I’ve always known that I wanted a career in sports and as I got older and watched more and more games on TV, I really began to consider play-by-play and sportscasting as a career.
How much time do you spend preparing for a broadcast?
It depends on the game, but preparation is absolutely vital to the success of a game broadcast. My current job includes news, sports, afternoon DJ work, voice production and maintaining content on our station website along with game preparation and play-by-play so I simply fit in as much as possible, including nights and weekends. Several hours go in to each football game, less for basketball, volleyball and baseball but it helps once you’ve seen a team before to focus on the details that help push a broadcast from good to great. If I were in a situation where PxP was my only major assignment I’d treat it like a full-time job in terms of preparation leading up to the broadcast.
What sports do you currently broadcast?
High school football, basketball, volleyball and baseball (American Legion Baseball)
You’re closing in on 1,000 career broadcasts and have been honored with quite a few awards, how do you put those in perspective when you look at your career?
In addition to Zimmer, other voices that I admire in the business include Gene Deckerhoff of Florida State, Dave Koehn of Virginia, Greg Sharpe of Nebraska, Vin Scully of the Dodgers and Jerry Howarth of the Blue Jays. Brad Nessler is an outstanding TV PxP guy. I simply love listening to games across satellite radio when I travel and am always listening for new phrasing and descriptive words to add to my vocabulary for Nebraska high school broadcasts.
I saw on your website (www.davecollinsbroadcasting.com ) that you must have a 12 oz can of chilled red bull before a broadcast, why redbull?
There’s something about that chilled, crisp, sweet taste of a Red Bull delighting my taste buds and invigorating my mind as I go through final preparations! I’m sure it’s partly a mental thing where I “feel” more alert and extra sharp having a Red Bull before a broadcast, and if so, that’s fine with me. I just love the taste and refreshment, but it truly does make me feel more alert and sharp with the game call.
With around 800 games you’d think there are a ton of great stories to share but it’s funny how hard it can be to think of one that is above the rest. I guess I can say there have been some interesting game nights on the air, unforgettable finishes, some surprises and some hilarious moments around the rest of the traditional, normal broadcasts. I think that’s what also makes this job so fun, is that you don’t really know exactly what you’re going to have happen on live radio or see in a game when you show up at the event. It’s an adventure in problem solving very quickly at times!
Make sure you are committed. I’ve been doing radio for almost a decade and success in this business doesn’t come working from only 8-5. It’s a unique industry that requires a lot of dedication, patience, organization, ambition and energy in addition to talent. As long as you love it, you’ll be fine and will have success. It’s kind of like sports in that so many people want to be on TV or radio, especially in sports, so you need to be ready to sacrifice certain things in life to pursue lofty dreams in this business. You need to be prepared to have clear career and life goals, know what it will take to meet them and determine if broadcasting will get you there.