Last evening I had the opportunity to announce our high school Sophomore and Varsity football games. I had announced basketball games before, but never football. I was a little nervous. The regular announcer invited me into the press box a few weeks prior to my game and ran me through the ins and outs of announcing. It was thrilling, yet scary.
As I taught during the day, I was anticipating the evening games. I told every football player I had in class I would be announcing the game. They all gave me a smile and some words of encouragement.
I had a cold for the past few days and my voice was becoming a little hoarse. Throughout the afternoon, I was speaking less and sipping warm tea. I was going to make sure not to lose my voice! I sounded a little different but held on to my voice. My assistant came in my office and told me I sounded terrible! I just continued to sip tea until game time.
As the sun was setting, the Sophomore game began. I organized all the announcements and rosters in front of me. There were sheets of words everywhere. I noticed the roster of the visiting team was completely incorrect. The clock and scorekeeper, who was a math teacher, said not to worry too much. The Sophomore game is a warm up for the Varsity game. I made it through learning what to say, and when to say it. Announcing some players and the downs and yardage. I got used to the flow by the second half.
As the Sophomore game was ending, I noticed the crowd had grown substantially.
I read through all the pregame announcements and game time was upon us. I felt good. We were supposed to win this game with some amount of effort. Our opponent was good but not great. Then the opening drive for the opponent lasted 40 seconds with a touchdown. A quick turnover and the visitors had the ball again. The game started out rough for our team.
I started thinking of ways to get the crowd into it.
As the game went on, I put some zest into my 1st down calls. Everything that happened good for our team, I would announce in more of an excited manner. It was working. The crowd was cheering louder after those announcements. I was helping our team as much as I could.
Well into the second half, we were sticking around but never leading. Our team would get close to scoring but just couldn't punch it into the end zone. It was frustrating for the fans. We were down 5 points with about 2 minutes left in the game. We had the ball and the crowd was on edge. As our team drove down the field, I announced every 1st down almost in a frenzy. The crowd was going wild. Then it happened. With 19 seconds left on the clock, we scored.
I have no idea how I still had any voice left after that touchdown call.
Our team ended up winning the battle. The crowd was going crazy. I finished my announcements for the end of the game. At that point, no one was really listening. The entire crowd, band, cheerleaders, and players were celebrating.
In the end, all of the announcing was great. I really enjoyed seeing a great game and being part of the crew. I was ecstatic. I felt a great positive energy being in that press box.
All this excitement and opportunity of announcing was still NOT the best part of the night. Not even the win or the excitement of the game was the best part.
The best part of the game came when I went down to the field after the game and fist bumped, hugged, and high five all the players I had in class. There is nothing better than seeing joy in a young person's life after something great happens.
It’s what I live for.
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