The Joys of Radio

7 04 2009

I think that people of our generation tend not to appreciate the role that radio announcers play in the world of sports. There is the cult of personality that endears partisan fans to their local announcers, but this is something different. In today’s day and age, when so many teams have their own television channels and when you can watch a game online with the click of a button less and less people are listening to games on the radio. Without a doubt there remains in my head this romantic vision of the family gathering around one of those old school radios to listen to the Brooklyn Dodgers. But it would be too easy to write this off purely as romanticism.

Over the course of my fairly regular visits to Ohio and Connecticut I have spent many an hour frantically pressing the Scan button on the radio hoping to pick up a strong signal to listen to whatever happened to be on. In the past year or so I  have been in the car for March Madness, the Big East Tournament, the Super Bowl and Opening Day of the MLB Season.  Clearly, there are some things you will always miss out on by listening to the game rather than watching, but of course that is why we have YouTube.  TV announcers seem to have this desire to be funny and likable, rather than talking about what is going on in the game, filling up space with idle chatter, normally not related to the game or even the sport (I’m looking at you Monday Night Football Crew!).  Play by play announcers for the radio seem less concerned with their public personas willing to make their broadcast about the game and only the game. While you may not be able to see that crazy dunk, or just how far that home run traveled, you are going to hear the emotion in the announcers voice and you are going to feel like you are a part of the crowd.

I’m not advocating that people toss out their 40 inch HD tv’s but once in a while sit down and listen to the radio broadcast of the game instead.  I’d even take a compromise of listening to the announcers while watching the game on tv if you must.




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