I hadn’t done this in nearly ten years.
And I have to tell you … I was as nervous as a balloon in a cactus farm.
For the first time since the 2007-08 season, I was now the public address announcer for the Albany Patroons, helping the Pats out for their stretch run towards the playoffs. Even though the team lost to Rochester 110-105 – Rochester’s first victory over the Patroons this year – I worried about whether I would screw this up.
Deep breath, Chuck.
Before the game, I tried all sorts of ways to relieve my nervousness. I went to SportClips and got a haircut. I ate a meal at the Halfmoon Diner. I went to a consignment store in Waterford and purchases a wooden crate for a future art project.
I arrived at the Armory in plenty of time for hte game. Patroons staff members gave me all the pertinent information – sponsorship advertiser reads, contest promotions, starting lineups, etc.
Okay … I just have to make sure I don’t screw anything up.
The players took the court for final warm-ups. Time to speak.
“Ladies and gentlemen, basketball fans of all ages, welcome … to the Washington Avenue Armory, for tonight’s North American Premier Basketball League matchup between the visiting Rochester RazorSharks, and your league-leading Al-ba-neeeee Pa-trooooooons!!!”
Damn. That felt good.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please make sure to notice where the exits are, they’re located at each entrance.”
Yeah, I said that. My bad. Professor O’Neill at Hamilton College is now face-palming and thinking, “This was the same kid who once wrote in his first term paper, ‘Usually these events get off to an unusual start…'”
Okay, early gaffe out of the way, but I can focus.
Then Jamario Moon, one of the all-time Patroons legends, sprinted by the scoring table. He pointed at me. “Chuck! Call me out tonight!”
Okay … nervousness fading away.
And throughout the game, I think I did okay. The scoring table crew, both to my right and to my left, fed me information throughout the night. The game remained close, and I was able to keep the announcing fresh and solid. I even avoided a soda spill when one of the players careened into the scoring table.
I made it through, though. I did.
This felt good. It really did. Even though the Pats didn’t take the win … they still kept the game close and competitive.
And, in a way, this game was perfect for me to even attempt returning to the microphone. The contest had been rescheduled from a Friday night matchup to Saturday night due to Rochester’s travel (they played a previous game in Washington State and couldn’t get through the snowstorms and travel issues). And when you figure it was Rochester versus Albany – a matchup I had hoped for way back a decade ago when Albany was in the CBA and Rochester was in the PBL…
This felt good. And instead of being nervous for the next game…
I’m feeling ready. Determined. Excited.
Let’s do this. 😀