Doing PA at the IUPUI basketball games has been fun this season. I feel like I never left, to be honest. What’s surprising is nearly the same entire cast of folks I worked with back in 2001 is still involved. This year’s men’s team has a couple exciting players (Leroy Nobles, Alex Young), but still very much a work in progress.
As PA announcer, you might say I’m always a work in progress. It’s not brain surgery, yet you’d think it was given how I prepare. I’ve been doing this for about 15 years total and I rarely deviate from my preparation. I still print up my own rosters and foul tracking sheets (like a score sheet, but I don’t track points). I print my own version of gameday scripts written in large, block lettering. I’ve also started drawing up music scripts for games when the JagBand isn’t there.
Does all this preparation make a difference? Probably not. But for me, it’s about limiting mistakes by having a plan and a back-up plan. But, of course, sometimes I can’t get out of my own way. Like tonight, for example.
Right off the bat I screwed up and cued up the wrong music for the team intros. Did anyone notice? I have no idea. If I’ve learned anything doing this it’s to not dwell upon a mistake. The longer you dwell on it, the more it gets in your head and affects everything else. And it also makes you look like a drama queen, pulling the spotlight back to yourself. Just accept it, fix it, move on. Because the next mistake is waiting to happen. And it did.
The opposing team, Centenary, had a player whose first name is Quin. His number is 23. Can you guess how many times I announced him as, ‘number twenty-thwee…’?
I did it at least thwee times! I laughed about it at the time because it’s a silly mistake and I wanted to ease my nerves so as to not repeat it. I finally got it right. You know how? Slow down.
These are great reminders of how to be good at my PR gig: prepare, slow down and when you make a mistake, calmly correct it and move on. The game’s going to keep on moving so you don’t have time to press a panic button.
And oh yeah, the Jags won, but I’m scared about their next game against Oral Roberts. They’re going to have to get better in a big hurry to compete.