasting, I think about Scully and Imus and Shannon and Lundy and Ingram and Messer.

And others.

And Russo.

And Francesa.

Goodnight the lights, ughhhhk?

I think the public address announcing gig went well tonight.

Sadly, for Mahopac, the Indians lost to Horace Greeley. It wasn't close. But I'm planning to call Mahopac in their annual Hockey Fights Cancer game next Friday against rival Carmel. We might do the same the following Friday. I'm thrilled to have Harold join me for the call.

As for the PA, in the cramped quarters of Brewster, I played music and announced professionally. Not growling, screaming, or shtick.

You see, that's where Joey might be great.

No comments: