September 18, 2009

Sterling Cooper It Isn't

Back when I was in college, I took a sports broadcasting class that was taught by Joel Mareiniss, a fixture in local Syracuse broadcasting, who at the time was also the play-by-play voice of the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs baseball team. As part of the curriculum, we were required to go to a game and make our own play-by-play tapes of the action, which he would then critique for us.

For the most part, his reviews were fair, and quite frankly, my impression was that he was clearly doing the teaching job because he wanted to “give back” to the next generation, and as such was far more encouraging than perhaps a professor should be, and he didn’t overanalyze much of the work handed his way.

The only thing that really irked him was when a student would overreact to a routine play. He felt that excitement had its place in a radio broadcast, but you had to use it sparingly, as listeners needed to know when to get excited. Like “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” an announcer who overreacts frequently tends to cause listeners to check out entirely.

A totally valid point by Joel – but it’s also why I was tickled when I heard his broadcast partner, Dan Hoard, share the story of one occasion when Mr. Mareiniss unnecessarily went off the deep end. The call went something like this:

“A fly ball… hit deep to centerfield… Jones going back… to the wall… and the ball bounces away as Jones crashes into the fence. Jones is hurt and all the runners will score… Jones is hurt… and Oh my god! There’s a MADMAN on the field!!!! A MADMAN is running out to Jones and he’s standing over him now…”

Dan said he was speechless so long, because he couldn’t believe his ears. Finally, he regained his composure and cut off Joel’s ranting, “That’s the trainer, Joel.”

Anyway, I was reminded of the story after watching this video, which made me laugh out loud at several points. Hope you enjoy it… have a great weekend, and L’shana Tova to all who are “Roshing their Hashana.”

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