Last week is still a bit of a blur. I worked something like four sporting events for IUPUI Jaguars basketball. It felt like a never-ending battle with the PA system, I swear.
Things were fine up until the Monday, 7 Nov 11 men’s exhibition game. A technician came in that afternoon and “fixed” things. Problem is the fix seemed worse than the actual problem. All night long, the sound was muddy, distorted, too quiet and just plain crappy. I spent the entire game screaming into the mic, knowing full-well no one could really hear me. It was frustrating. Worse yet, we had our men’s home opener the following night. This is not a good time to have technical difficulties (if ever there was a good time). The upside is the men’s team won, so there’s that.
By the next night, for the women’s exhibition game, order had been restored. My SID (Sports Information Director) J.B. knew the winning combination (something we didn’t have 24 hours prior), dialed it up and off we went. The sound was good, my voice was just so-so. I spent most of the night trying to figure out the best inflections on the players’ names. One of the players went so far as to send a team manager to correct me at halftime. Throughout the 10 years I’ve been working IUPUI games, it seems the women’s basketball players pay a whole lot more attention to me than the men’s team does. It’s weird. But not as bad as it was in my first couple years, when the players were more concerned about the warm-up music than the actual warming up part.
Having figured out the sound system, I was confident we’d have a good game on 11/11/11. And we needed it. In addition to being our home opener, it was Veterans Day. With special pre-game commemorations scheduled, the last thing I wanted to worry about was a wonky sound system.
We had a full house, a decent Red Zone (“decent” only because I know they can do better) and a JagBand ready to get it started. We also had an honor guard and several vets in the house. It was a good, exhilarating way to start the season. I was in particularly good voice on this evening too. Worried about fatigue, I drank a lot of water throughout the day and laid off the soda once I got into pre-game mode at 5 p.m. Not sure if anyone else noticed, but I did. My voice was crisp, no cracking, no mumbling. Just a good, solid night on the mic.
It’s going to be a good season.