Robert Thompson, Trustee Professor and director of the Bleier Center for Televsion and Popular Cultures in the school of Newhouse, had a few words to say regarding Roseanne Barr’s racial tweets that lead to the cancellation of her ABC show,…
‘SUper Sports’ gives aspiring sportscasters experience in calling live events
Whether it is ESPN, FOX Sports or even the Olympics, a Syracuse University alumnus is probably behind the microphone, doing play-by-play. Throughout the years, SU has built a reputation for graduating high-quality sportscasters.
The common thread of experience for these individuals, however, is that they began their careers on the radio circuit. Whether it be Mike Tirico ’88, Bob Costas ’74 or Marv Albert ’63, SU’s accomplished alumni sportscasters all worked at a radio station during or right after college and then transitioned to the small screen. But this tradition is undergoing a change in which today’s students have the ability to cover more games on television.
Tirico, for example, started out by covering basketball and football games on WAER while an undergraduate. Now with the new TV show “SUper Sports,” future sportscasters are able to get first-hand experience on the small screen, without starting on radio.
“SUper Sports” is a live-to-tape show for which student announcers comment on SU sports events, with replays and graphics during the broadcast. The show airs on the Orange Television Network (OTN), accessible on campus on cable channel 2. Even though the show isn’t aired live, no editing occurs between the taping and broadcast so the candid moments of live TV are still present.
“‘SUper Sports’ creates a whole new production experience for the students. There is nothing more exciting or frightening than live television,” says OTN General Manager Andy Robinson. “And the pressure of covering a live sporting event, with no ability to go back and fix a mistake, is a real tough challenge.”
Now in its first season, “SUper Sports” is produced on a small scale, with four shows planned for the current semester. Episodes so far this season have included SU women’s volleyball matches against Connecticut and Cincinnati, with the next show to cover the University of Pittsburgh match on Nov. 14.
“I knew this was a program I wanted to start. It has taken me awhile, but we’re getting there. We have the essential tools to do the production and do it well.” Robinson says.
Though “SUper Sports” is a new venture, it is an opportunity to further develop the tradition of great sportscasters from SU. Marty Glickman ’39 was the first to start the tradition; he was the voice of New York City athletics for more than 60 years. Among the long list of prominent sportscasters with SU ties are Dick Stockton ’64, who has covered all four professional sports on network television, and Marv Albert ’63, who sat in on a New York Knicks game when Glickman couldn’t make it due to a snowstorm and proceeded to a successful career as the voice of the Knicks and the New York Rangers, as well as TV and radio play-by-play announcer for NFL broadcasts.
With this evolution from radio to TV, SU’s reputation for producing renowned sportscasters is not only being strengthened but is also entering a new chapter that enables fans to watch sports history in the making.
“This is an exciting time for students interested in sportscasting,” says Robinson. “I think we are doing a great job, and it is only going to get better.”