Today is national championship day for NCAA Division-III football as the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl plays for the 43rd time on the new turf at Willis White Field at Salem Football Stadium and for the 23rd year overall. Arrival to the stadium is around 3 p.m. to get everything set-up. You’d think there isn’t much
Today is national championship day for NCAA Division-III football as the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl plays for the 43rd time on the new turf at Willis White Field at Salem Football Stadium and for the 23rd year overall.
Arrival to the stadium is around 3 p.m. to get everything set-up. You’d think there isn’t much to set-up, but there is when you consider our communications system with the band is via two LED lights in our booth, along with the audio from the video board, the P. A. announcer and sound computer all coming to the same mixer.
After all of the devices are plugged in, it’s time to run sound checks and that includes a check of the weather. It’s going to cold and windy all night so it’s important to take that into factor when broadcasting sound through the stadium. The colder temperatures mean thinner air and the sound will travel further and faster than on a warmer day. The wind is also going to be blowing and knowing the speed and frequency is important too.
The speakers are placed to our left and go through the stadium. This will cause some issues with the referee microphone, especially in the end to our left, however a little bass will help with that, though the sound is going to blowing all night. Once P. A. announcer Doug Ripley had his microphone checked, it was time to check the video and the audio signals. It took about 20 minutes to balance everything through the EQ, the mixer that will be next to me, and a second mixer that’s directing sound to various other locations, including the ESPN broadcast and for D3Football.com.
The weather tonight is going to be cold and windy, similar to my first championship game, a Virginia High School League championship game at W. T. Woodson High School in my sophomore year. The 1992 champion Annandale played a team from George Washington High School in Danville at the complete other end of the state. Annandale traveled maybe 20 minutes to get to W. T. Woodson for the game.
That morning, during warm-ups, the wind was blowing so hard that the GW-Danville kicker was splitting the uprights from the 50-yard line and beyond. He never had the chance during the game to kick that far, but he could have, the wind was blowing so hard. It was truly a fun day as I met a former Washington Redskins player Roy Jefferson. The interesting note is current Redskin Pierre Garcon played for Mount Union in the Stagg Bowl from 2005-2007.
Today isn’t just about the game as the fans have been tailgating in the parking lot nearly all day. Some spent the night in RVs in the parking lot that shares with Lewis-Gale Field (home of the Salem Red Sox of the Carolina League) and the Salem Civic Center. As the players get set to take the open field around 4:30 p.m., a couple thousand people are in the parking lot enjoying a live band and the camaraderie that football provides.
The teams are just now taking the field for walk-around which means our “show” is about to begin. Actually, it wont start until 5:40 p.m. tonight with our first video.