After a Saturday dalliance as an on-court emcee/attention hog, I was back where I belong tonight: behind the mic at the scorers table for the women’s basketball game. FYI, the IUPUI Jaguars beat Centenary College 74-46. No surprise in the outcome. Centenary’s hoops program has dealt with one challenge after another. And this year’s a lame-duck season, as they’re dropping down to D-III next season.
As for my performance, tonight was about as perfect as I can get, given the circumstances—a crowd so small I envy the team in Teen Wolf.
As for Saturday night, I finally took a stab at my primary role this season: the on-court dude for promotions and other hijinks. I’d grade my performance a C-. It’s not as easy as it looks. All we were doing was a simple game of Musical Chairs. But that wasn’t the challenging part. The specter of standing at center court with a mic in hand, emceeing the event doesn’t make me nervous. I get antsy and want to get the show started, sure, but not nervous. I don’t really get stage fright in front of a crowd.
On this night, my greatest challenge was simply hearing anything! It never occurred to me to rehearse a bit from the court to get a feel for the acoustics bouncing around. My inability to focus on even my own voice, let alone anyone else’s made the entire routine a challenge. And oh yeah, I jumped the script and was generally all over the place on a couple other announcements. So a C- is pretty generous. But it was fun and I already see how I can develop a couple routines to make it better. I look forward to doing more of this as the season continues, but I’ll most certainly rehearse on the floor next time!
I also had to play sound tech on Saturday night as well. On game nights when I am not the PA announcer, my official capacity is Press Row Monitor. What is that? Ostensibly, it’s to make sure everything is running smoothly and keep the trains running on time. In other words, stay the hell out of the way. But on this night, I had to defuse a bomb. The PA announcer and I noticed an ominous crackling in the amps overhead. It sounded like interference to us, so we figured it was someone’s cell phone…until we lost all sound on our side of the gym. For the remainder of the half I had to scramble around and figure out the problem. Long story short, the wires connecting the amps to the wireless receiver were frayed. Faced with a handful of wires underneath the seats, I checked the connections (no problems), checked for anything out of place. When that proved fruitless, I did what any crack tech would do: I started monkeying with the wires. I pinched a wire wrapped in electrical tape and heard a loud crack followed by restored sound. Problem solved.
To that end, my evening was successful. But I didn’t meet my own standard during the floor exercises, so I’ll be working to hammer out those kinks for my next game.
Back to tonight’s game: I finally got the sound system dialed in almost exactly where I want it. Since there was no JagBand, I ran all the music too, which I scripted out and ran a pretty tight ship, for the most part. Only a couple glitches, but nothing out of the ordinary and nothing we don’t anticipate. Sadly, our best player (Kerah Nelson) went down with a knee. Here’s to hoping it’s nothing serious.
Just another night at the Jungle. And oh yeah, McCallister’s! When you’re delivering to us (or to our opponents), make sure your driver knows where he’s going. Relying upon out-of-towners who have less of a clue than your driver is not going to fly. The address to our home games is: 901 W New York St, Indianapolis, IN 46202-5224.