The PA annoucer for Timpview High football is going to be King for a day.
Larry King, that is.The multimedia celebrity, who hosts CNN's popular talk show "Larry King Live," will be in Timpview's press box Friday night calling the play-by-play action as the Thunderbirds host American Fork in Provo.
"He'll be Larry King live, not tape-delayed," joked Timpview principal Randall Merrill. "That's pretty cool. Boy, I tell you, we're psyched."
King was invited to attend and announce the game by Timp-view's new starting quarterback, Danny Southwick. The junior's mother, Shawn Southwick, married the broadcast star last year.
After clearing some time in his weekend schedule, King agreed to fly in for the game from Washington, D.C., where his highly rated cable show originates.
"He called us today," said Timpview principal Randall J. Merrill, "and said, yeah, he's definitely coming."
Merrill said King was very gracious in accepting the invitation to sit in front of the mike in the T-Birds' booth for the night. King will also hand out the game ball before the 7 p.m. kickoff.
"I think it's fun for our kids and fun for the school," Merrill said. "We really appreciate Larry doing that. I think that's really generous of him to come and do something with the school."
Fortunately for Timpview, King offered to do the announcing for free.
"Otherwise, we couldn't afford him," laughed Suzanne Blakesly, Timpview's student government adviser who made the final arrangements with him on Wednesday.
But King did make one request.
"He asked for a couple of spotters to help him out," Merrill said.
One of the spotters will be the T-Birds' regular PA announcer, Timpview biology teacher Alan Myrup. He actually wasn't quite sure who King was when Merrill told him he would be temporarily replaced. Myrup said he'd heard of King by name, but he didn't know whether he was on radio or TV or why exactly he was famous.
And, truth be told, Myrup admits he'd prefer to share the booth with another celebrity who graced Timpview's football field recently.
Steve Young was at the T-Birds' homecoming game two weeks ago. Young, who lives in the Timpview boundaries when he's not playing for the San Francisco 49ers, was apparently on a date with one of the school's student-teachers.
"Now there would have been an announcer," Myrup quipped.
Not so quick. Young has an open invitation at Timpview, but Merrill would rather see him on the field.
"He can help us come coach if he wants," he said. "But I think he's a busy guy right now."
King has been busy lately rubbing shoulders with Utahns.
In the past month, he has conducted three interviews on his TV show with an interesting blend of well-known people from the Beehive State - LDS President Gordon B. Hinckley, Donny and Marie Osmond and Roseanne. (How many times have those names ended up in the same sentence?)
Though he's now famous for chatting in-depth with high-profile politicians and entertainment celebrities, King has some experience in the sports world. He did radio color commentary for the Miami Dolphins when he lived in southern Florida a couple of decades ago. He was also TBS's host for the 1990 Goodwill Games in Seattle.
Timpview coach Chad Van Orden is hoping King can spend a few minutes with his team before the game.
"He's a figure the kids all recognize. I'm sure they'll be excited," Van Orden said. "I'd love to have him talk to the kids. I think that would be neat for them.
"It'd be neat for me, I don't get out much. Maybe he'll motivate me."
Of course, the witty Van Orden has his bases covered if King isn't able to give his team a pregame pep talk.
"I can talk like him," he said, "because I'm so hoarse all the time."
After Friday, King might be, too.