Thursday, August 23, 2007

Greetings from Bristol...

Well, we made it to Bristol after a short, un-intended visit to Virginia. Tomorrow night marks two firsts for myself. It's of course my first race at the Bristol Motor Speedway, a track I've wanted to come to all my life. And the next is the first time since 2002 that I've missed a Camden football game.

I send out my best wishes to Coach Neal and company, and look forward to picking things back up at West Florence next Thursday.

Now, on to Bristol.

I heard a good analogy today. Bristol is like the coliseum in Rome. It's the biggest, the loudest, and the most intimidating race track out there for fans and drivers alike. Saturday night, 160,000 people will cram into a little half-mile bullring in the hills of east Tennessee to watch the greatest drivers in the world, with the possible exception of Juan Montoya of course, battle it out. This is gonna be fun.

It may be 90 degrees at the time of the green flag this weekend, but hey... it's been over 100 in South Carolina for three weeks. It may be crammed, but most of the time I figure we'll be standing up so what does that matter. It's gonna be loud, but I like it like that. And most of all, there will be some great racing Friday and Saturday.

The powers that be at BMS decided to re-do the racing surface following the spring's Food City 500. In the past few years, the quality of racing at Bristol was diminished, so they decided to replace the concrete surface, lengthen the transitions off the corners, and take away some banking. If Wednesday night's Craftsman Truck Series race was any indication, then yeah, this weekend is going to be fun.

I'll try to post more tomorrow night or Saturday morning. For now, I'm going to watch a football game with no sound. Thanks local FOX affiliate. Thanks a lot.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bragging Rights: The Untold Story

I don't want to brag, but at the helm of 1 and a half practice games this pre-season, I think I've earned it. I am amazed that I was able to actually sound like I knew what I was talking about doing play-by-play for the Camden Shrine Club Jamboree a week ago and the James Ervin Automotive Group Kickoff Classic this past Friday night. I don't want to brag but when it comes down to it, I was good. OK... maybe not that good, but it didn't totally suck. It'll do for now.

This Friday marks the start of the 2007 regular season, but I won't be apart of it. For the first time since the end of the 2002 season, I will miss a Camden football game. I feel terrible about that, I really do. I know that Joe expects alot out of me during a broadcast, not to mention the fact that I know how to set up the equipment and pack it back up. And we're playing an in-county school, one of the few times a year when we actually report on North Central sports, so I hate I'm gonna miss it.

Where will I be you ask? I've been to a Daytona 500. I've been to 7 Southern 500's. I've been to Atlanta and Charlotte. I've even been to a Busch race at Myrtle Beach Speedway. But I've never been to the Bristol Motor Speedway and that's where I'll be this weekend. I think that's a good enough excuse. The Food City 250 is Friday night and the Sharpie 500 will take the green flag on Saturday night (you can hear that race on Startime 1590 AM.)

Well, school starts Thursday, I leave for Bristol Thursday night, and the regular season starts Friday. The next 10 weeks are going to fly by, and hopefully I'll remember to keep you the readers up to date.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Call it a gain of 4...

(This is another in the series of Camden High School Football broadcasts for WPUB and WCAM Radio.)

The word "call" is something that I've used throughout my life without even thinking about it. I need to call someone on the phone, or make a call on what to do with the guys on Friday night. But when I made my debut at play-by-play during the 32nd Camden Shrine Club Jamboree last week, I used the word call after every play. I didn't realize it at the time, but I need to delete that word from my vocabulary.

After a play, I would say something to the effect of "Call it a gain of 4, 2nd down and 6."
And then the next play, "call it a gain of 3, 3rd down and 3 to go." On and on I went. I figured this out listening to the tape around 12:30 Friday night. That word needs to go.

I thought for my first time out at football play-by-play that I did a good job. It wasn't great, but it wasn't bad. Could I do it for an entire game at this point? No. A few more practice games, then maybe. I could do a full game in a pinch if needed.

Overall, I was happy with my performance, and I'll get another crack at it this Friday night in the James Ervin Automotive Group Kickoff Classic at Lugoff-Elgin (airtime 6:30 on KOOL 102.7 and so we'll see how it goes. I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

5th year of Camden High Football Preview

(The following blog is the first of a series I'm planning for the fall of 2007, chronicling my 5th year of broadcasting Camden High School Football for WPUB and WCAM radio. Check back for my thoughts during the entire Bulldog campaign.)

The long wait for the 2007 season is nearly over, as tomorrow night marks the 32nd (not 31th as the posters say) Shrine Club Jamboree at Zemp Stadium in Camden. In the first of three mini-games, North Central will take on Buford, Lugoff-Elgin will hook up with Crestwood in the middle game, and then the Bulldogs will take on Andrew Jackson in the nightcap. First, let me say I'm so excited for football to start back up. I love NASCAR, and I get excited in January and February as the start of the season nears. But for some reason I get much more excited come the first of August for some reason. Maybe because NASCAR only has a 3 month off-season, whereas high school football ended early last November. That might be the reason.

Tomorrow night will mark my debut at play-by-play for football, as I'll be on the call for the North Central-Buford contest. Joining me on the call as color commentator will be the magnificent one himself, Joe Cashion.

For North Central, they'll be looking to replace two-year starting quarterback Taghi Williams with probably Jesus Martinez. Ron Blackmon seems optimistic about the upcoming year. Their biggest problem tomorrow night will be the heat, as they have many players that play both offense and defense. If they can stay healthy, I look for them to get the win in this contest. I don't know much about Buford, but they struggled a season ago. They run the "Wing-T" offense... and let me say I have first hand experience about how that philosophy will work out.

In the middle game, it's the Lugoff-Elgin Demons against Crestwood. I know nothing about Crestwood, other than the fact that they defeated Camden in 1997 for the first ever win in school history. For the Demons, they are pretty much the only team in the county that has most things figured out pre-season. Their biggest problem to this point is the fact that the injury bug has bitten them early. I think they'll be strong throughout the regular season.

And then the Bulldogs will take to the field in the 3rd and final game. I call a total domination by Camden in this one. The Bulldogs are much improved over last year's 4-6 team. We're going back to the spread, we have a guy who can throw and guy(s) that can catch. The o-line is blocking, we've got an amazing freshman that's gonna run a lot, and the defense is incredibly fast. This team has confidence and 7 state championships later, we know what a confident Camden team can do.

So, whether you're at the game or at home, tune in to KOOL 102.7 FM at 6:30 tomorrow night for the start of another year of exciting Kershaw County High School football!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Summer School and Smoke

(Summer School is definitely something that everyone should try at least once during their collegiate careers, but be prepared to spend all your time involved with it. That's where I've been for the last month and hence the reason why this is my first post since June 15th.)

Ah, Tony, Tony Tony. You've done it my friend. You've gone and ticked off pretty much everybody else in the world of NASCAR and done it in typical fashion.

The two-time champion started the season out slowly, coming in at the runner-up position so many times he could write a book about it. But then, just as he did during his last championship run in 2005, he comes on during the summer months and makes everybody else pay for getting in his way for the remainder of the year.

Yeah Jeff Gordon is consistent, but Tony is on a roll. Nobody is better than when Tony gets hot. Why? Because he get's there and he stays there. He's in the zone, and I honestly think he could win every race the rest of the season. Of course he literally won't win every one of the remaining 16 races in 2007, but he's got a shot.

ESPN does suck. Tony agrees. But they've been kind of useful the last few weeks. I think the jury is still out on the network that I grew up watching everyweek and whether they can get back to the level they were at when they were outed from the sport back in 2000. I just wish they would cover the race. I don't need a human interest story about how someone's jackman proposed to his girlfriend at the 7-11 in Kannapolis the night after his team scored a sub 12-second pitstop but lost the race because of bad fuel mileage.

Also, both Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch said they would drink a beer after qualifying on Friday at Poconap, so they could lay off Tony for saying he was gonna drink a case of Schlitz after he won at Chicago three weeks ago.

Hey ESPN, I'm gonna go to Columbia in a few weeks and find my way to the bottom of a case of Bud Light. Whatcha gonna do about that?

Over the last month, I've learned about mitosis and meiosis, the difference between transcription and translation, and the fact that protein synthesis occurs in the rough ER. I've also learned that I'm gonna have a serious problem next year when it comes down to Tony and Junior for the win in the Daytona 500. Tony is so much like Dale Sr. it's not even funny, and Junior is going to drive for the devil.

I'm glad football season is almost here. My allegiance in high school, college, and the NFL are set in place and won't ever change. Probably because they can't go drive for Rick Hendrick.