A Full Weekend of Broadcasting

It was long, but glorious all the same

I had a revelation this weekend: I really, really enjoy doing this. Especially when the team I’m broadcasting for plays well. Okay, I suppose I should start from the beginning.

Game 1

The Drake football team was 1-8, down to the third string quarterback and taking on the second best team in the Pioneer Football League. The opponent was a team that needed a win to possibly gain a bid to the FCS playoffs. It was a recipe for disaster for Drake, but for a broadcaster in training, it was an opportunity to provide thoughtful color commentary on a Division I football game.

All season long, the color commentator did a lot of talking about what Drake was doing wrong, but on senior night I got to talk about all the things they did right. It was a refreshing and welcomed change, as Drake was able to pull out a 27-24 win. As a student and a fan, it was nice to see it for the seniors on the day of their final home game, but as a broadcaster, it added so much more pizazz to the game.

Games 2 and 3

This is where it got a little weird for me. I went from a Division I football matchup to high school club hockey. This presented a double header for a sport that I know simply the basics and a team that I wasn’t able to prepare much for, especially in game one. Let me explain.

The Midwest High School Hockey League is a high-level club hockey association featuring teams from all over the midwest. For example, the team that travelled to Des Moines this weekend was from Lincoln, Nebraska, a solid 190 mile trip. It’s serious business for those who play and their parents.

Speaking of parents, because the Des Moines Capitals are a nonprofit organization, they force their parents to volunteer to run the scoreboard and do Public Address announcing, but that also includes doing the YouTube broadcast. That created a challenge because most of my broadcasting experiences have been with people who have either been doing it for awhile or at least have done a broadcast before, but for these two games, I was paired with a parent who just wanted their kids to play well.

Game 4

Four games in three days is a lot, but when I had the last minute opportunity to hop on a Drake men’s basketball game, I couldn’t say no. The men’s basketball team at Drake is all the rage. Basketball is just about the only sport on campus that can get students to games, and the Knapp Center always has a good buzz going on. It’s a big deal around here. I have a lot of experience doing play-by-play for the women’s team, but color for the men’s team is another beast. How do I talk but not talk over the play-by-play guy? How descriptive should I be, and how much should I leave to my partner?

Despite my qualms, it was some of the most fun I’ve had on a broadcast since I came to Drake and started with DBS.

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JD Snover


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