A Women's Basketball Game for the Ages

As my lovely (and understanding) wife would attest to, I have seen a lot of basketball games. In my PA announcer journey I have been fortunate to be court-side for some amazing events. I recently chronicled some of these events in my recent blog post on 10 years of PA Announcing in Maine.

On January 31, 2020 the top two teams in Division 3 women's basketball played in Brunswick, Maine. #1 ranked Tufts University visited Morrell Gym to take on #2 ranked Bowdoin College. I had this game circled on my calendar since the start of the season, and both teams took care of business and came into this game undefeated.

This game was the most intense, loud and amazing game I have witnessed. In this case, Bowdoin lost. As agonizing as this loss was for the me the PA guy, the fans and especially the Bowdoin players & coaches, I came away just absolutely amazed about the 40 minutes of basketball I had just witnessed.

It was well advertised that 1,400 tickets would be available at the door on a first-come first-served basis. The gym was 3/4 full one hour before tip-off and a sell-out was achieved just a short time later. When the Bowdoin women came out for their warm up 60 minutes before tip, it was to a near capacity crowd. I am sure they have never been so actively cheered doing team stretches before!

At 20 minutes before tip, the Bowdoin women come out of the locker room and I cued their pre-game warm-up music. As they took the floor, I leaned into the mic and said "Now taking the court... the Bowdoin College Polar Bears!" and the crowd roared their approval welcoming the Polar Bears to the gym. It sent chills down my spine!

As well as being the PA announcer I also play in-game music. It's fun (and sometimes a challenge) to play songs that fit the mood of the gym. I like to play an intro song with about 1 minute on the clock to lead into the starting lineups. Recently I found a song called Mama Africa by Ilan Bluestone. This is a perfect build-up song for a big game. It has a driving beat and builds in momentum as it moves along to the drop. The crowd responded and clapped along to the beat helping build the anticipation for the starting lineups.

I could barely hear myself through the starting lineups but I couldn't care less. The crowd roared for each Bowdoin starter and collectively rose to a crescendo of sound at the opening tip.

Sometimes in these highly anticipated match-ups, the players play too tight, or are too excited and don't play their best basketball. This was NOT the case in this game. Bowdoin roared out to an early lead and Tufts looked a little shell-shocked, but they took a time out and came back with authority. Both teams shot the ball beautifully going at a 70% clip in the first half, 60% for the game. The officials stayed out of the way and let the players play a clean game. It was up and down, back and forth, big play after big play with the home crowd roaring its approval for each Bowdoin achievement. I thought the photo used at the top of the blog from Brian Beard / Creative Images Photography perfectly captured the intensity of the players with the capacity crowd in the background.

pc: Brian Beard / www.ciphotography.com
It was a game of runs. Tufts would take a lead, Bowdoin would come roaring back. The crowd was in a frenzy the entire 40 minutes and I was riding the momentum on the microphone with them. In the end, Bowdoin lost 97-88. Tufts just made a couple more plays. It was agonizing to see Bowdoin lose, but it was an amazing display of basketball. The thing I am most impressed with is that the women on both teams rose to the moment. They did not back down. They collectively put on an athletic performance that was beautiful, confident, displayed grace under pressure that inspired greatness in their play.

I am always impressed with the fantastic example the Bowdoin women set for all the young girls in the audience. After every game I see parents taking their young daughters to the players and the team members always takes the time to talk to these young people. Many families bring their daughters and sons to the games knowing they will see the virtues of hard work and fair play on the court... plus it is just a lot of fun!

I am looking forward to many more memorable moments with this program. I feel very fortunate to have the best seat in the house and I will keep speaking loudly into microphones in big places as long as I can!

Best Seat in the House!

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A Family Skiing in Maine: A Women's Basketball Game for the Ages
A Women's Basketball Game for the Ages
A post about an amazing basketball game between Bowdoin and Tufts from the PA Announcer perspective.
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A Family Skiing in Maine
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