Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jim Carnett: Finding my own basso profondo

Longtime Boston Red Sox public-address announcer Carl Beane died last month.

Referred to by many as "The Voice of Fenway Park," he was in his 10th season as Red Sox announcer. His affable but measured style exuded class.

In a moving tribute to Beane, Sports Illustrated depicted announcers generally as "voices from heaven." That, I believe, is a perfect description for those who toil at press box microphones. They're disembodied beings — seraphim, if you will — who help set the character and tone for every stadium and arena in the land.

Many, frankly, are not actually gainfully employed as P.A. professionals. They do their work for free because they love it. If required, they'd probably pay their team for the privilege of announcing.

The late Bob Sheppard, the legendary New York Yankees announcer for more than half a century, offered this sage advice for those who ply the trade: "A P.A. announcer is not a cheerleader, or a circus barker, or a hometown screecher. He's a reporter."

Tell that to NBA public-address hacks who fall below Sheppard's enlightened standard. They'd be wise to heed his counsel. Watch a playoff game on TV. NBA screamers swallow their microphones.

Sports Illustrated reports that some NBA P.A. types are hired to serve as "hype men" and "carnival barkers."

read the rest of Jim Carnett's story here

No comments: