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LIVE FROM "THE ZOU" - MISSOURI'S HOME OPENER
September 10, 2008

SCS.com The old adage of “there’s no place like home” rang true for the Missouri Tigers on Saturday evening. Facing a far less formidable opponent than last week, Mizzou rolled to a 49-point victory over Southeast Missouri State University.

I spent most of my time this week working with the broadcast team since our duties at home games are more expansive than they are on the road. Our first task, once our equipment was set up, was to capture “nat sound” or natural sound of “Tiger Walk.”

Tiger Walk is the nickname given to the walk across the bridge that the players make after arriving on charter busses from the hotel. The players arrive at the facility and walk over the bridge that is lined with hundreds of fans, the band, and the cheerleaders. My goal was to get sound from the event that could be used in the background of the opening to our broadcast.

Our broadcast booth is located at the top level of the stadium, which gives us a beautiful view of Columbia and allows us to see the activities taking place outside of the stadium. Given that this was our first home game, we expected to see lots of fans and lots of gold t-shirts.

The crowd did not disappoint. Over 60,000 fans packed into “The Zou” and created an electric atmosphere throughout the home opener. One thing that was especially nice, was that despite the large disparity on the scoreboard, many fans stayed until the very end.

The pre-game show started one hour before kick-off and included interviews from people within the athletic department, as well as clips from players and coaches. Once the broadcast started, our three-man broadcast team took over.

One of the difficulties in broadcasting a game that is a blowout is trying to find topics that keep listeners interested. One of the best ways to do this is to interview people during the game. Earlier in the first half that task was made easy by a surprise visit from Brady Deaton, the chancellor of the university.

Chancellor Deaton chatted with our crew for a few minutes before returning to the field to take care of his other obligations. As another bonus, we were joined at the start of the 3rd quarter former Tiger captain Lorenzo Williams. We were also able to catch up with a few former Tigers who were enjoying the game from the sidelines.

After the game my job is to go into the locker room and grab players to interview for the post game show. Our post game show is conducted in a round table format, and we typically have a three or four member team joined by a coach. The toughest thing about getting the players to come do our post game show is that it is one more thing they have to do before they get to go home.

For our first interview we grabbed sophomore running back Derrick Washington who gained 110 total yards and scored three touchdowns for the Tigers. Washington talked about his vision and speed and how those talents help him be a successful running back.

After Washington’s interview, we recruited Sean Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon had just become the first Missouri player to return an interception for a touchdown in two consecutive games. His interview brought smiles to everyone around the table, thanks in large part to linebackers coach Dave Steckel.

Coach Steckel, who had been selected as the coach to join us on the post game show, jokingly told Weatherspoon to say nice things about him once we went live. Following suit, Weatherspoon was quick to point out that his three interceptions in the past two games were made possible because of the fundamentals he had learned from Coach Steckel, giving everyone at the table a good laugh.

After Sean and Coach Steckel had left we spent our last segment wrapping up the game and looking ahead to next week’s match-up against Nevada.

As we left the stadium a slight rain began to fall. The lights were still on, but the field was empty and, with the exception of the people picking up trash, the stadium was fairly quite. It was a very tranquil setting compared to a few hours earlier, and as we walked away we all quietly smiled knowing that next week we get to do it all over again.

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