Mike Glesinger speaking of sports (and more…)
I WISH I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW..OR CONFESSIONS OF A BEGINNING BROADCASTER
We’ve all heard the saying..” I wish I knew then what I know now”. I find myself saying that a lot. This year marks my 30th season of broadcasting High School sports and through the years I think I’ve experienced every sort of weather, location and technical problem there is. This takes me back to my first year as a sportscaster working for my first commercial radio station. I started working at KNLV Radio in Ord, Ne. in May of 1982, fresh out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and ready to become “Boy Wonder” of radio. While I was in college, broadcasting students would call play by play of the Cornhusker games on the student radio station, KRNU-FM. We did football, Freshman football, Men’s and Women’s basketball and baseball. We just did home games so we were spoiled by the first class facilities and all the perks, like lunch in a nice press box, a press room with stats, rosters, programs etc, all the pop you can drink and a great view of the games, out of the elements. When you get into the real world…this all changes.
I thought it was a great thing to have on your resume and audition tape that you broadcast University of Nebraska sports and I always tried to work that in a conversation..”Yea..I used to broadcast the Huskers”. I don’t know if that helped in landing my first job, but it was all I had. So…football season 1982, I’m ready to go. My first assignment…8 man football..Arcadia at Sargent. “All right”..let’s get going! “OK..who’s keeping stats..who’s spotting..who’s engineering? My partner says..”well it’s just you and me, we’ve only got a 2 man crew and we do our own stats and spotting”. “Oh..when I did the Huskers..we had a 6 man crew”…”note to self”….get the rosters and starters in advance and make a bunch of enlarged copies.
Well we get to the game site and I walk up and say ” I’m here to broadcast the game..where do I set up in the press box”? The local Athletic Director says ” Well, we have a very small crows nest and there’s only room for the clock operator and public address announcer… If I’d have known you were comming I would have made arrangements to have a flat bed truck or somthing for you”. “Oh, when I did the Huskers, we always had a spot in the press box.” “Humm..note to self..”it might be a good idea to call ahead and let them know you are comming.” “OK, where would you like us to set up? “You can stand on top of the crows nest and run your cables down to the phone jack inside” “OK..how about chairs?”
“Again, If I had known you were comming , I would have had chairs for you.” By the way, do you have any coats or anything, it might rain”. “Oh, when I was doing the Huskers, we had a heated press box.. “note to self…”it might be a good idea to bring coats and plastic sacks to protect the equipment.”
So we crawl up on top of the crows nest with small raindrops falling and a big gust of wind blows my roster off the roof…”Humm..note to self…it might be a good idea to tape the rosters to a board of some sort so they don’t blow away”.
So the game goes along and it’s a pretty good game..A Sargent player makes a long run and I say…”he’s to the 30..the 40..the 50…the…30…what!! This field is only 80 yards long!…”Humm..note to self…it might be a good idea to study the 8-man football rules”.
So the game ends and needless to say, I’m a little bit humbled. It was certainly a lot different than I thought it would be. No perks..No comfort..NO FREE FOOD AND POP! But then it dawned on me, it’s the game and the kids and the hometowns that are the most important, I was just the messenger, to bring the game to Grandparents and fans and anybody who couldn’t attend. It’s not about me. It’s all those other folks and more. So I can talk about broadcasting the Huskers, all I want, but it doesn’t matter and that is a lesson I learned very early. So like I said at the beginning…”I wish I knew then, what I know now”.