Tonight was the Sectional Championship game for our girl’s basketball team. I am not the usual announcer, but the usual guy’s wife was about to give birth, so I was the next guy up to fill in.
The Sectional was assigned to our school two months ago. The site is prearranged, though from time to time the home team manages to actually make it. Our team was the 7th seed out of 20 teams. They won a close game against the #2 seed, then the #3 seed.
Tonight, the #1 seed came a-knocking: the Loyola Academy Ramblers. And as any team from the Gold Coast invariably does, they traveled well ….. many fans ….. many student fans.
There is a gal on our team who I have in class: very good student, and a very polite lass …. she’s also a starter on the team. She has been out for most of the last week with the flu, and played in limited action in the semifinals. She was back tonight. She was also a former player for Loyola, leaving after freshman year. During warmups, many Loyola students started a chant of “traitor–traitor”. To the credit of the Loyola personnel, they dragged the ringleader out, and told the rest of the kids to stay positive (which they did).
Now, neutral site or not, as announcer, I am a homer. I am definitely a graduate of the Hawk Harrelson school of announcing. I make sure that is understood. Even during the announcements this evening, we had to announce our girls first (they were the visitors on the scoreboard in their own gym), and made sure to add a little zip to their announcements, more subdued for Loyola. When we scored, it was excitement. When they scored, not so much excitement.
To say the least, it was a great game ….. the lead never got more than 6 for either team, and only in the last minute did our team get a critical basket, and then a jump ball that went our way to seal the win.
After the win, a ilttle old lady came down to see me.
“Did you know that this wasn’t a home game. Your announcing was reprehensible and one sided.”
I didn’t know how to respond. So:
She wasn’t too happy. Her response:
I was a bit stunned, but I picked up my pen and moved over a piece of paper:
“Ma’am, are you affiliated with Loyola at all, because I’d like your name.”
She shuffled off quick enough. Ironically, I got a compliment from another Loyola fan.
I guess its true: you can’t please all of the people all of the time, though you can be assured of peeving off someone every time.