On the Brink

Monday, December 11, 2006

Senior Project Evaluation....

Even though I will be graduating in less than a week, I'd still like to get some feedback on my senior project. I think it is important to hear other people's opinions of my work. Hopefully I can find someone outside of the Westminster community to take a look at the media guides I helped our current SID (Justin Zackal) create.

Joe Onderko would be a good person to talk with. He has some ties to Westminster, and he's been a full-time SID before. He knows the hard work that goes behind some of these projects I've been working on. I also thought about asking my uncle to look at them. I'll be seeing him over the Christmas holiday, so I figured why not? My uncle Bill works for the NY Times newspaper and magazine. He works in the sports department, and sports writing seems to be the field I am most interested in. Both would be excellent people to talk with...

Final Career Broadcast....

Tonight was my final career broadcast as a member of Titan Radio. Fortunately, the Titans got a win in my last ever game! It was an emotional experience. Dr. B and I were talking about my first ever broadcast on Titan Radio. I just can't believe it's been almost 3 years since then. I've certainly enjoyed my time announcing games for TR and the WCN. It's been a privelige covering so many sporting events for the college. Hopefully I will be able to continue my announcing career somewhere down the road.

Monday, November 13, 2006

5 things to do before every Basketball brodcast....

- With Basketball season less than a week away, I thought this would be a good topic to blog about. If anyone is thinking about announcing basketball games, here are some good tips.

1) Get the starters names ... Always do this before the game starts. By rule, both coaches are required to tell the scorekeeper who the starters are no later than 15 minutes prior to tipoff. Go down to the scorer's table and get the names. It makes pregame a lot easier.

2) Memorize the starters names and numbers... You should have every starters name memorized before you go on the air. Always have a roster in front of you just in case, but know the starters. Basketball is a quick moving sports. You won't have time to look down and check players numbers.

3) Know how to pronounce players names ... This is very important. Nothing is worse for a broadcaster than mispronouncing someone's name. We've all done it before, but if there's ever a name you're not sure of, ask someone. I announced a high school basketball game once, and I had to ask the cheerleaders to help me get the names right.

4) Get your stat-sheet ready ... Make your stat sheet before the game starts. Believe me, you won't be able to make a stat sheet, watch the game, and announce at the same time. All you need is a blank piece of paper. What stats should you keep? Points are an absolute must. Fouls and timeouts are very important too. Rebounds, steals, assists are opitional. It depends on how good your stat-keeping skills are.

5) Don't be bias! ... This is very tough to do, but in order to be a good broadcaster, it's a must. If you're announcing a Westminster game, then obviously you want the Titans to win. But don't be so bias as to influence your audiences thoughts. Be objective. Explain both sides.

Monday, October 30, 2006

75h Career Broadcast Approaching...

Next weekend's football game against Thiel will be the final time I announce an away football game for the Titans. But more importantly, Saturday's game will be my 75th career broadcast as a member of the Broadcast Communications department. 75 is a pretty high number for someone who just switched into the major a year and a half ago. It's hard to believe that my time at Westminster is almost up, but it's almost harder to believe I've been behind the mic for 75 Westminster sporting events.

A couple years ago when the Westminster women's basketball team was in the NCAA Playoffs, my broadcasting partner Sebastian Driver told me that it was his 100th career broadcast. I asked him, "you keep track of all your broadcasts?" And he said that once he started announcing games, he kept a running tab of all the times he had announced. At first I thought it was a little weird, but a couple days later I started up a word document with a list of all the games I called for either Titan Radio or the Westminster Cable Network. I really wanted to get to 100 career broadcasts. That was my goal. But it looks like even if I announced every men's and women's basketball game from now until December when I graduate, I will not be able to reach that goal.
Nevertheless, 75 is a pretty good number. I've enjoyed my time here at Westminster and I want to take this time to personally thank Dr. B for giving me the opportunity to be a part of some wonderful moments in Westminster sports history. I've spent many hours traveling from school to school, but in the end, it's definetly been worth it.

Now I'm going to leave everyone with my Top 5 Broadcasting Memories of all time. Hope you enjoy...

5) October 28th, 2006 Westminster @ Frostburg State (Football)

Simply out of control. 30 degree temperatures, 50 mile an hour winds, snow, rain, sleet, and oh yeah, we were outside announcing on the roof of the press box to top it off! The Titans lost the game 14-6, but I'll never forget what Dr. B said on the ride home: "In all my years of announcing, I've never experienced anything like this."

4) December 7th, 2005 Westminster @ Allegheny (Men's Basketball)

Dr. B, myself, and Justin Egley rented out a campus car and made our way to the little town of Meadville, PA to announce a regular season men's basketball. Little did we know that it would turn out to be one of the craziest experiences of the year. After getting lost on campus, not knowing where the arena was, and getting there a half hour before tip-off, there was no phone line for us to broadcast off of! So...we had to resort to the cell phone.

3) February 18th, 2006 Waynesburg @ Westminster (Men's Basketball)

The infamous "hiccup" game. For some reason Dr. Barner was not at the game, so I was doing the play-by-play announcing alongside D.J. Yokely who was the color commentator. Everything went great during the 1st half. At halftime though I went to get a drink of water. That's when things got real bad. That's when I started to get the hiccups. As a play-by-play announcer for the Westminster Men's Basketball team, you pretty much talk the whole time, because the action never stops. However, that's very hard to do when you have the hiccups! Also, a big thanks to my man D.J. who laughed at me throughout the entire 2nd half. I love you man.

2) February 26, 2005 Westminster @ W&J (Women's Basketball)

PAC Championship 2005. The Lady Titans beat the heavily favored W&J Presidents to claim the PAC title and there first ever NCAA Division III playoff bearth. I had the call with Sebastian Driver.

1) March 2nd, 2005 Westminster vs. Dickinson (Women's Basketball)

To this day, still the greatest Westminster sporting event I've ever watched. I feel honored to have brought the game to so many students/faculty/fans listening back in New Wilmington. Very few people gave the Lady Titans a chance to beat W&J. And none of those people thought Westminster could beat Dickinson. An unbelievable game, and I had the call....

Senior Project Update

Hey everyone! I'm still working with our new Sports Information Director Justin Zackal on some outside projects. The Track media guide will hopefully be out shortly. But right now I've turned my attention to the upcoming swimming season. Justin is having me work on the swimming media guide and so far things are going well. I met with Coach Klamut last Friday morning and we're underway with the media guide. Hopefully it can get finished within the next week or so. We'll see!

PAC Media Day!

Last week was PAC Media Day for the upcoming basketball season. Media day is always exciting. Basically all the coaches for both the men's and women's teams come together in Pittsburgh and talk about there teams. The event was held at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. I went down Wednesday morning. Clearly Westminster was the most represented school as far as media was concerned. Mr. Weaver made the Broadcast Journalism students (a class I took last year) come down and see what media day is all about, which I thought was an excellent idea. There's a lot of people in the broadcast major that aren't interested in sports, which is fine. But I think it was great experience for all of those students to experience a sports media conference. They were all required to interview at least one coach and write a news story too. Kudos to Mr. Weaver for making this a requirement for the BC 311 class. I think it benefited all the students who attended.

Honestly, I didn't really need to be there. It wasn't required for a class and I won't be announcing many of the basketball games this year, but I think it was still important for me to go. I'd like to pursue a career in sports information, and I need to be at events such as PAC Media Day to gain contacts and meet new people. I always learn a lot when I go to PAC Media Day's. Joe Onderko does a wonderful job putting the conference together and this year was no exception. Joe is a great person to know as far as contacts are concerned. I have a good relationship with Joe and I respect him a great deal. He has done so much for the PAC conference. He has helped make it one of the elite conferences in Division III athletics. Many of the coaches at Media Day acknowledged Joe for his efforts. Because there might not be a PAC Media Day if it wasn't for Joe...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Senior Project

For my senior project I have decided to work with Justin Zackal, the new SID at Westminster College. Justin is having me work on various types of projects. Basically, I've been working on side projects that he doesn't have time to work on during his daily routine. Currently I'm working on putting out the Track & Field media guide. We just got done putting out the tennis media guide and it should be printed and completed in the next couple weeks. I enjoy working with Justin and like sports information. I'm very interested in that field, and I think I could do well.

On the horizon, Justin has already given me a heads up on what I'll be doing in the near future. With basketball and swimming season just around the corner, I will be working on different projects with those sports very soon. As soon as this Track & Field guide gets put out, I will devote my time to working on the swimming media guide. After that it will be on to basketball. I've had some discussions with Justin about his everyday life and what kind of things he does as the SID here at Westminster. I find it very exciting and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with him. I feel like I'm getting valuable experience from this project. Hopefully this could set me up for something bigger down the road.

See you next time...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thank You Dr. B...

Dr. Barner had a big influence on me. A couple of years ago I was kind of lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I liked Education a lot, but I was having some trouble meeting one of the requirements for the Education department. During my junior year I decided that I could stay with Education and go to school for at least another year, or I could switch majors. That’s where Dr. B comes in. He reached out and welcomed me into the Broadcast major, during my junior year! Without Dr. B I wouldn’t be where I am now. He gave me an opportunity to gain valuable experience and I’ve certainly gotten it. And for that I thank him.

Impact Classes...

I used to be an education major so obviously I took a lot of education classes during my time at Westminster. One of the most beneficial classes I took was Education Psychology (Ed Psych). In this class we learned many teaching methods. Also, we were taught how to make a teacher’s classroom atmosphere a better place for students to learn. There were many theories and ideas we studied in this class. Even though it may not help me much in the broadcast world, I still think it was a good class to take. Teaching is something that I can see in my future. Those skills will stay with me throughout my life and could come in handy.

I would have to say the broadcasting class that had the biggest impact on me would be Broadcast Writing. I’ve always been interested in writing, and that class forced me to develop writing skills I’ll need in the broadcast world. I feel like I can do any kind of writing in any broadcast setting because of that class. I gained valuable experience writing news scripts and other assignments. But the general ideas we learned in the class (immediacy, shorter sentences, etc) have improved my overall writing skills. I feel like I’m a good writing, and this class helped me to become one.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Busy Thursday...

Last Thursday was out of control. I had my first Coaches Corner and County Line that day. I worked on both shows last year, but this fall I have a much more interegal role in each show. Jason Mackey was the host of the show last year. He did a great job coordinating the show and making sure everyone was in the right place at the right time. Jason always planned ahead too. That's what made the show a success. I'm trying to do the same. I saw first hand last year how the host plans for the show. I'm the host now, and I have to prepare in the beginning of the week so there's no problem at the end of the week when we tape.

1st Coaches Corner...

Like I said earlier, the first Coaches Corner was last Thursday. I was pretty nervous for it all week. I only slept 3 hours the night before. I didn't think it was my best performance, I know I can do better. But afterwards everyone I talked to said I did a great job and that it was one of the better shows in recent memory. I was really impressed with the job Terese did on the PAC Report. You couldn't tell it was her first time working with the teleprompter. The production team did a wonderful job too. We have a lot of new people on the crew doing some difficult jobs, but I was very pleased at how everyone behind the scences performed. I feel like I can still improve as host, but overall the show was a succes and that's all that mattters.

1st County Line...

Like I said, Thursday was very busy for me. Not only did I host Coaches Corner that day, but I also anchored for the County Line. Pam and I wrote our scripts during the day (after CC) and then we came back later that night to record the first TCL of the new year! This was only the 3rd time I had every anchored, but I felt very comfortable. I've used a teleprompter many times before. The more and more you use one, the more comfortable you feel with it. I thought Pam and I worked well together. This was my 3rd time anchoring and I've had a different anchor each time. I anchored with Liz and Shannon each once last year.

There weren't many packages on the show b/c it was the first week, so we did more reading than usual. Megan Alexander had a real nice interview with professor Scott Mackenzie. DJ looked sharp during the sports segment. So yeah, you could say that the first show of the new season was a success. One more thing before I go though. Ms. Liz if you're reading this, what do you think about coming back in December and anchoring the last County Line of the semester(and my final one) with me. Let me know what you think!

Until next time....

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Future Letters...

I really enjoyed our Capstone class last week. We were all required to write letters to Mr. Weaver pretending that it was the year 2016. It was fun listening to everyone not only describe there dream jobs, but also explain how they got to those jobs. My letter was very in depth with plenty of details. Part of me thinks that some of those dreams can really be accomplished. But the more I think about those things, the more I realize that I really have no idea where I'll be in ten years. Don't get me wrong, I think it's good to have a plan. You can have an idea of where you'd like to go and what you'd like to do, but an opportunity can come from anywhere at anytime and completely derail those plans. None of us really know for sure where we'll be in 2016, but it is fun to think about!

Connecting to the Letters...

I felt like I was connected to a few of the letters from class. Obviously I would like to end up in sports, but I've thought about doing news and possibly even entertainment too. Aidan and Kirstan seem to be more interested in the entermainment business, and I could see both of them doing that. You can tell they have a passion for it.

I really enjoyed Amy's letter/goals too. I've always thought about going into sports journalism or sports writing. I think it's awesome that she wants to continue writing for a publication here on campus. I know she'll do great because from listening to her talk last Thursday, I could tell that she really enjoys writing and that she wants to keep writing no matter what.

Listening to Leanne talk about her internship was very imformative. I've heard a lot of good things about her experience. Mr. Weaver, DJ and Jason Mackey have continued to talk to me about how important internships are, especially in the sports world. Listening to Leanne made me think more and more about that possibility.

And finally, I feel like I connected to what DJ had to say the most because I think we both have the same goals in mind. No matter how long it takes or what we have to go through, we both need to be involved in sports. DJ has even inspired me. I remember a couple of years ago when DJ first came to Westminster and he had a lot of other things in his life that he enjoyed along with broadcasting. But now two years later as a senior, DJ has put broadcasting first on his priority list. He works harder now then ever before. He's focused on making it in the sports world, and after watching him throughout his broadcasting journey here at Westminster, there's no doubt in my mind that he will in fact make it to ESPN. DJ has turned into an excellent role model for underclassman interested in sports.

Thanks for reading what's been on my mind. You've been "On the Brink" with the Brinksta! Check back in next week.