It’s always a good night at The Jungle when I get to play Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis. But it’s a rarity when I get to play it twice in one night. I adopted Chelsea Dagger as the unofficial victory song for the IUPUI Jaguars. We hear it a lot for the men’s team. Given all the upheaval experienced by the women’s program over the past 12 months, it’s perfectly understandable that victories are less than frequent. But tonight, the last doubleheader of the season and men’s Senior Night? It was like a Blue Moon in the Jungle. We heard the Fratellis twice as both teams beat UMKC.
It was my first Senior night back in the Jungle since my “retirement” three years ago. I forgot how frenetic things can be during a game laden with promotions, presentations, honors and thank yous. While you’re watching the game or enjoying Scott McCauley and Angelo Smith call it for the webcast and radio, the rest of us behind-the-scenes chuckleheads are piecing everything together on the fly. Oh sure, there’s ample planning, scripting and coordinating going on—most of which is nailed down by SIDs Ed Holdaway and John Berry and Associate AD for External Affairs John Rasmussen—but you know what they say about the best laid plans.
Although tonight was pretty solid in terms of preparation. We had the scripts, timeline and promotions locked down pretty tightly before the first game of the doubleheader. So why is it I always get anxious for Senior Night? Mostly because I have OCD about working of a locked script. The itinerary is so precise that we don’t have much margin for error. There is a game to be played, after all. So we have the pre-game senior honors, followed by more senior honors (for JagBand and cheerleaders) in the first media timeout, then a free-throw shooting promotion in the fourth media timeout. Then at halftime, cheerleaders have a three-minute routine (which they nailed, by the way), followed by Hall of Fame honorees then a Homecoming King and Queen ceremony.
In each case, it’s scripted, timed and involves many people and components.
Why am I yammering on about this? Because I play one minor part in it all: reading all the announcements. Of all the things I do as an announcer, this is the one I worry about the most because I don’t want to mess it up. I got through it all just fine, but I’d rate my voice about a C tonight. For whatever reason, I’ve struggled getting reacquainted with the microphones and sound system in the Jungle. Though I’m a natural-born tinkerer, I still wasn’t able to find the correct balance of bass, treble, volume and pitch on the mic. I was too busy fighting with the equipment rather than using it to my advantage.
I have a fairly natural deep voice and never have trouble projecting. But for whatever reason I spent too much time trying to bring the volume up on my own voice instead of using the system. As a result, fatigued vocal chords led to hoarse moments and less boom that I prefer.
My mission heading into next season will be to get the boom back in the Jungle.
Yes, I know. I’m becoming quite the Press Row Diva, aren’t I? Pretty soon I’ll be demanding red velvet furniture in my dressing room.