Announcing Sports on Radio
Posted: December 11, 2015
When I was growing up, I wanted to be the next Brent Musberger. He was from Chicago and went to Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. His trademark delivery made an impact on me at a young age and I wanted to emulate his sports broadcasting analysis.
Musberger would always begin a broadcast of a college or professional football game with the tagline, "You're looking live…"
My first job out of high school was announcing sports for a small radio station in Geneseo, IL. The station was WGEN - not WGN, which is based in Chicago. The AM/FM stations were broadcast for about 40 miles in and around the Quad Cities, which is where I went to college.
In the seven months I was on the job, I announced about 25 high school basketball games, 25 high school football games and served as a country radio disc jockey during the middle part of the day. I also served as the news director, farm director and read obituaries for the small audience of about 1,000 people daily.
I ended up getting fired from that job. It was when the station's owner asked me to do a radio show on Saturday mornings about high school track and field when I finally had enough. I didn't know anything about track and field and could not bear having to ask coaches for two hours on a Saturday morning what they have to tell their players: "Run faster and jump higher!"
So my days trying to be the next Brent Musberger were to be put on hold - permanently. However, there is an announcer who I listened to last weekend during the Michigan State-Iowa Big Ten Championship college football game last week who could easily be the next Brent Musberger. Gus Johnson, who used to call college basketball games for FOX Sports, was on ABC last weekend.
Johnson was his excitable self when describing the action: "So much drama, so much intrigue in this game!". Pretty funny stuff, in my opinion.
RANDOM THOUGHT: I thought, during the game between Michigan State and Iowa, that it was a nice touch to allow both marching bands to play the "Star Spangled Banner" in the spirit of collaboration. There were 610 marching band members playing the national anthem all at one time.