Thursday, March 26, 2015

Warriors PA announcer Hurwitz prefers to be heard, not seen

On Thursday, with the Phoenix Suns in town, Matthew Hurwitz will call his 616th game as the Warriors’ public-address announcer. If you’re not terribly familiar with him, good — that’s just how he likes it.

The NBA is full of screamers at the PA mike, barging into the on-court action with “Dee-fense!” or other appalling exhortations. Raging along unchecked, they can’t stay out of their own way. Hurwitz, 44, prefers a classier route.  

“My most important rule is not to draw attention to myself,” said Hurwitz, not to be confused with Franco Finn, the cheerleader type who pumps up the crowd before games. “People aren’t paying to see or hear me. I’ve never even said my name, as in 'Good evening, I’m …’ I just don’t feel comfortable being some sort of personality. And I never try to tell the crowd how to react. Our crowds our smart; they get that.”

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Illini need a new P.A. announcer

The Illinois men's basketball public address announcer the last eight seasons is stepping down. 

Mike Cation posted a Facebook message on Wednesday morning announcing his decision. He said he'll continue to pursue professional tennis broadcasting opportunities that have arisen the last two years.

"I'm thrilled that the job continues to grow," Cation wrote. "But this season, however, there were multiple times that I had to make a choice between my "full time" job, and basketball games. 


Fifteen-year-old Cade Colbeth brings youthful voice to public address announcing

Public address announcers are the voice of a school district as they inform and entertain the crowd at home sporting events.

In most cases, this responsibility is given to an adult well-versed in sports and frequently, that person holds the position for decades. First-year Somerset Athletic Director John Walsh took a different approach when looking for a PA announcer this year. He decided to give a student an opportunity to do the announcing. Based on recommendations from English and choir teachers, 15-year-old sophomore Cade Colbeth was approached as the top candidate for the position.

Colbeth has quickly developed into a poised announcer, though he admits being quite nervous in his first few outings. Once he was given the role, Colbeth served as the PA announcer for the final 21 Somerset varsity sports events for the winter season.


Irish eyes smiling at Pirates


On the morning of St. Patrick’s Day, the voice of the Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish made his way through the press box and took his customary seat behind a microphone.

Only Mike Collins wasn’t speaking to 80,000 diehards packed into Notre Dame Stadium. His audience was the more than 5,500 fans watching the Pittsburgh Pirates play a spring training game during another sun-drenched day at McKechnie Field.

Collins couldn’t have been happier.

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Fratto named Sky Blue FC public address announcer

Sky Blue FC fans might recognize the booming voice announcing starting lineups, goals, assists and other promotional activities at Yurcak Field this summer.

Mark Fratto, the SBFC's new public address announcer, brings a wide range of experience to the microphone.

Fratto will also be the PA guy for the New York FC, the new MLS club, and brings more than 20 years of experience - estimated at about 1,000 game - to the booth.

"We are very pleased to add someone with the talent and experience that Mark has to our team," said Tony Novo, Sky Blue FC President & General Manager. "Mark has a rich background that encompasses the entire sports landscape, and we know he will add an exciting element to our game day experience."


RubberDucks to hold P.A. Announcer auditions


The Akron RubberDucks announced today it will be hosting open-auditions to find the next public address announcer at Canal Park on Thursday, March 19 starting at 5:30 p.m.

The team is seeking an enthusiastic, game-changer to lead the fun-filled fan experience at Canal Park. Candidates should have a strong, distinctive voice and an understanding of how a baseball game operates. Excellent reading skills and the ability to follow directions and remain calm in a busy environment are important, but a candidate's ability to think on his or her feet and to create a fun environment every game at Canal Park are the key sought-after traits.

“The public address announcer is one of the most important parts of the game presentation, and therefore one of the most important in our organization,” said RubberDucks General Manager Jim Pfander. “We are looking for an enthusiastic, upbeat personality who will set the tone and conduct of our nightly show, and not just someone who introduces batters and reads from a script.”

Candidates should enter through the main administrative office entrance located at 300 South Main Street and should arrive 15 minutes prior to their secured-time slot and be ready to go.

Pre-Registration will be required. Candidates need to pre-register by calling the Akron RubberDucks office at 330-253-5151 during normal business hours to reserve a time slot.  No tapes or recordings are required no will be accepted.

Lawrence Tanter is a familiar voice in an unfamiliar Lakers season

There's a person sitting courtside who's acutely aware of all the losing the Lakers are doing.

Lawrence Tanter was at the midcourt stripe when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points. He was at the Forum when the Lakers won the championship against Boston in 1987, then at Staples Center when they beat the Celtics again in 2010.

"I have the best seat in the house," he said in his familiar mellifluous voice.

As the Lakers' public-address announcer, Tanter has attended almost every home game since 1982. This is a difficult season, the Lakers hugging up against their worst record ever, but Tanter learned long ago to maintain professionalism.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Jon Williams tabbed Arkansas baseball public announcer

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Longtime local radio personality and former University of Arkansas student Jon Williams has been named the new public address announcer for the Razorback baseball home games at Baum Stadium as it was announced on Monday.
Williams is certainly a familiar voice to Razorback fans. He has served as the Razorbacks’ public address announcer at gymnastics meets since 2008 and women’s basketball games since 2011. He is the host of a morning radio talk show “The Jon/Deek Show” on 104.9 the X in Northwest Arkansas for the last 22 years.   
Williams has been the voice for countless Arkansas events over the years, including the AT&T Razorback FanZone pregame tailgate festivities, the 2014 Red/White Game and the Red Tie Dinner and Auction.

“The public address announcer is such an important element of the Baum Stadium experience and I know fans will enjoy the enthusiasm Jon brings to the microphone,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long said. “He has a tremendous passion for the Razorbacks and the game of baseball. Baum Stadium already has a national reputation as one of the best venues for college baseball and Jon’s addition we only enhance that game day atmosphere.”  

Cliffside Park's Dom Alagia is iconic PA announcer

The clear, baritone voice carried over the phone line, just as it once did across Michie Stadium. It was the voice of West Point football for 32 years.

Dom Alagia was the voice of big-time college basketball in New Jersey, serving as the public-address announcer for five NCAA East regionals at the Meadowlands.

It was the voice that welcomed you to Montclair State and William Paterson football, the USFL’s New Jersey Generals and Brooklyn Cyclones baseball.
You may not know Alagia’s name. But if you’re a sports fan in the metropolitan area, you probably know his voice.
And that’s just the way the Cliffside Park native likes it.
Alagia’s career as a public-address announcer has stretched over 55 years and a record 3,300 games and events — including 15 Army-Navy games.
And he’s still going.

Congenial Gene’s blissful return to Maui

LAHAINA - Congenial Gene Honda, a big fan of Maui, has an annual gig here most Mainland people would die for. In November last year, it was an unseasonable nine degrees in Chicago, where Gene is the public address (PA) announcer for the Blackhawks hockey team at the United Center.  
With March Madness about to unfold, this seems an appropriate time to run a column written last fall that never made it into the paper.
Here for seven straight years at Thanksgiving, Gene drives through the sunshine to Lahaina Civic Center to be the public address announcer for the EA Sports Maui Invitational Basketball Tournament. He is not complaining.