As I sit here on Election Day, a day where we as citizens are asked to make our voices heard about what we want the future of our nation to hold, there is one voice waiting to be heard over the PA system at J. Thom Lawler Rink once again; mine. In what would normally be the third or fourth week of the college hockey season, we still await word on what the outlook of this Hockey East season will bring. Perhaps the biggest question at the moment is what is a Public Address Announcer to do with the pause on athletic events for his voice to be heard at.
Luckily for myself getting to work alongside two of my good friends for the last 8 months over at the Title Town Takes Podcast, I at least have been able to find ways to fill the void and keep me grounded. Back in March when the world went on pause, and more specifically the sports world where someone like myself spends a bulk of their time, the podcast has brought opportunities to chat with some great sports individuals and get their perspective on a vast majority of topics and ideas.
Names such as:
- Bob Socci– Radio voice of the New England Patriots on 98.5 The SportsHub.
- Alan Roach– PA Announcer for the Minnesota Vikings, Colorado Avalanche, 12 Super Bowls and 5 Winter Olympic Games.
- Mike “Sarge” Riley- New England Revolution PA Announcer and 98.5 The SportsHub
- Freddie Coleman- ESPN Radio Personality, Host of Freddie and Fitzsimmons
- Merrimack College Representatives- Scott Borek (Men’s Hockey), Nick Barese (Baseball), Joe Gallo (Basketball), Michael Sullivan and Will LeBlond (Merrimack Athletics Communications)
And even The Mack Report’s very own Mike McMahon is a frequent guest of the show keeping myself and co-hosts, along with the viewers like you at home up to date and informed on all things in the college hockey world. Be sure to check out the show and come along for the ride. (shameless plug)
Getting back to the world of PA work for myself, the struggle is real right now. As I mentioned before we would be into the 2020-21 season at this point on the calendar, and yet we still have so many unanswered questions as to what is going to come. Personally, for myself I stare at the question of will I even be needed inside the glass and behind the mic doing what I have come to love? If there are no fans inside Lawler Rink will there be a need for a voice? It is tough to answer, just like so much else in this wild and crazy year that is 2020.
It was tough for me during the NHL Bubble, although enjoyable at the same time, to sit there and watch hockey knowing that it could be a while before I step foot back inside an arena. Perhaps the biggest struggle is when I hear the drop of Levels by Avicii, which for those not in the know is how we introduce the starting lineups at Lawler. The tune automatically takes me to a Friday or Saturday evening getting set to introduce the home team in my usual fashion. “Annndddd noooowww, the starting lineup for the home team! Your very own MERRIMACK COLLEGE WARRIORS!!”
Ahhhh, the simpler times, before we had to worry about whether or not we left our mask in the car before entering the grocery store, or have we come in contact with someone who may not be feeling well at the moment. I think it is safe to say that the year 2020 can be launched into orbit and be forgotten about for good. So, the next time you walk into Lawler Rink for a Warrior’s hockey game, come on over to the scorer’s box and look for the guy behind the mic. Say hello, give me a wave, whatever it is you wish to grab my attention do so. Because that will be the sign that things are good in the world again. The world where we can hug a friend, attend a hockey game, not worry about Covid-19. That will be a better day for us all, and here’s to hoping those days are closer than they are farther away.
We will get through this folks, until then “Plleeassseee, social distance safely!”