Stepping out of my comfort zone tonight

By Steve Sell
October 02, 2015

I don’t think I’ve been this nervous since playing the late Ray Hague in a playoff for the McPherson City Golf Tournament championship in 2007.

Let’s hope tonight in El Dorado turns out better than that did at McPherson Country Club as it was over in one hole.

With “Voice of the Bullpups” Chris Swick attending his sister’s wedding this weekend, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone as color football analyst into the role of play-by-play announcer, something I’ve never done and quite honestly, don’t want to do on a regular basis.

I’m more than comfortable being the second banana, the guy in the background. I’m not one who likes the light shining brightly on me. I’m a writer, not a talker.

Fortunately, Kurt Kinnamon is going along to handle the color analyst duties and he’s forgotten more football than I’ve ever known. And station manager Joe Johnston is traveling with us to push all the buttons to make sure we get on the air, which to be honest is my greatest fear because a lot of people tune in to listen to the games, especially since it’s a road game at El Dorado. My job is to talk and leave the engineering to him.

I’ve been busy today scribbling some notes in preparation for tonight, but when all else fails, I’ll probably wing it. I have to make sure to get all the sponsors mentioned because without them, we do not have a broadcast. We are thankful they provide the backing so we can bring the games and because of them, I’ll try to do my very best.

I’m sure people are wondering why I’m getting so nervous when I’ve covered games for 40 years, 37 of those in McPherson — including countless championships games. But until you sit in the “hot seat,” you just don’t know how you’re going to react. I’ve never been nervous doing the color side of the broadcast, but for some reason tonight is going to seem so foreign.

I’ve had some close friends telling me I’ll do fine and that I’ll handle it with no problems. I appreciate those people and the confidence they have in me. I’m approaching it, naturally, like a golf tournament. Once you hit that first tee shot, there’s always a huge exhale. I have a feeling once the ball is kicked off, I’ll just settle down and describe what I see.

For those expecting a Jim Nantz-type of broadcast, you’ll be disappointed. I just hope I can reach the level of Chris, who thankfully will be back in the No. 1 chair next week so I can slip back into the shadows and not be noticed.