View from the Booth: 'Worlds collide' for play-by-play announcer
SALT LAKE CITY —
Generally in life, busier isn't always better. But in the case of a play-by-play guy, a busy life is the best life.
I'm awfully lucky and think I have the best job in the business. I'm fortunate enough to broadcast University of Utah football and basketball games on radio, plus call Real Salt Lake games on radio and TV.
It keeps me in the booth throughout the year because soccer leads into football, football leads into basketball, and then basketball circles back into soccer once again.
This time of year things begin to get more than a just a little hectic. I think it was the great George Costanza who talked about "worlds colliding." That's what's happening now for me. The football, futbol and basketball worlds all begin to collide for a couple of weeks in the month of November, which keeps me hopping.
It all begins Friday night as Real Salt Lake opens Western Conference semifinal play at Seattle against the Sounders. RSL is 2-2-2 all time in Seattle and, of course, there was that little match against L.A. in 2009 that took place in the Emerald City as well.
Seattle just so happens to be one of my favorite cities and broadcast venues. So I'll be at Century Link Field on Friday with Brian Dunseth calling the match on ESPN 700, then return to Century Link Field the following Saturday with the Utes when they play the Washington Huskies.
After this Friday night's game in Seattle, I'll hop an early flight back to Salt Lake City and jump on the radio at 11 a.m. with Frank Dolce and Bo Nagahi, my football cohorts, and bring Ute fans the Utah-Washington State game from Rice Eccles Stadium.
As for the Utes, things appear to be coming together for Kyle Whittingham's team here in the second half of the Pac-12 season. Last week's beatdown of the Cal Bears was the first time all season, against quality competition, that we've seen Utah put together all three phases of the game.
It will be interesting to see if they can do so during consecutive weeks for the first time this season. I said on the radio the other day, based on the way the team is coming together and the remaining Pac-12 schedule, that anything less than a 6-6 finish for this team would be disappointing. There is simply too much player and coaching talent to expect anything less.
One last note concerning the third part of my broadcasting "world" that is just beginning — Utah basketball. Sadly, I will not be able to call the first exhibition game this Friday night due to the soccer playoffs.
I will say that, after watching last week's intra-squad scrimmage, I expect much better results this year for Larry Krystkowiak's team. I'm not quite ready to proclaim them ready to challenge for a Pac-12 title, but the talent level, and more importantly, the leadership level on this year's team is better than it's been in the last few years.
Ute fans at the Huntsman Center on Friday night for the exhibition game against Simon-Fraser will likely be pleasantly surprised.
So if you happen to see me around town looking a little worn down, now you know why.
Just know that I wouldn't have it any other way.
Bill Riley is the co-host of the Bill and Hans Show weekdays from 2-6 p.m on ESPN 700 AM. You can follow Bill on Twitter @espn700bill.
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