If you’re in my same age demographic, then you’ve likely only listened to sporting events on the radio very rarely, but for any sports fan who’s at least 5 years older than I am, at one point in time it was a significant way in which sports were experienced. I’ve heard many an individual wax nostalgic about various play-by-play guys associated to their teams, and I can only partially relate. The closest I really come to this concept is in the sportscasters who announce televised games I’ve watched. I could pick out the voice of Skip Caray from the numerous Atlanta Braves games I watched as a kid, but as most Washington Redskins fans will understand, there’s hardly ever the same announce team more than twice in an NFL season. Even though I can recognize Al Michaels and John Madden from their work on Monday Night Football, I wouldn’t relate them to MY team. They’re shared resources. At times when I’ve watched Redskins games at my dad’s house, we’ll mute the television and listen to the play by play over the stereo, but rarely ever does that idea enter my mind on a Sunday unless I’m hanging out with my dad.
There are sportscasters I enjoy, but I don’t go out of my way to ensure that I get my news from them or that they’re involved in providing me analysis during a game. That’s just not the way I am. In fact, I don’t get my sports news from the same medium all the time. Sometimes it’ll be through the local Comcast Sports cable channel, other times it’s through listening to sports talk radio, and when I’m just wanting to get the scores presented to me as quickly as possible or there’s a sports-specific program scheduled, I’ll go to TWWL (“The World Wide Leader”). There are personalities who I enjoy, but I’ve yet to find a schedule for when most of them are going to be featured (on Comcast Sports or the non-live editions of SportsCenter anyway). Sure I know exactly when to find Hannah Storm, Josh Elliot, Steve Czaban, Holdin Kushner, Mike Wise, Chad Dukes and Michelle Beadle, but when I want some Chris Berman, John Anderson, Liz Drabick, Lisa Hillary, Stewart Scott, Dave Feldman or Kenny Maine, how do I know when and where to tune in? Also, when I get it from the internet or – gasp – the news paper, there’s no voice involved at all, and unless the writer is particularly good at portraying their personality through their article, it doesn’t convey a tone that would get me hooked on their particular offering.
Whatever the cause, I I don’t have the same attachment to professional sportscasters that my dad has (or even the perspective of several of my cousins, who are younger than my dad but at least 8 years older than I am), but I can still appreciate the concept. That’s why I enjoyed reading the article today by Leonard Shapiro where he listed off the top 10 sportscasters for the DC Area.
If you’re not in the DC Area and don’t care about our sportscasters, that’s fine, but I’d like to hear about some of the sportscasters in your area.