I’d done it before, albeit in a different venue while working a different sport in a different decade.
Announcing, I thought, was supposed to come fairly easily to me. Announcing a rodeo was supposed to be right up my alley; I’m a rodeo storyteller, for heaven’s sake. So when I was asked to announce a ranch rodeo that took place over the weekend, I was excited.
I was definitely out of my comfort zone. This is much different than those nights putting my voice over the PA during college basketball games: “Personal foul on Eric Montgomery, his second; third team foul for Pratt.”
I’ve paid particular attention to the best announcers in ProRodeo, from Clem McSpadden to Hadley Barrett to Randy Corley to Bob Tallman and Boyd Polhamus. They have distinct deliveries, and they’re outstanding storytellers. I thought that after all this time osmosis might have worked on me.
It didn’t. I was a fish out of water; well, maybe more of a pond catfish in the Gulf of Mexico. But I had a blast Saturday night announcing the ranch rodeo at the Dakota Bronc Sisk Memorial Arena, a few miles south of Maryville, Mo. I got to see some terrific cowboys and some outstanding ranch horses.
I got to tell a few stories; the better news is I’ll continue to tell stories from that night. Thanks, Tim Schafer, for giving me that opportunity.