I am making my season college basketball announcing debut tonight when UW–Platteville plays Wisconsin in women’s basketball from the Kohl Center on http://www.am1590wpvl.com at 7 p.m.
This is a first for me because I have never announced a game for an opponent of my high school or college alma mater. However, it’s an exhibition game. It will also be the first time I have ever announced a game where the UW Band will play.
I have done two Division I games. The first was when Ripon College played at Utah (the defending national runner-up, coached by the entertaining Rick Majerus) in 1999. It was a great trip extended because the day of the game O’Hare International Airport in Chicago was hit by two feet of snow, pushing our departure three days back. About 18 inches of snow fell that night in Ripon, and since the game wasn’t on TV the radio station news and sports director said they probably set a listener record.
The second was when the UW–Platteville men played at UW–Milwaukee (then coached by former UWP guard Rob Jeter) in 2014. I sat courtside at the old Milwaukee (now Panther) Arena, the same place where Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Sidney Moncrief played and Al McGuire and Don Nelson coached. That was a cool realization that I didn’t get to savor because after that game I had to run from Milwaukee to Green Bay to announce two days of state volleyball.
The great thing about doing college sports is that someone else does some of your work for you — compiling statistics going into the game (though that is now easier thanks to such websites as WisSports.net and MaxPreps), and statistics and other information during the game from sports information directors. That takes one big thing off your plate to allow you more time to report and observe. (Packers announcer Wayne Larrivee says the hardest sport to announce is high school football due to the need to generate your own information, along with sometimes, shall we say, interesting settings. I think a lot of high school announcers put into a major college or pro broadcast would probably sound a lot better just because they would have comparably less to do.)
Then, Friday night, I get to announce a Level 4 football game between Black Hawk and Fall River from Middleton on http://www.wglr.com. Level 4 is the game before state, so of course it is the most pressure-packed game of all.
Wait! There’s more! I am also making my public address announcing debut at UW–Platteville’s final football game of the season against UW–Stevens Point Saturday at 2 p.m. (If you listen to the game online here, you may be able to faintly hear me. I will not be doing any sort of impression of Michael “lllllllletsgetreadytorumbbbbllllllllleeeeeee!” Buffer.)