RAYMO’S RAMBLINGS – BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT BROADCASTING SPORTS
BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT BROADCASTING SPORTS
As most of you know I am the sports director at KLQP radio in Madison and do most of the broadcasting of high school sports in the area. It’s a job that I absolutely love to do and this year is my 26th year of doing that. In one of my first blogs I had blogged about some memorable moments of high school games that I had broadcast over the years.
This past Thursday was another memorable moment in broadcasting high school sports, but it wasn’t about a game that was memorable, it was the behind the scenes that was memorable. Last Thursday was a challenge for me. The LQPV/D/B cross country team was hosting a meet on their home course at the Appleton golf course. That same night the LQPV football team was opening up their season at home against last year’s section champions, the Wabasso Rabbits.
To my knowledge we are the only radio station that covers cross country, that actually broadcasts the races. That’s another whole story as to why I do that. Let’s just say the cross country kids work just as hard as the football players do and I believe they should get the same recognition that the football team gets.
So here is a behind the scenes look as to what it took to broadcast a cross country meet and a football game nearly at the same time. The cross country meet began at 5pm at the Appleton golf course, the varsity girls run would start at around 5:40 and the boys run at around 6:10. Remember the football game kicks off at 7pm at LQPV high school, which is exactly 10.6 miles from the Appleton golf course. So my challenge was, can I wrap up the boys race with interviews with the guys at the finish line and get to LQPV high school in time for the start of the football game at 7pm. Challenge accepted!
I had planned ahead and prerecorded the Subway pregame show with football coach Tony Smith earlier in the day over the phone, so I wouldn’t have to bother with that before the game on the field.
I left the radio station at around 4pm to head out to LQPV high school to set up my radio equipment in the football press box, that would save me time, because I knew I would be walking into the football press box minutes before kickoff at 7pm.
I got to the Appleton golf course around 4:50, I arranged to get my golf cart and found my broadcast partner Ed Hegland, who has helped me broadcast cross country the last few years. I found XC coach John Shurb and did my first broadcast, then with Ed driving the golf cart, we criss-crossed the golf course and broadcast the girls race that started at 5:40, we followed coach Shurb and interviewed him during the race to get his perspective on how his girls were doing.
Ed did a great job driving the golf cart, we headed to the finish line broadcasting all the way right from the golf cart. I interviewed all the LQPV/DB girls at the finish line and after that, looked at the time, it was 6:10. Would I have time to do the boys race and get to LQPV in time for the football game which starts at 7? Ed said I would but it would be close, so we headed to the start line for the boy’s race, the gun sounded at 6:15! Ed and I drove the golf cart around the golf course broadcasting the boys run just like we did the girls race.
I finished interviewing all the LQPV/DB boys at the finish line around 6:40. Twenty minutes till kick off! Can I make it? I jumped back on the golf cart and Ed drove me down the dirt road to my car at the Appleton golf course as fast as the golf cart could go. Ed commented that we should have a helicopter to fly me to the school.
Jumped in my car and took off for LQPV high school 10.6 miles away. While doing 60 mph down state highway 119 🙂 I called the radio station and told them to start the Subway pregame show. I pulled into LQPV, and drove right up to the gate, which by the way had a parking spot waiting for me. Ran to the press box, put on my headset and called the radio station. I was put on the air, just as the Eagles kicked off to the Rabbits. Perfect timing!!
It was crazy!! I broadcasted everything I had planned and it was such a fun day. Both the boys and girls took 1st place and the football team playing Wabasso who returned 14 players from last year’s team that made the state football semifinals at US Bank Stadium. The Eagles lead the Rabbits with 2 minutes left in the game before falling 25 to 24. Broadcasting high school sports Thursday was a real rush!!