The Sportscasters Club Radio Show

The Most Difficult Sport to Broadcast

January 25, 2020 Rick Schultz Episode 3
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
The Most Difficult Sport to Broadcast
Chapters
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
The Most Difficult Sport to Broadcast
Jan 25, 2020 Episode 3
Rick Schultz

What is the most difficult sport to broadcast? We answer that question, and tell you why.

Also included...our critique of Joe Buck on the NFC Championship Game, and much more!

7 Tips to Get Started in Sports Broadcasting

Today's Q & A....
1. Who is the best sports broadcaster ever?
2. Is TV the same as radio?

Much more at SportscastersClub.com (books, online sportscasting course, coaching, hundreds of articles and tips, etc.!)

Also, join our free Facebook group - search for the "Sportscasters Club Community"

Show Notes Transcript

What is the most difficult sport to broadcast? We answer that question, and tell you why.

Also included...our critique of Joe Buck on the NFC Championship Game, and much more!

7 Tips to Get Started in Sports Broadcasting

Today's Q & A....
1. Who is the best sports broadcaster ever?
2. Is TV the same as radio?

Much more at SportscastersClub.com (books, online sportscasting course, coaching, hundreds of articles and tips, etc.!)

Also, join our free Facebook group - search for the "Sportscasters Club Community"

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which sport of the major four is the most difficult to broadcast. I will tell you next,

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Welcome to the Sportscasters Club radio show, where it's all about becoming a better sportscaster on a better sports fan. And now your host, a man who has trained sportscasters at Marist College, the Connecticut School of Broadcasting and Fordham University's W F U V Radio. Emmerich Schultz. All right, welcome to Episode number three of the Sportscasters Club radio show. I'm Rick Shults. So glad to have you with us and today is a great show because we're

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gonna tackle one of the questions that that I get from time to time from aspiring sportscasters. And I've really been hearing this question for about 15 years since I first began teaching and coaching broadcasting students. And that is which sport is the most difficult to broadcast. And we're gonna get into that, and we're gonna talk through that a little bit and help you understand some of the differences between the major four, which I'll focus on today and help you come up with your own answer to that question. But before I do, I really just have to touch quickly on the NFC championship game last week with Joe Buck calling the action on TV, the Niners Packers. And it was hilarious because after the game, during the game and for a few days post game, you saw so many things about Joe Buck and half of them. We're saying how people can't stand them. How terribly is because he can't stand the 40 Niners and then the other half were saying they couldn't stand him. How terrible he is because he loves the 40 Niners, and that's really hilarious. And to me, what that means is he did a great job because of both sides dislike you. You must be doing something right. It's almost like an umpire in that regard, the fact that you really want both sides to have the opinion that maybe you're not for them, because if both sides think that you're probably doing something right, So I always took that as a general rule of thumb. If everybody was unhappy with me, I was probably calling the game right down the middle, so I just wanted to make that point because I thought Joe Buck, as usual, did a fine job on the game. I think he's the perfect match between accuracy, information, the ability to keep it light. But he's prepared, He's ready. He matches the moment, the excitement and someone else said on Twitter the other day. How come he's always yelling? And my response was, Well, he's matching the excitement of the game. It's probably very loud and even mentioned how electric it was in the stadium. And he's matching that. Not that he's trying to yell over it, but the excitement level in an NFC championship game is way up here. He's got to be there, too, and I didn't think he was yelling, although I did feel he was elevated. But I felt it was appropriate. So it was just the first thing I wanted to touch on with Joe Buck. So in just a moment, we're going to get to the first part of the question Which sport is the most difficult to broadcast? And then we'll also talk about why have you ever wondered how you could start a career in sports broadcasting? We want to answer some of the questions you may have. You can download our free resource. Our free E book report called Seven Tips to get started in sports broadcasting. Thes will

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answer some questions you may have

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and give you a road map to start your sports broadcasting career. Plus, as a bonus, there are three myths that will shock most sports fans, and you get them as well. In this report, that's our free report. Seven tips to get started in sports broadcasting Simply go to sportscasters club dot com and click on free stuff. That's boards Castor's club dot com and click on free stuff to get the free report. Seven tips to get started in sports broadcasting All right, The Sportscasters Club online radio show. Which sport do you feel is the most difficult to broadcast? I get that question a lot. And honestly, the quick and easy answer is that it really depends on the broadcaster because put yourself in the broadcaster shoes. If you are already, that's great. You'll understand what I'm talking about. And if you're not, you're gonna come to understand this, and this will really give you some some insight to what a broadcaster is trying to achieve. Each of the four major sports are different, and so the one that's the most difficult is the one that maybe is just not the not the most comfortable to you. Basketball's a very fast paced game. Football has lows and then high action. It slows down and then it speeds up. Baseball is predominantly a slow game with intermittent quick bursts of action, and hockey is very much like basketball, maybe even more so where the action is just continuous. So those are the four sports and those a couple of the quick differences. The first thing you need to think about when you're thinking about what's the most difficult sport to broadcast? Are we talking about TV or radio? First, you have to decipher between the two. In my opinion, TV is much, much easier to do than radio. Some people disagree with me, and many people do agree with me because my opinion is that with TV, you're broadcasting to what the viewer can see on the screen. You're filling in the action they can already see, whereas on radio regardless of the sport baseball, basketball, hockey, football, you are the eyes of the listener, and on the radio, your painting that word picture on the radio you're describing in minute detail to the best of your ability, what is happening on the field, on the ice, on the court and you're trying to paint that picture and with words that are colorful that are accurate, that air descriptive. Your terminology has to be precise, and you're giving the listener and idea precise picture of what's happening on the field. So already, when we're talking about TV versus radio, radio is much, much more difficult. It's much more of a skill. I feel that transition going from radio to TV is a concerted effort a broadcaster has to make. But it's a much easier transition than TV to radio, and I think most experienced sportscasters agree with me on that. So once you to say for that, radios more detail oriented, it's more complicated. You have to have a lot more focus TV. You're kind of filling in what the viewer can already see which sport is the most difficult to broadcasting. Well, in my estimation, any sport you're doing on radio is gonna be more difficult than TV. That's the first thing Number two on radio you're talking about of those four sports baseball, basketball, football, hockey. We've talked about the differences. I always felt personally the answer to this question for May, which sport is most difficult to broadcast? For me, it was hockey, for a couple reasons. Number one. It was not a sport that I grew up watching every night. I was a big baseball fan, growing up basketball as well. And football hockey was the fourth. There were the major three and then hockey for May, just because of when I grew up where I grew up, who I'm surrounded with. You just kind of gravitate to the sports. I didn't play hockey, and that was a big part of it. It played the other three, so for me, it wasn't his natural didn't come as naturally to me. So that made hockey much more difficult as I progressed professionally in the sports casting industry. And when I eventually did get paid to broadcast all four of the sports, including hockey, hockey was the most difficult. So during my days at West Point broadcasting for Army hockey, it was the most difficult for me because number one, it's a very fast paced game. You often times you really can't see the players because they've got helmets on. Players are moving very fast. You've got to keep an eye on the name's the numbers in most times it's the numbers, and so it really puts a premium on preparation and knowing the game, knowing the rules. Hockey was a sport that I had to work on. I used to spend hours and hours in the offseason reading, studying not only the rule book but the history of the game. The players coaches philosophies about the game I would listen to broadcast. I would watch broadcasts, those air. Always. I would prepare and and really had to do an extra level of preparation because my base knowledge of hockey wasn't what it was. In the other games. When I broadcast baseball professionally, I had a huge advantage because I grew up watching the game, listening to the game, studying the game since I was an infant. So for me, that part came natural. The big difference, obviously, when you're going from hockey to baseball, is the pace. Baseball's a much slower pace and provided you you prepare regardless of what sport you're in. That's what you're gonna rely on, particularly with baseball, because there's more that dead time more that downtime So my favorite sport to broadcast was baseball, because I felt I knew the game the best. I felt it gave me a lot of time to tell stories, to weave a lot of different things. Anecdotes and tidbits into the broadcast to, to spice it up, make it fun, entertaining, informative. So baseball was my favorite, and I felt very capable and professional at it. I felt basketball, to me, was the easiest, because the ball's in play much of the time, similar to hockey in that regard. But there's only five guys for each team on the court of the same time. You can identify them easily, and it's just a matter of practice in getting that ver Beit Jinn, the play by play and descriptive terminology of the court to the right corner, up top to the foul line, right wing dribbles around left side, weaves his way towards the left baseline, turns banks it up and in from the left side the descriptive terminology that just comes with practicing. And I haven't called the professional basketball game in a while, so it it's just something you practice that you get better at, and I felt that was the easiest because it was, Ah, finite court. It was all right in front of you, and it was just about describing the action. And it's a skill you practice. You'll learn, and you follow the ball and describe what you're seeing. So the answer to that question, which sport is the most difficult? For me, it was hockey, and the easiest for me was basketball when I enjoyed the most was baseball and football is in there, too. That was a lot of fun to broadcast his well, when we come back, we're gonna take the next step in this discussion, and we're gonna talk about specifically. What are some of the differences for each of those four games, and how can you improve in each sport? We'll be back in a minute.

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If you're enjoying the show, check out our seven hour online sports broadcasting course. We cover play by play, talk show, hosting television and much more. Visit Sportscasters club dot com and click on online sportscasting glass.

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All right, welcome back to the Sportscasters Club online

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radio show. Thanks for everyone that's gone to sportscasters club dot com and I checked out everything we have on the website, the articles, hundreds and hundreds of articles and stories that go back about a decade now. So thank you for going there and thank you to everyone who has already subscribe to this podcast and, like did and shared it and all that jazz. So we're talking about the differences of the four sports, and how can you improve in each one? Well, baseball, I think the first of all the four sports, the number one way you improve is just by practicing by doing by calling games, whether it's how did a field on a court, whether it's on TV, whenever you have the opportunity to practice calling these games, do it and that's how you're going to get better, whether you're broadcasting a game or if you want to practice by broadcasting the practice, Honestly, you can do that. If if If I was broadcasting for a basketball team and I was just getting my feet wet, I would go and watch their practice and the shoot around and I'd go sit up in the top row where no one could hear me and I would broadcast the game to myself or into ah recorder so I can number one improve and get some of that verbiage. And some of those skills kind of built in to myself as a broadcaster. That's one of the ways you would prepare in practice for any of them. But particularly let's talk about the different sports. Baseball. One way to improve and become better is, too. Take your preparation up a few notches because in baseball, you know, going in, you've got a ton of downtime. The action happens, you've got a pitch and then you've got 30 seconds and then you've got a pitch and then you've got 30 seconds and then you may have a play, and then you might have 30 seconds to a minute, and then you might have a pitching change and you might have a couple minutes in depending what level you're in. I can recall broadcasting minor league baseball games alone and having to to call the game and talk for three or four hours. That could be a challenge if you're not prepared, and also if you don't take care of your business before the game. If you know what I mean. Don't drink a lot before the game, especially if you're you're in solo action that night because then you're gonna be trapped. But anyway, baseball, that is as the number one thing to be prepared. And I always felt like I wanted to use about 10 to 20% of the material that I had prepared. So if I had stories and stats and information and tidbits and interesting anecdotes and all these things that I would actually right on my score board on my score book I my goal was to use about 10% of it, some of it I could carry over to the next game. But I always had things to talk about because of that. That pace in baseball, where you never know when you have and 11 to 1 game and you're just gonna be talking and it's a blowout, and you sometimes struggle for things to say. I remember early on I was still a teenager, I think. But I was getting paid to broadcast a women's professional baseball game in the Hudson Valley of New York, and this game ended up being a blowout and it went for hours and I was all alone. Finally, the station general manager drove to the stadium, came up and got on the air with me because he could tell that I was having a hard time because it was a long, drawn out game. I didn't know the teams, the players and looking back on it. Maybe I could have prepared a little bit more in some way or another, because you've always got to be prepared for that. So in baseball, that's how you do it. Basketball. How can you improve practice? Broadcasting and calling play by play a fast paced action? So if you're preparing Thio, call a basketball game, already mentioned the practices games, broadcast other basketball games and just get that court geography ingrained in your mind. That's number one. Number two memorized the players and their numbers and their faces, so practice as they're going through their warmup drills practice identifying them. So when the game comes on your already warmed up, you've already identified them, and it's second nature. So those were a couple of ways to improve a basketball hockey same thing. And if you were like me and you didn't grow up as a as a hockey fanatic, learned the rules, learn the history learned the culture conduct interviews, toe learn, Maur. Listen and watch as much as you can but learn everything you can about that game because I found that being I did grow up as a big hockey fan. That was a way that I could improve and show myself to be a professional, not only to my listeners at the time, but also to the team into the coaches. So they respected me because they knew I put in the work to learn their game. Football is kind of a combination because you've got some downtime and then you've got that quick, fast paced action similar, I guess, in a way to basketball. So it's kind of a match. It's kind of, Ah, hybrid of the two. You've gotta have some stories. You've gotta have anecdotes and tidbits and interesting facts to throw into the broadcast. But when the ball's in play, when the quarterback takes the snap, you've got to be precise and detailed and very descriptive about your call. So you've gotta have that terminology and that really carries across all four sports, knowing the terminology, knowing the rules and preparing with the players, having the players names and numbers ingrained in your mind. So when the action occurs on the field, you don't have to think about it because you don't have to say the past was down the right side and caught by number 84. No, you should be prepared, so it should be a pass down the right side. And it's a leaping one handed grab by Anderson, who topples out of bounds at the 32 yard line. You've gotta have his name right at the top of your mind because you prepared and you memorized and you're ready for it. So that's how you can improve on each of the four sports. A lot of similarities with the four, definitely some differences. But it really starts with what we talked about earlier in the program, and that is knowing yourself, knowing which sports you're strong at, which maybe you need some improvement in and putting in that work, just like an athlete would to be better and to be better prepared to make yourself a broadcaster each and every game. So that's a fun question. I really enjoy answering that one. Whenever I'm asked a student or by someone who e mails in And speaking of that, when we come back, it's the best part of our program. And that's our Q and A.

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Now it's time for the best part of our show. Your questions are answers. To ask a question for the program, send an email to questions at sportscasters club dot com.

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All right. Rick Shults with you here on the Sportscasters Club online radio show sportscasters dot com. Today's first question is from ST

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Louis, Missouri, and Aidan Aidan. Thanks for e mailing in. And he asked, Who is the best broadcaster ever? Wow, that is That is a really tough question. Who is the best broadcaster ever? Well, at first glance, I mean, you think about some of the legendary names, and a lot of people would would kind of gravitate to one sport or another. I mean, Vin Scully's one that comes to my mind who not only with longevity, but just the artwork that he put into a baseball broadcast. So that is one guy. There's ah, whole lot of others that you could name. Keith Jackson was someone who we lost a few years ago, and people talked you didn't realize just what he had done over the course of his career. He was another tremendous one, and you could go back for years and years with different teams in different sports. I'm gonna throw a name out that I think for so many different reasons. You could say This gentleman is the best sportscaster ever and his name is Bob Costas. I mean, think about it, and it's certainly a topic you could argue about and throw out some other names. But when you talk about someone that can do different sports different medium TV, radio studio hosting, a talk show hosting does the guy ever flub a word? That's one thing we used to chat on the long bus rides in minor league baseball, wise to sit with my my broadcast partner in the mid nineties, Bill Rogan. And we would just talk with amazement about how Bob Costas never flubbed a word. I mean, think about it in this podcast alone, I've probably flubbed 50 words where I just get a syllable wrong or I have a tongue tied moment where I flub something or stutter or trip over my tongue or can't quite get a word out. Bob Costas is always perfect. And yet he can call baseball play by play. He can studio host the Olympics, He can broadcast football, he can do so much. And he knows the history, the players, the traditions. And he's just such a calming, soothing voice, huh? In recent years, I think the only pussy is a great guy. He's a really good guy. And behind the scenes he's done some some really great things reaching out Thio youth. And he certainly is someone that, um, people can look up to because he is a good guy. He was, ah, disciple of Marty Glickman. So that tells you right there. I mean, Marty was an awesome guy and and they took Bob under his wing to a large degree, and they were colleagues and Bob learned from Marty. So that tells you where he was as a broadcaster because you can't get any better than that. I think the only critique I would have about Bob Costas is maybe delving into areas that are not sports related over recent years, whether they be politics or social issues. You know, not that I think you have to keep those opinions deep down and never let him out, but I think the venue is important. So if you're watching a sports broadcast or a studio show a sports show, you're not tuned in there to hear to your social issues or politics. And I think that'll turn off immediately half of your viewership. So that's something to consider. But Bob Costas, I think, would be one quick Voight one quick name that I would say Qualifies is answering that question. The best broadcaster ever. Let me know who you think. Send in your answers to that question you can send him to questions at sportscasters club dot com. The second question today comes from Trish in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Is radio the same His TV? Well, Trish, I hope you listen to the early part of this episode as well, because we touched about touched on that talked about the difference between radio and TV, and the answer is no, they're not the same. Radio is much more detailed, fast paced. You're describing the action. You're painting the word picture. You're tryingto let your listeners see what you see. And so you're constantly describing in detail ng what you see TV. They can see the picture you're identifying your I like to save filling in between the lines, you know, on radio, a call might be far of drops. Back looks down the right sideline throws it caught by Anderson at the 35 yard line. He twists to his right and gets brought down by the knees, and he's down at the 28 yard line. That might be a radio call because it's very descriptive and you can see it. But on TV, that same call might be far right side. Anderson complete, and he's brought down because on TV you can see all the rest, so you don't have to describe with all the detailed action. In fact, it's quite a pet peeve of mine. When you have a broadcaster doing a radio call on TV, think about it. You can see it. You don't need the broadcaster to give you every single little detail. And when they do on TV, it has the effect of being that annoying person sitting next to you at the game. They will not shut up. That's what you want to say to a broadcaster who does a radio call on TV. Just shut up because you don't have to talk that much. And so that's the quick answer to that question. So I hope that that answers it. Radio's not the same a TV. I think TV is probably more glamorous. There's definitely work that TV broadcasting involved because you're working with a team you're working with. Producers, directors, reporters, obviously analysts that you work with camera people sideline. That's I said reporter sideline reporters. All these different people that make up your crew oftentimes with radio, the show is more about you, your description and you always work with a team. But it's a little bit more of a focus narrow team with radio than it is with TV, where it's more of a larger team effort, and you're a piece in that that wheel. So those are a couple of the differences between radio and TV broadcasting. Hope you enjoyed this. Ah, question and answer period. Send your questions to questions at sportscasters club dot com, and I'll be back in just a minute to put a nice little tidy bow on this puppy.

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When you're done with this episode, or even if you want to open your browser now, you can go deeper and learn the secrets of sports broadcasting. Search our full list of books at sportscasters club dot com, available from Amazon and Kindle paperback and audible format.

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All right, Rick Shults with you As we wind down the episode of The Sportscasters Club radio show, A lot of fun today touched on the most difficult sport to broadcast.

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I told you, without question, Which one that is. We also had a little time to talk about the differences between the four sports and how you improve in each. And then we touched on a couple cool questions about the best broadcaster ever and his radio the same as TV. So some great episodes that we've had already. It's hard to believe this one's already in the books. Next week we're gonna talk about another interesting topic. We're going to talk about the one thing a broadcaster can do to separate himself or herself as a professional compared to all the other amateurs out there. If you do this one thing, then you will be

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a professional. You will be a pro among all the amateurs, so stay tuned in for that next week on The Sportscasters Club radio show. Have a great week and we'll talk to you next time. Thanks for listening to the Sportscasters Club radio show at sportscasters club dot com. Don't forget to subscribe, so you will never miss an episode. And thanks for liking sharing, posting reviews and spreading the word.