Sportscasting is an amazing job. We get paid to watch sports, witness incredible moments and tell stories. We get to travel extensively and in some cases have the opportunity to become a celebrity in our own communities or even further. But it’s not all roses. Here are five things that sportscasters are tired of hearing in the course of their careers.
1) Hey! Say “Catchphrase”
Catchphrases are a tricky business, especially for those who have developed a recognizable and known phrase. If you fit into that category, then chances are you’ve been asked to say your catch phrase at a party or other social gathering. Ever feel like a circus animal sometimes? Are you tired of hearing friends to ask you to say certain things?
2) Talk in your radio voice
Along the same lines as saying a catch phrase, the request that you talk in your “radio voice” for laughs is something that’s come up a lot. Some have a radio voice, others don’t. I certainly try not to…the only difference I make on air is to project instead of talking normally, just as I would giving a talk or speaking to a group of people. But others don’t, and that’s ok.
3) You shouldn’t be so critical of (insert player or team here)
I don’t think it’s our job to be critical for the sake of being critical, but it’s our job to tell the story of the game. A while back, we discussed homerism and shared a great article on being a homer in sportscasting. My viewpoint on sportscasting is that you have the right to be critical of teams, players, officials…but only if you can back it up. If a team isn’t executing a known part of their game plan….say it. If an official missed a call, explain what the right call was. It not only tells the game story, but showcases the fact that you’re a reliable expert on air, which aids credibility.
When it comes to players, that can be a fine line. I’ve run into many situations where parents of players didn’t like what I’d said about their sons. One even told me that if I can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I still feel I was justified in what I said, which wasn’t overly negative to begin with, but it again goes back to your ability to back up your claims with facts.
4) You’re saying that player’s name wrong
This one, as a broadcaster who works hard on name pronunciations, is something I’m tired of hearing. We had a player on the team I covered a few years ago with the last name Lukosevicius. He was very good in Junior hockey and has since gone onto a successful college career, including a National Championship in 2017 where he scored a hat-trick in the Championship Game. Anyway, looking at his name, you pronounce it Luko-sev-ish-iss. Nope. Luko-sev-eh-jes. So that’s how I did it. Half way through his first season, I had a fan come up to me telling me to pronounce it “correctly”. I politely directed her to “Luko’s” family who was in town for the weekend.
5) Oh you go on the road with the team?
This one is probably my favourite, or at least the one that grinds my gears the most. Yes…I travel with the team. That game you’re listening to in your car, or watching at home on the computer, that’s NOT a home game, that has my broadcast on it….is surprisingly created from that very arena. I’m curious to know how they think a game is broadcast on the road.