18 November 2013

All basketball, all the time

I'm happy to report that I have a busy week of broadcasting coming up, including four NCAA basketball games on ESPN3 in six nights - three Rutgers men's games from New Jersey, with a St. John's women's game mixed in.

Prepping for this many games at once is no easy task - I'm about halfway through all the flashcards and team research I need to be doing - but it's a good problem to have! There are a lot of good stories out there, and hopefully I get to see a few more play out on the court.

First up is the NIT Season Tip-Off, with four teams competing at Rutgers for the right to move on to the tournament semifinals in Madison Square Garden next week. When I was in high school, I went to the Garden for several of those doubleheaders - usually to see a powerhouse like Duke or to watch Delbarton alumnus Troy Murphy play for Notre Dame - and that makes it extra special to work the tournament this year.

This four-team group has Rutgers playing Canisius tonight (click here to watch), following the opening game between Elon and Drexel. The winners and losers play each other on Tuesday night, but our broadcast will definitely be the Rutgers game.

I really don't see an overwhelming favorite in this pool: Elon has a veteran team and was a consensus pick to win the Southern Conference, and Rutgers is the biggest name in the field, but Drexel is a great defensive team, and Canisius is coming off of a 20-win season.

So it's time for me to buckle up for a busy week of basketball!

01 November 2013

It's up to you, New York

New York, New York. 
I want to wake up in that city that doesn't sleep
and find I'm king of the hill, top of the heap.

My little town blues -- they are melting away.
I'm gonna make a brand new start of it in old New York!

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere.

It's up to you, New York. New York.

I have sung Frank Sinatra's words hundreds of times while walking out of Yankee Stadium (mostly the old one), but they've never meant more to me than this fall, because I now live in New York City.

This is a little strange, and more than a little intimidating. New York has always been where my family and I go for the big stuff: sporting events, Broadway shows, incomparable museums. It's where my brother and sister went when sneaking out of the house, and it's where I saw my first baseball game (Yankees-A's) and my first concert (Springsteen at The Garden).

I always said I wanted to live in New York, even if only for a year, just to see what it is like. But I'm not sure that I felt it would really happen.

I have arrived here in a year of transition, one which has included my marriage (awesome) and my 30th birthday (less exciting) and my return to the Northeast after the better part of 10 years in the South.

What does it mean for me, professionally speaking? That remains to be seen. I'm very excited to announce that I'll be calling some college basketball on ESPN3 - starting with a St. John's men's game tomorrow and continuing with at least three Rutgers men's games in the coming weeks. Beyond that, I'm hoping for a little bit of everything: more basketball to be sure, college baseball, MLS soccer, college hockey, maybe a return to college football next fall.

It's a new set of people to meet and work with and a new audience to convince of my credentials and abilities. But I'm excited about it, and I know I'm going to appreciate every opportunity I get to call a sporting event. If I can make it here, I can make it anywhere.