One of the things I got to do after graduating high school was public address announcing for my alma mater of Largo High School. I called football, basketball, and soccer, mainly girls soccer. (Yep, I saw back in the late 1980’s that women’s soccer would be a big thing someday. Plus, one of my neighbors was one of the school’s best soccer players. “Nostrapauly” strikes again!)
I enjoyed football and basketball the most, truth be told. I tried to incorporate my personality into what I was doing, and some people loved it. Others didn’t really like it all that much, and it somehow got me a bit of a reputation.
One winter night in early 1989, one of the basketball officials sought me out. Foolishly, I thought he was going to tell me I was doing a good job at the PA mike. Well, sometimes in life you don’t get the right read of the situation in front of you, and this was going to be one of those times.
“You’re a PA announcer. You’re not doing a radio broadcast.”
What he didn’t explain to me was whether or not he was acting in any type of official capacity, or was he explaining to me what his personal preferences for me were. I guess he was afraid if he made a bad call, I’d stir up the crowd against him, and if he had asked me I would have told him that’s something I’d never do. Perhaps he already had in mind that calls against Largo were going to go a certain way, as opposed to calls for whoever our opponents were?
I had to stop doing the PA for the games abruptly. In 1990, I had a girlfriend who really didn’t like sports, and I also had a father who was in ill health who’d pass away in early 1991. I also had a radio job that had just gone bust at WTAN in October of ’90, and I had about a six week span of unemployment before I started working at Sun Radio Network in early December.
Occasionally as I look back, I feel bad about having left my duties so abruptly, but I couldn’t see myself doing the games all these years later.