Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Mouth of the South

public address
public address,
originally uploaded by Darrell.
The people I have known since childhood are not the least bit surprised that for many years I made a living by talking. It's what I do the most, if not what I do the best. The most recent opportunity to spread my vocal wings presented itself when I was asked to be the public address announcer for a college basketball game.
If you've watched basketball in person or on TV, you know it's hard to miss the PA guy a lot of the time. There are similarities to ring announcers in boxing. You have to really sell it hard when the home team makes a big basket.
You also have to pay attention and know the rules. If the PA guy blows a call, he can impact the game. In my game, for instance, a foul was called on number 30. None of us on press row saw the referee make the hand size for the "zero," so we thought the foul was on number 3. It would have been his fourth foul, which means trouble. It was 30's first foul. When I said, "the foul is on number three, so-and-so, his fourth personal...." the game came to a halt. Coaches, players and refs all stared at me.
"Correction. The foul is on number thirty..." and everybody felt better.
It's not as easy as it looks, plus now I'm hoarse. But it was fun and I had the best seat in the house. Next time, we'll watch those hand signals from the guys in stripes a little more closely.
And for all those teachers who gave "B's" in conduct because I couldn't keep my yap shut: The foul's on you.

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