The funny thing about chasing your dreams is that sometimes you do finally get there. No I haven’t gotten all the way to where I want to go in my broadcasting career but I’ve seen positive steps in the right direction over the past few years.
Last night I got to fill in as the public address announcer for the Pittsburgh Power at the Consol Energy Center, a major league venue. It’s a gig I envisioned filling ever since I first started honing my announcing skills in Erie and Johnstown.
Every step of the way people have believed in me, people who have reinforced my confidence in my abilities and told me to never stop giving up. Last night was a validation of their confidence in me and their spirit flowed through me as freely as the words from my lips.
Some of my friends and family asked if I was nervous but to be honest it felt like pretty much every other game I’ve ever announced. I felt the rush of adrenaline right before player introductions. There’s something about the lights going out and Thunderstruck kicking in that still gets my heart pumping. There’s also a feeling of power knowing your words can help impact the way a crowd reacts. Bringing the crowd to life with the home team on defense is always a blast.
I used a lot of my trademark calls and the crowd responded favorably. It didn’t hurt that I got to announce the first Power win at home in well over a year. I felt the electricity in the air, the excitement at how the game was going, and then the sheer joy of the fans when the clock struck 0:00 and we could finally party.
That’s right I said we, because I can. I was part of the team last night, the so called 9th man on the mic according to a few fans, and I tried my hardest to will that team to victory. I felt a connection with the Power fans and I hope they felt it in return.
I know I’m supposed to remain unbiased as a member of the media but last night I was part of the team and it felt different, it felt great. I was caught up in the emotions the team and fans were feeling because I had invested myself into this one. I know how much it means to this team to finally win one for the fans at home.
Yes it was the players on the field who ended up making the difference in the end, but maybe just maybe there’s something to this homefield advantage and I firmly believe a revved up crowd can make a huge difference in the Arena Football league.
One of my favorite parts of the night was right after the score went final, getting to add a little personal touch to the game. I blurted out, “Libbie leave the lights on, we’re celebrating a Power win tonight!” It’s always fun to add your wife to Power lore. Not many people get the chance to have that kind of impact.
Hope I get to say it again soon.