The Sportscasters Club Radio Show

The 1 Thing a Sports Broadcaster Should Consider Before Calling a Big Game

February 02, 2020 Rick Schultz Episode 5
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
The 1 Thing a Sports Broadcaster Should Consider Before Calling a Big Game
Chapters
The Sportscasters Club Radio Show
The 1 Thing a Sports Broadcaster Should Consider Before Calling a Big Game
Feb 02, 2020 Episode 5
Rick Schultz

There is one thing a sports broadcaster should consider above all others when stepping to the microphone to call a big game. This one tip will help prepare you to have the best broadcast possible.

Hundreds more helpful sportscasting tips and articles at SportscastersClub.com, as well as in our online, 7 hour sports broadcasting course.

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

Go behind the scenes in professional baseball HERE.

Show Notes Transcript

There is one thing a sports broadcaster should consider above all others when stepping to the microphone to call a big game. This one tip will help prepare you to have the best broadcast possible.

Hundreds more helpful sportscasting tips and articles at SportscastersClub.com, as well as in our online, 7 hour sports broadcasting course.

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

Go behind the scenes in professional baseball HERE.

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the big game is coming up and I'm gonna be at the microphone. What is the one thing I should consider before calling this huge game?

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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, Rick Shults. Welcome to the Sportscasters Club radio show. Hello out there in radio land. This is Rick Schultz. Thanks for joining us again. Episode number five of the Sportscasters Club radio program. Wherever you tune in to listen to us, we appreciate it. Thank

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you for subscribing many of you listen on Apple podcast. Some of you listen on stitcher Spotify wherever else you listen to podcasts and some of you go right to sportscasters club dot com and quick on radio show. That's great, too. Today, a great question. Really timely. As we're here in February of 2020 let's talk about this one thing. What is the most important consideration a broadcaster should make if they're about to call the Super Bowl? And this, really this really is applicable, whether it's a big game, a Super Bowl, a conference championship, a minor league baseball title game a big series. Ah, college basketball game. A regular season baseball game. Ah, high school game. A Little League contest, a c Y. O basketball game. You get my point. This is really something that should you should think about regardless off what the game is, what the setting is. It's not just for the Super Bowl. This is a consideration you should make for any broadcast, particularly a big won. A Super Bowl, where there's huge excitement, fanfare, intensity, drama. So, yes, it does hold a lot of importance for a big game like a Super Bowl. But we're gonna touch on the one thing that you should consider when you're broadcasting a big game or a small game. So that's what we're going to touch on today. We're going to get to our questions later in the programme. Some good ones. We got a great question this week on Twitter from the talk, the talk podcast, he asked a great question, and we're gonna touch on that and we're going to get started right after this.

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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, Sportscasters Club online radio show.

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Let's get to the meat of today's program the one thing a broadcaster should consider before calling a Super Bowl. And this carries across regardless of what the the medium is, regardless of what the game is. You could be calling a a regular season game for your local high school, or you could be broadcasting the Super Bowl and this philosophy and this 10 and a broadcasting is gonna hold true. The one thing you want to consider is don't get between your audience and the game, and let me explain that a little bit. This has to do with both TV and radio. So if you're Joe Buck calling the game on TV, if you're Kevin Harlan on the radio, you want to make sure not to get in the middle between your listener and your viewer and the action. Our job as a sportscaster calling play by play. Whether it's a big game or a small game or or a relatively small game is to bring the viewer and the listener in. We want to make them feel as if they're part of the action. We want to make them feel as if they're at the game and we don't want to get in the way. Nobody is tuning in to hear the broadcaster as great as he is, no one's tuning in to hear Joe Buck honestly, and he's as good as it gets. In my opinion, nobody's tuning in on the radio to hear Kevin Harlan and many people feel that he is as good as it gets on radio. They're tuning in to hear the game. They're tuning in for the Super Bowl. They're tuning in for the action. The excitement, the drama on TV with the Super Bowl. They're tuning in for the entertainment value. Half of the people watching the game couldn't tell you one player on each team, and that's the special nature of a Super Bowl. Most people half of the people watching, have no clue. They just tune in because they're eating their chicken wings there at the party. They're having a couple of cold beers, and they're having a lot of fun with their family and friends. That's what the Super Bowl's about. So that's a unique broadcast in and of itself. People are tuned in for the commercials. They're tuned in for the halftime, and that's great. And as a broadcaster, our job should be not to get in the way. No one's tuning in to hear us so as much as possible. Step aside and let people connect directly with the action on TV with what they're viewing with what they're seeing. It allows him to feel it and have the emotion on radio. You wanna paint that word picture as detailed as you can to allow your listener to feel as if they're there at the game pink that word picture in their mind with detailed descriptive terminology and allow those listeners toe feel as if they're at the game. They're going to hear the crowd. They're going to hear the sounds, the ambient noises, the whistles, the the officials. They're gonna hear all those things. Help them feel as if they're there. So I think you can even boil it down a little bit more. To less is more. Certainly on TV, less is more. Let your viewer let your listener feel as if they're there. Do not overshadow the game, so If I were broadcasting the Super Bowl and I had one thing to keep in mind, that would be it. Don't get in the way. It's not the time for showboating as a broadcaster. It's not the time to try toe say, look at me because this game is going to stand on its own, certainly at least through the first half if it's a close game. But this is the Super Bowl, so people are gonna watch. They're gonna be into it. They're going to be excited. And the less you do to get in the way of that, the better. It's not the time to try to be cute. It's not the time to try to show how smart you are to show how connected you are to show how much you know about the NFL. It's not the time. If your color analyst you're analyzing the game and your job is a little bit different. We're talking a little bit more about play by play right now, Color analyst is going to add those things that fill in the gaps and add context and go deeper and allow your viewers and listeners to understand a little bit more because of the experience and depth and knowledge you bring. But as a play by play announcer, your job is to not overshadow the game. Stay out of the way. The game's going to be enough. And if we take that philosophy, that's less. If he holds through regardless, what sport you're broadcasting and what the setting is, it really doesn't matter because no one is ever tuning in to hear the broadcaster. Except, as Marty Glickman used to say, his mother, That's it. Have you ever tuned into a broadcast because of the broadcaster? Oh, I've got to put this Monday night game on because Al Michaels is calling the game. No, never happened. I love down Michael's calling the game on Monday night, he added to my enjoyment, but I never tuned in just for that. Did I ever turn into a baseball game because Tim McCarver, Ralph Keiner or Gary Cohen or Keith Hernandez or Kevin Burkhardt or anyone any specific broadcaster was calling the game? No, I never did. They can add or take away from my enjoyment, but I never tuned in to hear the broadcaster. I do admit there are times I ve not tuned in because of the broadcaster. Maybe it was someone who just goes on and on and never, never gives the game a chance to breathe. Sometimes that turned me off. And so I think it's a lot easier for a broadcast toe. Turn people away than it is to bring them to the game just because you happen to be calling the game. So for a Super Bowl or any other game, get out of the way. Let the game speak for itself. Bring the viewer in. Describe the picture for the listener. But do not get between your audience and the reason they're really there. In just a minute, we're going to get to our question and answer segment. Our first question is going to be about vocabulary a broadcaster should use, and at first, question is coming up next.

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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

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sportscasters club dot com.

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All right, time for question and answer here on the Sportscasters Club online radio show. This question came from the talk, the talk podcast on Twitter this week. And let's see what he asked the exact terminology of his question scrolling through my Twitter right now to take a look at that question. Do you have a good list of vocabulary words for sportscasters to use? Great question. And I gave an answer on Twitter, and my answer was two words. And I said, These are the absolute to most important words, the two most important vocabulary words broadcaster can use. And my answer was right and left specifically on radio. Those two words can inform your listener to as great a degree as any other vocabulary. Words can't in a greater degree because you want to let your listener see it and feel as if they're at the game. You want to paint that word picture, And just by using right and left constantly sprinkled through your broadcast, you're able to allow your listener to see it. If ah, batter slaps a fastball down the line, that's great. But if a batter slaps a fastball down the right field line. Now I can see it now I can see it bounding and bouncing into the right field corner. Right or left. If a player dribbles to the elbow, moves to the wing down to the baseline, banks it up and in. That's great. But if I say Jones deliver dribbles to the left elbow, weaves his way to the left wing, down to the left baseline, banks it up in him with his right hand. Now I can see the left and the right. And those are the two most important words. Two most important vocabulary words any broadcaster can use on TV A little bit less because you're your viewer can see it. You don't have to talk down to the viewer. You don't have to put in descriptive terminology when they can see it. And again, the topic of today is staying out of the way. And so on TV, less is more. You're described your identifying and maybe filling in some of the gaps, but you don't have to describe like you do on radio. So thank you for that question. From the talk, the talk podcast. Be sure to follow them on Twitter, and that was a great question. And that's our answer. I hope. I hope that helps, and we're gonna talk more in future shows about that topic. Our second question comes from Tom in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Tom says. How do I get experience to start my career? Great question, Tom, because we've all been there for me personally. The way I got experience was in college. I went to a local country radio station and I said, Can I help with your radio station? I don't need money. I just I want to get some experience and they said, Okay, you can show up at 5 a.m. Indu newscasts and I said, But wait a minute, I want to do sports And 5 a.m. for a college student is not easy. And they said, Well, that's what we could really use. You can go on the air and I said, Done So as a college student, 18 years old, I would get up before the sun Before my school day began, I would drive you the radio station and put together a newscast and then the local host, the Q man, as he was called hosting the morning drive. He would have his brakes top and bottom of the hour, and I would deliver the news. I would mention some sports in there. I wasn't getting paid, but I was getting experience. I was on the air. I was 18 years old and my broadcast career began. Eventually, that became morning and afternoon newscasts sprinkled around my college, My my studies and before long that blossomed into a weekend sports talk show so I would do the news during the week, the sports talk show on the weekend again. Not getting paid anything, however. Then the minor league baseball team came to town, relocated from Erie, Pennsylvania, to the Hudson Valley. Bill Rogan was the team's broadcaster. They named him and the winter off 1994 before the team began play in June of 94. I went to that first workout in the spring. Or actually, no, it wasn't the spring. It was summer about a week before the season started, so it had to be June off 19 2094 and I introduced myself to Bill Rogan and said, Hey, I want to pursue a career in sports casting I'm only 18 years old, I'd like to help and he said, What have you done? And I was able to tell him and show him and display the work that I had done for free. Up to that point news and sports at a local country station. I was also writing for a local sports newspaper at the time, getting paid a small amount. And so I established the relationship with Bill, started helping him with postgame interviews. Eventually he put me on the air regularly, took a big chance, put his neck on the line, and then we began doing the games together. I started going on the road trips with the team, and then I worked with Bill for five years. He moved out west. Then I handled the broadcast duties myself. By then I was getting paid, and so it all started. How did I get experience? I started by offering to do it for free, taking a chance, maybe doing something that a lot of 18 year old college students wouldn't do by getting up at 5 a.m. And doing those newscasts. But that's how I started. And so it really starts with a hunger. So to answer that question for you, Tom, you can do it. You can find an opportunity. You've got to make it. You've got to make it for yourself. You've got to decide why you want it. You've got to decide what you're willing to do and then go out. Money should not be a concern for you at that stage, but you will be able to find an opportunity to get some experience and then you build on it. You take that experience and you bring it to your next opportunity, and by then you've shown you're hungry. You're diligent. Hopefully, you're pretty good at it. And definitely we're all horrible when we start. But you're going to get better, and you can develop your natural talents and abilities and you can improve. And so that's how I did it. That's how most broadcasters do it. If you want to share how you got started in sportscasting, feel free Thio to send that in to questions at sportscasters club dot com. And as well, you can send in your questions for our question and answer period. Two good ones today from the talk, the talk podcast and from Tom from Cedar Rapids. Hope you enjoyed those answers, and we're gonna be back in just a minute to wrap this puppy up.

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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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So today was a great broadcast here in the Sportscasters Club online radio show. We touched on the one consideration a broadcaster should make when they're broadcasting a Super Bowl or really any other game for that matter. And then we answered a couple great questions in our Q and a period. What vocabulary words should broadcaster use And how do I get experience when I don't have any? Speaking of the vocabulary words, we're going to do a little bit more on that coming up in a future

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episode because there are so many crutch words that sportscasters use. And really all the talking heads will turn on TV regardless of what it is. Whether it's sports news, politics, current events, there are certain crutch words you hear everywhere and it just drives me nuts. Just drive you nuts. But we're gonna talk about that in an upcoming episode as well. I'm Rick Schultz. This is the sportscasters Kolb online radio Shang. Thanks for listening. And we'll talk to you again 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.