By Anthony Del Vecchio
Asst. Photo Editor
Watching sports is a pastime enjoyed by millions almost every day.
When you turn on your television to any major sporting event, you instantly get what some would call “the best seat in the house.”
So much goes into the conception and production of a live sports broadcast, which takes a whole crew of different people all working at the same time to create borderline magic.
After all of that is set up and ready to go, the responsibility then falls onto one person—at least in my case—to truly bring the experience to the viewers at home. This person would be the announcer.
I am currently the TV play-by-play announcer for the EHL Connecticut Roughriders, which is a developmental junior hockey team based in Norwalk. This same responsibility falls on me every game day.
Hockey, being one of the most difficult sports to call, takes a lot to get into. Not only does the game play at a ridiculously fast pace, but the pronunciation of names, especially when it comes to eastern European players, can be pretty daunting.
Aside from the public speaking skills required to get into the booth, your personality, passion and confidence are what will be needed in order to truly get through to people.
Announcers for professional sports turn into extensions of our families in some cases because of this quality.
As viewers, we feel as if we know them in some personal way. This can all stem from the way they call the game, the sayings they use, the personality and energy they bring.
All these little qualities go such a long way when it comes to transcending emotions and feelings to people.
That being said, the qualities differ when it comes to different sports. You wouldn’t expect a golf announcer screaming at the top of his lungs, now would you?
If you want to announce, you have to be sure of what style fits you the best. For me, I am a chatterbox and really do enjoy talking. Now even though that sounds funny, you have to be ready to talk a lot when announcing hockey.
There are usually two announcers for hockey as well: one for play-by-play and the other for color commentating.
For my job I have to act as both, taking on both responsibilities and really having two jobs at once. The plus side is that hockey happens to be my favorite sport, so the pressure of it being one of the hardest to announce kind of fades away.
It truly is a process of trial and error and trust me, practice really does make perfect. There was no way I’d be able to just wake up and say, “yeah, I think I’m ready for this,” and then go out there and do a perfect show.
I’ve been calling games for three years now and I still get nervous and worried when going out on air, but I don’t lose my cool.
These shoes are hard to fill and the job is not for everyone.
This is why I mentioned confidence. Without it, the game turns into something more like surgery and less like something enjoyable.
It should be enjoyable because that’s what you want your viewers to do—enjoy the game.
I love what I do and I hope to make a career out of this someday, because game in and game out I get to do what I love most: entertain.