Jim Barbar has been a play-by-play voice with ESPN since 1995 covering college sports to the LLWS and even Ultimate. But his path to that job was a long road with several twists, turns and stops along the way. His first real broadcast exposure came as a TV sports anchor for WISH-TV in Indianapolis where he was once banned from Indiana University's Assembly Hall by Bob Knight. He later called a game with Knight on ESPN. We'll get into that and more this week on PxPCast!
"If you don't like that, you don't like NBA basketball!" It's the famous line from 30-year Sacramento Kings TV voice Grant Napear. A native of Long Island and a graduate of Bowling Green State University, Napear eventually made his way out to being the voice of Sacramento. Not only is he the TV pxp man for the Kings, but he also hosts a daily talk show. It's an interesting balance that we'll talk about in depth. Follow Grant on twitter @GrantNapearShow for more from the Kings' voice!
Ted Emrich was born into broadcasting and then took a road less travelled into the booth. The current Westwood One and ESPN announcer began working for the former as a stats guy for all the big names...when he was in high school. Ted talks about his path and his process in episode 72 of PxPCast.
Dan D'Uva will forever be the first radio voice in the history of NHL Hockey in Las Vegas. The New Jersey native hops on the podcast to talk about the role of being first, how he wound up in the desert, his climb through the ranks, his idols Ian Eagle and Doc Emrick, his binder of notes, the Cape Cod Baseball League and more. It's one of our longer episodes but it's well worth the listen!
We've talked many times on the podcast about working with an analyst and what a good relationship with your analyst looks like. Well, today we talk to an analyst about that same relationship. Jay Bilas has been with ESPN since 1995 and is, by most estimations, one of their top, if not their top, college basketball analysts. He talks this week about the partners he's worked with, how he views his role and the best way to approach it. He also breaks down his prep and more.
Steve Jones is the longtime voice of the Penn State Nittany Lions, first their men's basketball voice and now their football voice as well. In addition Steve calls baseball for the State College Spikes and has a talk show. In this episode he talks about making big calls under pressure, calling games in Happy Vally, working with Joe Paterno and more.
Aside from being a tremendous mini-golf player and huge fan of both Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen (discussed), Kevin Brown is a tremendous broadcaster. The '11 Syracuse grad is in his first full year as a full-time ESPN PxP voice after having worked in Triple-A with the Syracuse Chiefs and various other freelance gigs. We get into his career path, taking improv classes, being mentored by Jason Benetti and more this week.
Named Co-MiLB Broadcaster-of-the-Year by Ballpark Digest, Mick Gillispie is the voice of the Tennessee Smokies, AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Not only that, he also calls Cubs Spring Training games, runs his own production house, calls games on the SEC Network and more. On this episode Mick talks his influences, broadcasting super powers, Will Ferrell, his climb in the minors and more.
David Crane suddenly found himself without a football broadcasting job. He had a job and he hadn't changed his job, his job just changed. When UAB dropped football in 2014 its impact was more far-ranging than just the play on the field. Crane talks about what it was like without work on Saturdays, his excitement to have it back and more - like calling a 2015 NCAA Tournament upset.
Chris Denari has the best penmanship known to man. So we obviously started this week talking about his charts, which he makes by hand. Then we dive into calling football on TV...as he did last week...and, of course, we talk about working in the NBA and the WNBA and for the Butler Bulldogs and on TV in Indy. Chris has had a wide-ranging career and we cover it all in episode 65!