The Stacks


Chance Luck Open New

Being Prepared to Be Prepared

Being Prepared to Be Prepared By John McBride Mummers Parade Recently, January 2nd, 2022 in fact, I had the opportunity to be the Public Address Announcer for what has been voted the nation’s #1 holiday parade, the Mummers’ New Year’s Day Parade in Philadelphia. It was a near perfect weather for marching in January, and…

Rodeo Clown

Being the Rodeo Clown is No Joke

Being the Rodeo Clown is No Joke By John McBride What Exactly is a Rodeo Clown? When you serve in the role of public address announcer, you do more than just say who is playing. You are the information center, the de facto cheerleader, the concierge controller for first time visitors (who else tells them…

Public Address Announcer Copy Legibility

CAN you Read iT?

CAN you Read iT? By Matthew C Wallace Most all of us have stood the twenty feet away, covered an eye and been asked to read the letters off the Snellen Eye Chart.  It’s as commonplace as saying, “Ahhhh”, to the doctor while their tongue depressor agitates your tonsils to a gag.  Rather than just being…

Public Address Announcer Tombstone

Digital Tombstones

Digital Tombstones By Matthew C Wallace Recently announcing a homecoming ballgame, the scoreboard went out or, more pointedly, never really got going.  No score, no time, no down, no to go, no ball on, no quarter and no timeouts.  To top it off, not a soul was keeping an official book of any kind.  This…

Public Address Announcer Pay

For Love Or Money

For Love Or Money By Matthew C Wallace Money – The Debate Money is a debate.  Money is always a debate.  We all want more.  We don’t always get more.  Money will forever remain a debate. However, money makes for a fun subject to tackle.  The goal here is to sculpt a palatable value proposition…

Flaming Hot Microphone on fire

Hot Mic

Hot Mic By Matthew C Wallace The mic is ALWAYS hot OMG! You must be kidding, right? Everyone in this business knows this, no? How could this happen? Not paying attention? Lost focus for a tick? Seriously???? The Mic is Always Hot. Period! If you are in the box, at the table, under the tent, on the field, inside the truck,…

How To Make Roster Sheets – Easy!

How To Make Roster Sheets – Easy!

How To Make Roster Sheets – Easy! By Matthew C Wallace From Blanks to Names… There is nothing an announcer needs more than a clean, easy-to-read Roster Sheet for a contest of any kind. Most announcers only announce college or high school and good roster sheets are hard to come by. Truth is…quick facts and…

Public Address Announcer Fastpitch Softball

I Love Grapefruits

I Love Grapefruits By Matthew C Wallace …with neatly arranged red sprinkles all over them… Over the years, I have found more fun announcing Girl’s/Women’s Fast-Pitch Softball than, I think, any other sport.  The athletes are absolutely as competitive as Boy’s/Men’s Baseball but, for me, they are more enjoyable to watch, primarily, because they are visibly…

Inspiration Opportunity Crossroads

Inspiration and Opportunity

Inspiration and Opportunity By John McBride Why Announcing? To me, two things stand out as to why I became enamored with being a Public Address Announcer: Inspiration and Opportunity. I believe this is largely true for anyone in any field. Something has to whet your appetite, and then you seek to satisfy that appetite. If…

Public Address Announcer Officials Signals

Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation By Matthew C Wallace Ever feel like you need a Masters in American Sign Language (ASL) in order to interpret the officials’ hand signals?  I do…all the time.   Invariably, every announcer finds themselves in a game of any field sport whereby and for whatever reason, the officiating crew is not rigged with…

Public Address Announcer Luck Favors the Prepared

Luck Favors the Prepared

Luck Favors the Prepared By Matthew C Wallace The unexpected always happens…period.  If I did not prepare offsite for each and every event and game, I would be doomed.  Through mistakes I’ve made and observed, PA Announcing cannot be done professionally on the fly.  Not all of it anyway.  That’s my opinion after over a thousand…

What Do I Have To Do This

Mistakes

Mistakes By Matthew C Wallace Everyone Makes Them… I have never announced any event or game 100% perfectly.  Never.  Regardless, I expect 100% perfection.  Always.  If expect anything else, I will get even less than that. It is said that you are your #1 critic.  In my case, no one scorns me harder than me.  If I…

Public Address Announcer Music

Music and PA Announcing: Run or Embrace?

Music and PA Announcing: Run or Embrace? By Matthew C Wallace “Hey Jim, did I just catch the F-Bomb?” Could it be true?  Tens, hundreds and thousands (maybe millions if televised, billions if posted to the web) of eardrums hammer wildly to an expletive slipping in a flash through the fingers of a game crew. …

Public Address Announcer Names

Names Are Everything

Names Are Everything By Matthew C Wallace Civilization’s primary identifiers…NAMES: France, Coca-Cola, Sony, Apple, Tom Cruise, Aztecs, Jupiter.  Our singular memories are pegged with these unique tags for all things we happen to know in the universe.  For me, names seem to land in the 80/20 model of my announcing world.  As a PA announcer, I,…

Grammar Punctuation Exclamation Question Mark

Punctuate!

Punctuate! By John McBride Elevator Pitch Elevator Pitch is a term to describe selling a product or service in 15 seconds or less, as if you are granted an unforeseen opportunity in an elevator and no more than 15 seconds to create interest. Using this concept, I have formed an answer for the question: What…

Public Address Announcer Respell In A Nutshell

Respell In A Nutshell (Part 1)

Respell In A Nutshell (Part 1) By Matthew C Wallace Announcers Need Pronunciation Announcers, experienced with Quick Facts or other pronunciation guides, already know how challenging they can be.  Take a peek at the sample on the right.  You can click on it for a closer view.  The pronunciations are not too bad and, likely,…

Public Address Announcer Phonetic Transcription

Respell In A Nutshell (Part 2)

Respell In A Nutshell (Part 2) By Matthew C Wallace KISS In our prior article, Respell In A Nutshell, we dug into the why, the what, the options and so forth of respelling.  What we really did not do is get into making it work.  In part 2 of our discourse on phonetic transcription, we…

Public Address Announcer Baseball Softball Scorebook

Scribble and Speak

Scribble and Speak By Matthew C Wallace Get your forms on, buddy!  Specifically, your announcer forms for scoring a game.  Really?  What’s wrong with just scoring the game in a standard score book?  Nothing if it’s all you have to do.  Announcers have nothing to do at a game, right?  The job is just so easy that…

Public Address Announcer Silence Man

Sit There and Shut Up

Sit There and Shut Up By Matthew C Wallace PA Announcers, Broadcasters, Scorekeepers, and Spotters are the great observers of events and games.  We plop in a chair with our jobs to do.  We don’t pace sidelines, benches or dugouts.  We don’t argue with officials.  We don’t bounce off of walls on calls we disagree…

Public Address Announcer Officials

Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Wearing Stripes

Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Wearing Stripes By Matthew C Wallace I have announced multitudinous games and events in my life and, one thing very clear to me is that I have felt like I’ve always been an unofficial member of the officiating team at sporting events.  It’s certainly a funny thing to say considering…

Public Address Announcer Electric Guitar Fender Stratocaster

Taking Care of the Voice

Taking Care of the Voice By Matthew C Wallace Likely the most important article of your announcing life When I was younger (not going into which decade THAT might be), I played guitar professionally.  I was in bands, composed songs and played in popular Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles venues.  My guitars lived in a…

Public Address Announcing Politics

The “P” in P.A. is NOT Politics

The “P” in P.A. is NOT Politics By Matthew C Wallace Polarizing Topics During my college years, the group of friends I ran with always maintained a standing rule of thumb on get togethers… NO DISCUSSING POLITICS OR RELIGION Why? Inevitably disagreement bubbled up, tempers flared and, rather than enjoying our time together, some floundered…

Public Address Announcer Tools

The #1 Announcer Tool is NOT the Microphone

The #1 Announcer Tool is NOT the Microphone By Matthew C Wallace Why have a Toolkit My dad kept an overflowing, disorderly Sears Craftsman toolbox of ratchets, screwdrivers, needle-nose pliers and thingamajigs he credulously envisioned he would need one day.  As an executive, I’ve carried around a flash drive of accumulated-over-time documents to the tune…

Public Address Announcer Colorful Tournament Bracket Completed

Tournament Madness

Tournament Madness By Matthew C Wallace I was thinking about March Madness.  The 60+ games in the dance in addition to all those conference tournaments with 7-10 games each leading up to it represent a mountain of announcing effort.  Let’s not be cavalier by leaving out the NIT, the fact there are men and women’s editions,…

Public Address Announcer Rowing

Unskilled Labor? No Way!

Unskilled Labor? No Way! By Matthew C Wallace How Hard is Announcing? “Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to…” “Now Batting for Shortstop, Number 9, Jamie Erickson, …Junior, Number 13, Patricia Jones.” “Peters on the carry for 7 Yards. Tackled by Williams. Second down and 3.” “Penalty, Landers of Centerville College, 2 minutes for roughing,…

Public Address Announcer Rugby

Venturing Outside the Square

Venturing Outside the Square By Matthew C Wallace I hate platitudes.  “It’s ALL good.”  “Everything happens for a reason.” “It is what it is.”  “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  I wonder sometimes if folks spew these hackneyed expressions about, more as a reflex when they really don’t know how to respond to something…

Public Address Announcer Vocalzone

Vocalzone in the Vocal Zone

Vocalzone in the Vocal Zone By Matthew C Wallace My hand waving moment… Before I say diddlysquat, I am not a doctor, pharmacist or a medical practitioner.  I am a public speaker and my son, a baritone.  The experiences and opinions expressed here are only my own and my son’s.  If you even have the…

Public Address Announcer Warming Up

Warming Up

Warming Up By Matthew C Wallace …and I don’t mean heating up.  I’m, also, not making chicken noodle soup.  No, no.  I mean warming up yourself for an event, game or match.  Before a game, athletes warm up, right?  They stretch.  They run in place.  They perform drills.  They psyche themselves up.  They review things…

Public Address Announcer College Students

What Music To Play? Ask Them.

What Music To Play? Ask Them. By Matthew C Wallace Music Moves the Needle If you’ve got your game day music totally dialed in, skip this entire piece. If, however, you don’t have your game day music under control, read on… At any type of event, music moves the needle, up OR down.  The lack…