Broadcasters. It might be the only job in television where the consumer believes in their heart of hearts they can do a better job. However, in reality it’s an incredibly arduous profession that blends the skills of preparation, voice inflection, story-telling, and articulation to even perform it at an adequate level.
As a one-time aspiring sports broadcaster, I can confidently say I totally sucked. After broadcasting everything from high school football to collegiate lacrosse halftime shows, I knew my time was up. I tap into my experience to impartially analyze up-and-coming or well known broadcasters on both the national and local level.
With that being said, I want to give a special shout out to ESPN announcer Adam Amin. I first saw Adam when he announced volleyball matches on the ESPN family of networks, and I remember then thinking he was just a little different. He had a presence, personality, voice, and didn’t over-talk. It sounds counter-intuitive, but too many play-by-plays feel the need to TALK CONSTANTLY to a point where it sounds more like a radio broadcast. His voice was strong enough that it sounded natural, and not what we say “Joe Broadcaster,” which is when he or she explicitly adjusts their voice to how they think it should sound.
He quickly ascended through the ranks to more prominent games in mainstream media sports. Even in that ascension, he took time out of his chaotic schedule to drive over to our AVCA office in Lexington, KY when he was in town announcing a UK basketball game. Even though he doesn’t do much volleyball anymore, as a former player himself he still has a passion for the game. We spent an hour chatting about announcing in general, volleyball, and his career, and he couldn’t be more generous.
That’s why when he was on the call for this past weekend’s absolutely incredible NCAA Women’s Final Four, I was stoked he had that opportunity to show off what he can do on that huge stage. With the seemingly plethora of buzzer beaters, we saw something all play-by-play broadcasters should take note of: call the action then let the audience simply enjoy the moment. Previously, the late and great Dick Enberg was the best I’ve ever heard at doing this. Knowing when to shut up is a skill.
Here he is on the call as Notre Dame won the NCAA Championship:
There aren’t a lot of sporting events that I’d watch solely because of the announcer, but Adam has joined the great Doc Emerick in that regard.