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FROM THE BROADCAST BOOTH: TERPS AT NOLES
November 20, 2007

SCS.comAs a radio broadcaster at the University of Maryland, I have gotten the chance to cover a wide variety of sports. One of the great benefits of holding this position is the chance to travel the country covering college athletics. This season I have been covering the football team and with the start of basketball season, Iíve been covering the menís basketball squad as well. This past weekend I found myself in Tallahassee, Florida for an ACC football matchup between Maryland and Florida State.

The game was a noon kickoff on Saturday afternoon, but due to the expensive cost of plain tickets this close to the holiday season, my broadcast partners and I found it cheaper to fly out on Thursday morning rather than Friday morning. While saving money is good an all, the downfall to a 7:00 AM flight is a 4:30 AM wake up call. After a short stay over in Atlanta though, we found ourselves landing in Tallahassee and pulling up to our hotel around noon. With two days ahead of us, you might ask what we did to keep ourselves entertained. Well, letís just say the Tallahassee Travelodge isnít exactly the entertainment center of Florida. Aside from watching an enormous amount of college sports in our hotel room and preparing for the broadcast, our time was spent at the nearby Burger King and Taco Bell.

Broadcast day was a happy arrival and with the noon kickoff, the day started early. We arrived at Doke Campbell Stadium around 9:30 AM; we usually like to get to the stadium at least two hours early to set up our equipment and finish preparing for the broadcast. The stadium itself is a great atmosphere to take in a football game. It has the traditional bowl shape which I have always preferred over the horseshoe. The press area was one of the nicer oneís I have been in as far as football stadiums are concerned. Originally we were supposed to be broadcasting from the national radio booth, a large glass and soundproof room right next to the print media section. At the last minute though, ESPN radio decided to broadcast the game as well, so our crew found ourselves outdoors on the concourse right next to the stadiumís skyboxes. It was a great setup, right above where many fans were sitting so we had fantastic natural sound on the broadcast. It was also a warm, sunny day, a great day to be outdoors.

After setting up our equipment, we made our way back to the media lounge where we had a nice brunch buffet consisting of salad and lasagna, not something I would typically eat at 10:00 AM in the morning, but it was free so I wasnít complaining. We grabbed game notes and media guides and began to mark those up for the broadcast while watching ESPN Gameday, which was in Ann Arbor for the Michigan/Ohio State game.

Our broadcast began at 11:45 AM with a brief pre-game show, and then the contest was underway. Marylandís defense was atrocious to begin with, and the Seminoles offense was clicking on all cylinders. The result was a 21-3 lead for Florida State with less than a minute gone by in the second quarter. In games like that, two things need to be done as a broadcaster. The first, especially as a Maryland station, is to stay positive and not take too much of a negative tone with the team, even though they are struggling tremendously. The second thing is to have back-up material to discuss, stories that the listening audience might not know about. In games that are blowouts, itís important to have other things to talk about aside from just the game.

Luckily, Maryland wound up making it a game down the stretch, and actually had a chance at the end to tie things up if they could have gotten the ball back. Unfortunately for Terps fans, Maryland has a costly roughing the passer penalty called against them that allowed Florida State to run the clock out.

The broadcast team made it a brief postgame show, and one of our broadcasters made his way to the postgame press conference and locker room as always to conduct interviews for future broadcasts. The game itself put the bowl hopes of Maryland in jeopardy, which will make this weekend's game against North Carolina State all the more interesting.

From the broadcasting perspective though, it was a successful and fun trip. The broadcast went very smoothly. All four members of the team had worked together before which made for great on-air chemistry, which is so important, especially at a college student radio station.

Thatís a general look at what my weekends have typically been like for the last several months. Granted, home games are easier in that there is no travel, but we still get to the stadium early and go through the same process. The life of a broadcaster is a busy one, but certainly a fun one as well. Basketball season is underway as well, so Iíve been running around during the week also, but thatís half the fun of the job!

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