Previewing PyeongChang 2018 with Jake Asman

Previewing PyeongChang 2018 with Jake Asman

We are a mere 72 days away from the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Jake Asman joined me on Facebook Live to dive into the biggest story lines surrounding the country’s first Olympics since 1988 (Seoul, Summer).

This was the first of many broadcasts we’ll put together over the next few months. Keep up with us on Twitter @JakeAsman & @BobTrossetNBCS as we prepare for the Games.

Championship Sunday in the Centennial Conference

Championship Sunday in the Centennial Conference

What a weekend it was for the Centennial Conference at Johns Hopkins University.

In three days, the top-seeded Blue Jays hosted 12 games which featured four different sports.

Last night wrapped up my first full season broadcasting collegiate soccer. It was Championship Sunday in Baltimore – what every athlete dreams of.

A conference title was on the line and the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins faced off against the Garnet of Swarthmore on a dreary November night.

The competition and game atmosphere was anything but dreary. Swarthmore went into halftime with a healthy 2-0 lead. As Centennial Conference Commissioner Steve Ulrich shared with me in the broadcast booth, no team trailing 2-0 in Centennial Conference playoff history had ever come back to win.

And that statistic would not change.

The Blue Jays, however, kept things interesting scoring two emphatic second-half goals to send the title game into overtime.

Ultimately the second-seeded Swarthmore Garnet would defeat the Blue Jays in a thrilling sequence of penalty kicks under the lights in front of a packed Homewood Field.

For Coach Anckaitis (pictured below) and the Garnet, it’s their first Centennial Conference title since 2014. Ironically, their opponent was Johns Hopkins that year.

 

 

 

Both Johns Hopkins and Swarthmore will play in the NCAA DIII tournament and represent the competitive Centennial Conference.

On a personal note, broadcasting Championship Sunday was a thrill. There was a different type of atmosphere than what I was used to calling games in during the regular season.

The amount of heart and grit you see in these players is sometimes hard to do justice to over the air. They simply love the game of soccer and pour every ounce of effort they have into one single game.

I had a blast getting to know the Hopkins fan base this season and familiarizing myself with many of the teams in one of the most competitive conferences in DIII soccer.

A Magical Night in the Broadcast Booth

A Magical Night in the Broadcast Booth

Fall soccer season at Johns Hopkins University has been a successful run for the Blue Jays as men’s and women’s soccer have gone a combined 29-3-3. Both teams are set to host the Centennial Conference Championships at Homewood Field this weekend.

This past Friday was senior night at JHU for the men’s side. Family, friends and fans of the game packed the stands at Homewood.

Among the crowd was 94-year-old Sophie Swiercz, who beamed with pride as her grandson Mikey Swiercz played his final regular season game in the blue and white.

At the start of the second half, with Johns Hopkins leading by a goal, Mrs. Swiercz joined me in the booth to make her broadcasting debut as a color commentator.

What happened next is a moment I am still trying to wrap my head around.

Within the first couple minutes of Mrs. Swiercz on the air, the Blue Jays were awarded a penalty kick.

And who would be chosen to take the kick?

Mr. Mikey Swiercz. Sophie’s grandson. On senior night.

Check out what happens next:

 

I truly cannot stop watching this video. These are the types of moments sport delivers. These are the types of moments a young broadcaster like myself dream of.

I had a blast. And I hope Mrs. Swiercz did, too.

Check out Johns Hopkins soccer this weekend on HopTV, which can be streamed right here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/jhu/.

Building my brand through local collegiate soccer

Building my brand through local collegiate soccer

It has been a while since I last put together a blog post, so let’s catch you all up to speed on me…

So far this fall, I have broadcast 20 collegiate soccer games at the DIII level, between Johns Hopkins and Stevenson University. When all is said and done, I will have broadcast over 30 soccer games at the end of the fall.

Broadcasts streamed through Johns Hopkins can be viewed on HopTV and broadcasts at Stevenson are streamed through the Mustangs Sports Network.

I am the play-by-play broadcaster for all four soccer teams (men’s & women’s) and do not have a color analyst with me in the booth.

Not having a partner on the air has its challenges. It essentially means I am filling 90 minutes (not including halftime or overtime periods) of airtime on my own and fulfilling the analyst’s role.

On doubleheader days, I barely have a voice. HOWEVER, I have honed my craft this fall and have vastly improved my delivery.

One thing both universities have given me the flexibility to do is build my social media brand during broadcasts.

During games, I hop on Facebook and/or Instagram to go live so my followers get a glimpse of what it’s like for me in the booth. It gives people a behind-the-scenes look into the broadcast.

Another fan-engagement strategy I practice during broadcasts is posing game-related questions to the viewer. I have seen an increasing amount of engagement and involvement on Twitter, specifically. Not only does this reassure me people are actually listening, but it also sets a tone for the broadcast and is a great piece of motivation to enter ‘lock-in’ mode.

‘Lock-in’ mode is what I call the state of mind I enter before a broadcast. It’s completely immersing myself into the game and the story lines surrounding the competition that given day.

As I move forward past the fall soccer season, my sights are set on landing play-by-play reps at a Division I institution.

If you or someone you know is looking for freelance broadcasters for the upcoming winter and spring collegiate sports seasons, please reach out to me at rftrosset@gmail.com.

Here are the dates for several of my upcoming broadcasts:

  1. Johns Hopkins women’s soccer vs. Swarthmore, 4 PM, 10/14
  2. Stevenson men’s soccer vs. Lebanon Valley, 7 PM, 10/17
  3. Johns Hopkins men’s soccer vs. McDaniel, 7 PM, 10/18
  4. Stevenson men’s soccer vs. Lycoming, 7 PM, 10/20

Johns Hopkins soccer can be live-streamed for FREE here: https://portal.stretchinternet.com/jhu/.

Stevenson soccer can be live-streamed for FREE here: http://www.gomustangsports.com/sports/msoc/2017-18/livevideo/20171020.

Stay up to date with me on Twitter and Instagram @BobTrosset – thank you!

Live From the Broadcast Booth at Homewood

Live From the Broadcast Booth at Homewood

I am the new voice of Johns Hopkins men’s and women’s soccer. Over the course of this fall, I will call over 30 games of collegiate soccer between Hopkins and Stevenson University.

Here are a few highlights from a 4-1 JHU men’s soccer victory over York College:

 

Keep up with me on social media as I navigate through my broadcasting career in my first year out of college: @BobTrosset (Twitter & Instagram).

Six Months Out of the Winter Olympics

Six Months Out of the Winter Olympics

Buckle up! We are quickly approaching this winter’s Olympics which are set to take place in South Korea for the first time since the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. PyeongChang, South Korea will be the first ski resort town to host the Winter Olympics since the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.

The majority of outdoor sports will take place within the confines of the Alpensia Resort. It looks something like this during winter:

Following the Games, the Resort will also host the 2018 Winter Paralympics.

There may not be as many ‘household’ names in this winter’s Games, but there are certainly athletes who are flying below the radar you should definitely be on the lookout for come February. Here are 10 Olympians to follow on their road to PyeongChang: 

  1. Amanda Kessel (@AmandaKessel8) 
  • New York Riveters Forward (National Women’s Hockey League)  
    • Minnesota Golden Gophers women’s ice hockey (2010-2016) 
  • Silver medalist at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia 

 

2. Nathan Chen (@nathanwchen) 

  • 2017 Four Continents champion (figure skater) 
  • Won national novice title at 2010 U.S. Championships in Spokane, Washington at age 10 (youngest novice champion in history of U.S. Figure Skating) 
  • First skater to land seven clean quadruple jumps in competition (2017 U.S. Championships) 
  • Time Magazine named Chen one of the 2017 “Next Generation Leaders” 

 

3. Jamie Greubel Poser (@JamieGreubel) 

  • Cornell University Class of 2006 
  • Won bronze medal at 2014 Winter Olympics in Two-woman Bobsleigh event 
  • Married to German bobsledder Christian Poser 

 

4. Jocelyne Lamoreux (@JocelyneUSA17) 

  • Won silver medal for women’s national ice hockey team during the 2010 Winter Olympics, alongside her twin sister, Monique 
  • Played NCAA hockey for the University of Minnesota (1 year) and three for the University of North Dakota 

 

5. Monique Lamoreux (@moniquelam7) 

  • Selected by Boston Blades in 2014 CWHL Draft 
  • 2015 Clarkson Cup 
  • Two silver medals (Vancouver 2010 & Sochi 2014) 

6. Maia Shibutani (@MaiaShibutani) 

  • Three-time World medalist (1 silver, two bronze) 
  • 2016 Four Continents champion 
  • Competed at 2014 Winter Olympics 

7. Hilary Knight (@HilaryKnight) 

  • Women’s national ice hockey team forward 
  • Competed in 2010 and 2014 Winter Olympics 
  • In 2015, Knight moved to the Boston Pride of NWHL and finished the season as the league’s first-ever scoring champion 

 

8. Nick Goepper (@NickGoepper) 

  • Freeskier from Lawrenceburg, Indiana 
  • Three gold medals and a silver at the Winter X Games in Aspen (Slopestyle contest) 

 

9. Rico Roman (@RicoSled23) 

  • Joined United States Army upon graduating Alpha High School in 2000 (Oregon) 
  • In 2007, Roman’s leg was amputated after hitting an IED while serving in Iraq
  • Won gold medal in Sledge Hockey at the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, Russia  

 

10. Nikko Landeros (@nikko1515) 

  • Ice sledge hockey player and paralympic freestyle skier 
  • Competed in 2010 Winter Paralympics Olympics in Vancouver as USA won gold 
  • While changing a tire on the side of the road in high school, Landeros was struck by a vehicle leaving him stuck between two SUVs. He and his friend, Tyler Carron, both became bilateral amputees. 

 

We are exactly 183 days out of the 2018 Winter Olympics. Follow me (@BobTrosset) on Twitter to stay in the loop. 

The Culmination of Four Years

The Culmination of Four Years

It has been almost two months since I dove into the ‘real world’ and started my Admission Assistant gig at Loyola University Maryland. Considering I was a Student Worker in the Office of Undergraduate Admission during my four years, it has been a smooth transition from student to employee.

I feel lucky that while the majority of those in my graduating class are transitioning into foreign offices in unfamiliar environments, I am working alongside professionals who I consider to be family.

While I await my first “break” in broadcasting, I am overseeing Loyola’s tour guide program and assisting in the creation of a new culture and name of the organization: Greyhound Ambassadors. As a Greyhound Ambassador, you will serve as a representative who is asked to lead tours on campus, greet prospective students and their families, and provide direction to those in need.

Additionally, I am currently going through the training process to present information sessions and enhance the visit experience. This requires serious memorization of majors/minors offered, the admission process and ROI statistics. Although I have quite a bit of public speaking experience, using a Prezi as a tool takes time and patience to master. I hope to be behind the podium presenting the university I love before the end of July.

Not all of the last seven weeks have been smooth sailing. Living alone in a four-person townhouse (exactly where I lived senior year) with no neighbors has had its challenges. Sitting inside my very own cubicle hasn’t exactly been the most riveting thing ever. This is what it’s all about, though. I am making ends meet while I await my first gig in broadcasting.

I know what I’m getting myself into. I understand the cutthroat nature of the business. I realize just how fierce the competition is. And most importantly: I accept the harsh realities of the field and am confident in my abilities to make it to where I ultimately want to be.

For now, follow me on Twitter @BobTrosset or subscribe to my YouTube channel.

Trosset Earns Jim Nantz Award Honorable Mention

Trosset Earns Jim Nantz Award Honorable Mention

The annual Jim Nantz Award is given to the nation’s top collegiate broadcaster and determined by a panel of professional broadcasters from a variety of backgrounds.

After three years of failing to place nationally, my demo reel earned an honorable mention in this spring’s competition.

Here is the video I submitted:

Sportscasters Talent Agency of America’s CEO, Jon Chelesnik, formally announced this year’s top broadcasters in this video:

I’m honored to be the first student from Loyola University Maryland to place nationally. I know there will be more in the near future.

Thank you to Jon and his team for the recognition. I understand and respect the prestige that comes along with this honor and am driven by the fact that several former collegiate broadcasters who placed have gone on to earn big-time jobs in the industry.

A hero again: Finding a solution to the NBA resting controversy

A hero again: Finding a solution to the NBA resting controversy

It’s no secret that NBA rests have posed challenges for fans, players and TV networks alike. One of the biggest controversies in professional sports began to escalate toward the end of the 82-game regular season.

After paying as much as $130 to see their favorite NBA stars play, fans have learned with little to no notice that their idols would be on the bench – or not at the games at all. Likewise, players like the Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant have decried inequalities in the resting rules, saying they’re “only for a couple of players in the league.” And TV networks that air NBA games have struggled not only to maintain advertisers but also to attract new ones.

But while critics have portrayed the NBA as the primary villain in the resting controversy, perhaps, the organization is also the biggest victim.

For perspective, consider the issue’s history. According to CBS reporter Matt Moore, the conflict started with “grumblings” around March 11. That day, Warriors coach Steve Kerr rested Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson during the team’s matchup against the San Antonio Spurs. At the same time, Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard were also off the court due to injuries and other health problems. Although Durant, Aldridge and Kawhi were excused by most critics, the other players – and, in particular, coach Kerr – weren’t so lucky. NBA writer and analyst Brian Geltzeiler, for example, called the decision to rest the players “an atrocious idea,” “an embarrassment to the league” and “shameful.” Combined with other criticisms, Geltzeiler’s words formed some of the first blows to the NBA’s reputation.

Then, one week later, the Cleveland Cavaliers added fuel to the critics’ fire. In a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue rested his “Big Three”: LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. Fans were shocked to find out the the team’s star players wouldn’t be on the court, chanting, “We want LeBron!” while James sat on the bench. And Clippers coach Doc Rivers even chimed in, saying, “There is a fan base that probably bought tickets tonight to see LeBron James play for the first time. They didn’t get a chance to see that, and that’s not cool.”

But, again, the harshest words came away from the matchup. Retired basketball player Karl Malone told ESPN’s Sage Steele: “If you don’t have at least 10 years’ experience, get your a** playing. It’s not work; it’s called playing. Besides, tell our underpaid service members and police and first responders to rest. D*****, they can’t.”

Aside from public backlash, however, the NBA suffered in other ways, too. Despite earning a 2.1 overnight rating on a Sunday afternoon matchup in 2016, the Cavs and Clippers netted only a 1.1 on ABC’s “NBA Saturday Primetime” this year. Though the Saturday presentation should have boosted ratings, Sports Media Watch suspected early that this year’s figure was “almost certainly the lowest NBA overnight ever on a broadcast network.” A few days later, updated data supported that hunch: The game scored only a 1.0 final rating, tying the two lowest-rated NBA matchups in broadcast TV history.

But how does that affect the NBA overall? Because the NBA is a business, first and foremost. Bringing in almost $5 billion a season, the NBA ranks third in the top American professional sports leagues by revenue, behind only the NFL ($13 billion) and MLB ($9.5 billion). During the 2013-2014 season, gate receipts contributed about 28 percent of the NBA’s total revenue, meaning that television deals formed a large portion of the remaining 72 percent. But when ratings are low, what incentive do networks have to renew their contracts with NBA teams? The answer: not much.

Although Disney (ABC and ESPN) and Time Warner (TNT) signed contracts with the NBA last year to air games through the 2024-2025 season, there’s no guarantee that they’ll renew their agreements. As the BallnRoll editorial staff puts it: “TNT is not planning on shelling out billions to see James and Steph Curry sit on a Saturday night broadcast.” And who could blame it? At $24 billion, the current contract is too expensive for the network not to reap mutual benefits.

So what’s the solution? Simply avoiding or banning rests won’t work. Before the Houston Rockets’ March 26 matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder, coach Mike D’Antoni had said, “We don’t rest. We don’t do that.” During the game, D’Antoni kept his word, yet the matchup still yielded only a 0.9 final rating, replacing the Cavalier-Clippers’ 1.0 record low a week earlier. What’s more, as ESPN staff writer Tom Haberstroh explains: “[T]he economics make clear that some games, played by some players, are many times more important than others to the league’s bottom line. The trick is to get the best players in uniform and at their best for the nationally televised games that pay the bills” (emphasis added). Since the rests started as a way to refresh players in a demanding 82-game season, certainly, eliminating them won’t serve that goal. (For proof, consider some of the research the NBA has collected and analyzed on the relationship between fatigue and injuries.)

However, perhaps, the NBA could change the way it handles rests. League commissioner Adam Silver has already taken the first steps by meeting with NBA owners, reducing the number of back-to-back games in next year’s season and imposing penalties for noncompliance with player availability regulations. But he has also said that “there should be a strong preference for resting players at home,” a suggestion that will continue to cut off fans, teammates and TV networks. Since the NBA depends on these groups’ interest and support for its financial success, players need to be at the games, signing autographs, participating in interviews and promoting the game-day experience. After a tough regular season weighed down by controversy, it’s the only way to turn the NBA from a villain and victim into a hero again.

How Loyola Landed Rokerthon

How Loyola Landed Rokerthon

Loyola University Maryland was selected as one of five schools to be part of NBC’s Rokerthon during the final week in March and ultimately broke a Guinness World Record for the most people crab walking with 494. It was a month-long process that began all the way back in early February. It was a true team effort.

Here’s how it all came together:

Wednesday, February 8th: I receive an email from Philip Caulfield (Loyola grad & Senior Editor at TODAY.com) detailing what Rokerthon is and including this link to the application: http://www.today.com/series/rokerthon/rokerthon-2017-t107447.

Wednesday, February 15th: I receive a follow-up email and a reminder that the deadline is approaching (it was midterm week at Loyola, so I was swamped!). Later on in the afternoon, I forward the email to marketing & communication and undergraduate admission, simply to gauge potential interest. From here, it takes off.

Thursday, February 23rd: With Loyola graduate and videographer Chris Singlemann taking a lead role, Loyola submits its application to NBC’s third annual Rokerthon and invites Al Roker to campus to try and set a Guinness World Record for the most people crab walking (See pictures & submission video below):

Monday, March 6th (First day of Loyola spring break): I receive a call while in Florida from Cecilia Fang of NBC. She tells me Loyola made the short list. Guinness World Records suggests we go for a different record attempt. We ultimately decide that Loyola would attempt to break Northeastern’s previous record of 376 people crab walking for two minutes.

Thursday, March 9th: Loyola receives confirmation that it has been selected as one of five schools nationwide for Rokerthon 3. I receive the news around 5:30 PM in Fort Lauderdale.

Monday, March 13th (First day back from spring break): The first Rokerthon planning meeting is held in Humanities.

Duration: 3 hours

Attendees: Sharon Higgins, Gary Epstein, Joe Bradley, Rita Buettner, Teddi Burns, Colleen Campbell, Ryan Eigenbrode, Amy Filardo, Joan Flynn, Gerald Ford, Brian Linnemann, John McKiernan, Genna Mongillo, Clayton Myers, Brian Oakes, Arthur Sutherland, Stephanie Weaver, Raven Williams, Jennifer Wood, Beth Steiner, Birgit Albrecht, Erin O’Keefe, Michael Puma, myself, etc.

Thursday, March 16th: Loyola releases its “How-to crab walk” video.

Friday, March 24th: A smaller meeting is held in Humanities to go over all logistics.

Attendees: Sharon Higgins, Gary Epstein, Joe Bradley, Joan Flynn, Brian Linnemann, Amy Filardo & myself.

Monday, March 27th (The week of Rokerthon): Loyola’s final group meeting is held before the big show on Thursday.

Attendees: Sharon Higgins, Gary Epstein, Joe Bradley, Joan Flynn, Rita Buettner, Brigid Hamilton, Bryan Haunert, Charles Hiebler, Scott Kelly, Brian Linnemann, John McKiernan, Genna Mongillo, Clay Myers, Tim Attolino, Sara Scalzo, Chris Singlemann, Christina Spearman, Beth Steiner, Stephanie Weaver, Kiki Williams, Rebecca Winkler, Nick Alexopulos, Colleen Campbell, Patrick Durkin, Timothy Fox, Jennifer Wood, myself, etc.

Wednesday, March 29th: Al Roker is picked up and greeted at the airport by a Loyola pep rally and escorted back to campus. He spends the day meeting President Father Linnane, checking out the library and Boulder Garden Cafe.

 

Thursday, March 30th: The official day of Rokerthon at Loyola. Event services works through the night and transforms the quad. 500+ students begin to line the quad in hopes of being granted entry into the “crab walking” field. By 5:15 AM more than 1,000 students, faculty, alumni and community members are on campus.

8:15 AM: 500 previously registered members of the Loyola community go for a Guinness World Record on national television. According to sources, viewership was over four million.

 

8:30 AM: Loyola University sets a new Guinness World Record with 494 people crab walking for two minutes, on national television.

Media Involvement: 

Brett Hollander – the voice of Loyola men’s lacrosse and radio personality at WBAL – was kind enough to invite me on for an interview. LINK: http://www.wbal.com/article/229171/21/loyola-senior-finds-school-unlikely-route-to-national-spotlight.

WBAL-TV covered Rokerthon at Loyola, too:

And it had a chance to catch up with Mr. Roker himself:

The Baltimore Sun also weighed in: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/education/higher-ed/bs-md-ci-loyola-today-show-20170328-story.html.

An NBC producer put it best in a text post-Rokerthon: “One of my career highlights and I have been all over the world.”

I want to personally thank everyone in the Loyola community and beyond for rallying around our selection to NBC’s Rokerthon. I could never have gotten to this point without our team. Plain and simple.

To see this go from an idea on paper to what it is now will probably go down as my favorite Loyola memory of my four years at Loyola.

On February 23rd, when we submitted our video, all I could do was dream that we’d have a chance. We’re now Guinness World Record holders.

One thing I know for sure is that Rokerthon will still live on (at least for the time being) at Loyola. I’ve seen Al Roker fatheads hanging in residence hall windows, offices and even classrooms.

If nothing else, I hope that Rokerthon at Loyola provided a smile for those entrenched in today’s controversial world and inspired prospective students and their families to consider becoming a member of the ever-expanding Loyola University Maryland family.

Before we part ways, be sure to take a look at Chris Singlemann’s recap video – I think you’ll enjoy it: