Albany Patroons 120, Academie Alma 80 – and I’m back behind the microphone.

Honestly, I think the only job I HAVEN’T undertaken with the Albany Patroons over the past 40 years has been power forward. Then again, if I did that, I’d lead the league in turnovers, in bricks, and in bench minutes. That’s one helluva triple-double.

Anyway …

Last night, the Patroons hosted Academie Alma, a college-level basketball pro prep school from Quebec. I originally arrived at the game, sat in my usual spot in the area, said hi to several people whom I’ve been friends with and acquaintances over the years. One couple just returned to the game, and I congratulated them on their upcoming family addition – I even joked that the kid should be named Jamario, considering they were huge fans of Jamario Moon when that superstar played for the Patroons so many years ago.

Okay, I’m all set. I’ll go get a hot dog at the concession stand, and –

“Hey Chuck, we need your help.” That was one of the tech people. The regular PA announcer had a scheduling conflict, and they needed someone on the microphone.

I closed my laptop. “Yes sir,” I said. “I’m here to help.”

Next thing I knew, I was behind the microphone at the front desk. Okay, remember to read all the players’ names and the announcer scripts and the time-out moments when our on-the-court hype man Paulie Walnutz interacts with the crowd.

Oh, and make sure everyone’s name is pronounced correctly. See, Academie Alma’s roster contains many Quebecois and Francophone names. So I went over the list with the head coach, making sure I didn’t completely “Mayflower Mouth” the visiting team. For example, their big man in the post is Marc-Andre Fortin, which would be properly pronounced “four-TAN,” not “FORE-tinn” or “FORE-tyne” or some other mangle. I mean, I still couldn’t order a meal at a Tim Hortons rest stop along Autoroute Jean LeSage, but I just had to get through tonight’s game.

And get through it I did. I’m calling 3-pointers from Deon Lyle and long bombs from Philip Flory. And a 3-pointer from Derrick Rowland Jr. Fun stuff. And suffice it to say, Academie Alma did not have their best game last night. At one point, they missed shots – got the rebound – and missed the shot again – and got the rebound – and missed the shot again – and got the rebound – and missed the shot again|!

Meanwhile, the Patroons were hitting from all over the court. And in the end … it was another Patroons victory, pushing our record to 8-1 and tops in the Northeast Division standings of the TBL. And I’m definitely good with that.

And I’m also okay with being the Patroons’ backup announcer. They already have an excellent microphone man in Mike Falvo, and I’m not going to angle to squeeze him out of a job. But on those occasions when he’s also contracted to call a lacrosse game over at the MVP Arena, or a Jacob Fatu / Alex Hammerstone match at an MLW taping … I’m ready to cover.

All in all … another great night in Patroons Nation.