21 August 2016

Video: D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls call on ESPN

On Sunday, I finally got to call a game with ESPN's lead soccer analyst, Taylor Twellman. He's given me a lot of support and encouragement in my career, but somehow, every time I've gotten an ESPN assignment, Taylor has managed to be somewhere else!

After a crazy night of travel from his last game in New York, he made it down to D.C., where I had flown Saturday morning, and we were able to call Sunday's D.C. United-NewYork Red Bulls game together.

Here's how it looked / sounded as it happened:

20 August 2016

Flashback to THAT Alex Dixon goal call: WOOHOO!

Five years ago today, my most famous (infamous??) play-by-play call. Deadspin theatrically headlined it "goal causes announcer to orgasm on air."

Well, no, but it's certainly one of the most fun moments I've had the pleasure to call. The original YouTube clip is a great quick hit, but to really appreciate why I lost it and just how completely I lost it, take 5 minutes and watch/listen to the whole thing:

This was a local radio broadcast, I had been covering Dixon since he was a high school junior, and even though it was only August, it felt like the Dynamo HAD to win the game (at the time, they had not won a road game all year, and they only had three home games left).

Ultimately, the additional two points in the standings meant Houston got home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, helping the Dynamo reach that year's MLS Cup final in a playoff run that was a great end to my full-time tenure with the club.

This call is a bit of a lightning rod: People either absolutely love it or can barely hide their disgust. As somebody who can't stand homer announcers, I understand some of those issues. If I could do it again, would I add the 'hoo' to my original plan of a loud 'woo' to punctuate the call? Probably not. Even as a club employee, I don't find it kosher to openly cheer on the air.

But the joy of a last-minute winner, when I had basically given up on Houston winning the game, is what I, and anybody with Dynamo sympathies, was feeling at that moment. With approximately 99% of my listeners in Houston, I'll always be proud that my reaction brought so much energy, emotion, passion … and fun!

Happy five years to Dix and everybody from that Dynamo team; this always brings a slightly embarrassed smile to my face.

13 August 2016

Working on a new (virtual) reality

Courtesy NextVR
I really didn't know what to expect, but last Wednesday night was seriously different.

Less than 72 hours after first hearing about the broadcast, less than 48 after being confirmed to work on it, I showed up at MetLife Stadium to provide play-by-play for NextVR's virtual reality broadcast of the International Champions Cup game between two giants of world soccer, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

I didn't have a lot of expectations, but the few I did have were nowhere close to reality. Read on to hear about the experience.