Friday, November 1, 2013

Football from the announcer's booth

I have enjoyed Football in the Fall for many, many seasons.  The first team I started to follow (besides our high school team) was the Denver Broncos; that began sometime in the late 1970's as far as I recall.  Eventually, I was fortunate enough to see three games in the old Mile High Stadium when John Elway was quarterbacking.  Sitting in a big stadium with thousands of fans...well, I found it exciting!!  Chanting with a big's so cool.  Anyway, back at work, we Bronco fans would show up on Monday and salute each other over the big wins, just like the players did in the end zone after a touchdown.  And the replay we shared of the highlights was as much fun as watching it! 

I worked as a teacher in a small high school, so we typically wore "lots of hats." We seemed to always be on duty for some extra-curricular activity.  Early one fall, our Athletic Director announced that all staff would be put on a list and chosen randomly to fill all activity-based positions, like working the clock, being on the chain gang, announcing, crowd control, line judges, time-keepers, etc.  Our home-ec teacher and (female) biology teacher got the memo that they would be announcing a football game.  They were not they didn't know the game, didn't care to, and sure didn't want to be on a mic!!  That made me cranky that these positions were being appointed in this manner.  So, over a heated lunch conversation, I told those gals that I would switch with them, take their announcing assignments, if they'd take my crowd control.  Deal.  I followed up with, "I'll be so bad, that they'll figure it out, and get some guy on the mic that knows what to say!  This won't last long."

Next thing I knew, I was all bundled up in the crow's nest (literally about that big), holding a mic.  LeRoy S. was on my right, to help me spot and  announce, and Chuck G. was on my left, running the clock and scoreboard.  I found it pretty difficult to follow the ball and know who was running it.  But the guys would feed me the info, and (being an English teacher) I announced who had carried the ball and how far, all in complete sentences!  When there was a flag on the field, I had no idea what the ref was signaling, so I was fed that info too.  I sure "sounded" like I knew what was happening!

During one of those first games I announced, LeRoy said, "That's 2nd down and holding."  I started to repeat that into the mic.  But I hesitated, . . .  turned to LeRoy and asked, "Holding what?"  LeRoy started laughing so hard, he nearly fell off his wooden stool. Eventually, I let go of the need to put every bit of info into complete sentences, learned the lingo, could follow the ball, and started to really enjoy the job. I made some mistakes, like saying the ball was on the 51 yd. line, and of course that became a big joke for years. Hanging out in the crow's nest was a blast. I have to say, in bad weather, I had one of the best seats at the game. 

So, I held the announcer's position for 20+ years.  In addition, LeRoy and Chuck asked me to announce the track meets too, which I did for about as many years.  Totally unexpected, I was asked to announce a few regional track meets as well, which was a good experience. 

Who would have guessed!  I love listening to the announcers of the professional football games...and I'll be following the Broncos...all the way to the Super Bowl???


  1. All because of a little phrase in our contracts. . ."any other duties, as assigned."

    Great memories.

  2. Yep, that's a scary catch-all, isn't it? Sounds like you had fun though. Love that colorful fall photo!

  3. Who knew? I thought you were just a knitter!!!