Behind the scenes: TigerTV

Gideon Rosinplotz, Contributor

Commentary is a largely underappreciated part of sports. Sports would not have taken over the entertainment world without commentators, and I was fortunate enough to spend a day with the TigerTV team in order to learn more about the art behind sports announcing. 

It was incredible to spend time with the two announcers, seniors Liam Ervin and Nathaniel Wigman. They gave me many tips on how to be a perfect commentator. 

The first step is preparation. It’s important to do your research before a game which can generally be found on MaxPreps. Incorporating the research into the game is something that’s quite flexible, “We just focus on specific things, really doing anything we can to keep the broadcast entertaining and up to date, and keep it cool throughout from start to finish, and not have anybody bored when they are watching it,” said Ervin. 

The best quality to film on is your phone (phones > cameras). The app used for streaming is called Boxcast, a subscription service that allows you to broadcast events on multiple platforms at a time. “We pay for a subscription, and we can run it through youtube,” Ervin said. The app allows you to film while only having to keep track of the score and the camera angle, so it’s convenient for the commentators.

Commentating is a skill that like others, requires time and practice to hone. Ervin said that one good way to get reps in is by “Commentating games however it may be.” Whether that be at your home, for a school, or any place else, doing more commentary will only make you better at it. Another good way to improve your skills is by listening to commentary. “Listening to what they do and how they do it and just modeling your craft after that,” Ervin said. Those at the top needed to start somewhere, and these are good tips to help start out.

No matter who you are or what you are feeling, you will feel pressure. One way the commentators are able to handle this pressure to perform is by welcoming it. “I’m not scared of talking in front of a lot of people and I really like it. It gives me energy, it helps the broadcast for sure.” Pressure might not be a problem for Ervin, but what about being uncomfortable? You are talking for around two hours straight, and formal attire is usually worn. Once you get uncomfortable, it is hard to stay in that “zone.” Ervin says:  “You can be uncomfortable in broadcasting [but] you just gotta be yourself.” 

I came into the sweaty gym thinking I was going to be completely alien to the concept of streaming and commentating,  but I actually felt smart as everything was explained to me. At the end of the game, I packed up my things and said thank you, having learned something new and important that day.