'SLANG MAGAZINE - Issue 2 - Feature Interview: The Voice of BOOMSLANG - Rob Adams: Calling the Shots
There's nothing like sitting courtside at a BOOMSLANG basketball game. See and be seen!
However, when you just can't make it to the gym for tip-off, the next best thing is listening to BOOMSLANG on 'The BOOM Mic' - the play-by-play home of Boomslang Basketball Club. Don't miss a moment of the action as it's described by local play-by-play legend, Rob Adams! 'SLANG Magazine recently had a chance to talk BOOMSLANG basketball, the view from the bleachers and what it's like to watch the team battle in the paint and then paint that picture for the audience at home. Rob had the call this past Sunday morning when BOOMSLANG faced the Riverside Hawks in a Winter League showdown and will be on the mic for more in 2023! Learn more about Rob here, in Issue 2 of:
CALLING THE SHOTS - An Interview with Rob Adams, 'The Voice of BOOMSLANG'
IT'S a chilly fall morning outside and the gymnasium bleachers are filling in with fans thrilled to get a break from the cold. The BOOMSLANG parents greet each other as they arrive, their selected seats and discarded jackets starting to completely occupy the right side. On the other side of the aisle, more parents who have set alarms earlier than desired for a Sunday morning are now filing in, only they're here to root on Boomslang Basketball Club's opponent, Born Leaders Basketball.
Cheering is encouraged as are kind-spirited words of encouragement as the referees and teams get ready for tip-off. However, there's one person in the building who will be following all the action closer than anyone, and yet rooting for no one. When your admission is covered not by a weekend wristband, but a media pass, cheering is frowned upon. With headset on, trusty mixer and BOOMSLANG media guide by his side, he sits near the top row of the bleachers ready to connect the fans at home to the action on the floor. Play-by-play broadcaster Rob Adams brings the same energy to a BOOMSLANG broadcast as he does when calling the pros and recently sat down with 'SLANG Magazine to explain what goes into calling it as he sees it and shares some insight regarding spending a season as 'The Voice of BOOMSLANG':
BOOMSLANG Play-by-Play Broadcaster Rob Adams
'SLANG: Thank you for taking time out of your busy broadcasting schedule to answer a few questions for 'SLANG Magazine, Rob. Let's start with how long have you been a play-by-play announcer and which teams have had the privilege of having the Rob Adams call their games?
Rob Adams: I've wanted to be a play-by-play announcer since I was a kid but first tried it out in 1995 for the softball league where I worked. I began calling games professionally in 1999, first at Greenwich High School. I've done games for the Greenwich Cardinals, Brunswick, the Hudson Valley Renegades (now the High-A Affiliate of the New York Yankees), the Bridgeport Islanders as well as colleges and high schools all over. Basically, if a broadcaster is needed, I'll do it!
'SLANG: What steps did you take early in your career to gain valuable experience behind the microphone?
Rob Adams: I just practiced anywhere and everywhere. I went to Connecticut School of Broadasting as well as Western Connecticut State University and would call any game possible to get better. I'd do games off TV! When the opportunity came to do this professionally, I'd rarely turn down an opportunity to broadcast a game.
'SLANG: You do the play-by-play for BOOMSLANG solo, meaning you have to also provide the color once there is a stop in play. Do you prefer having the broadcast all to yourself, or is it more ideal to have another broadcaster there with you in describing what is happening?
Rob Adams: It depends. Doing a game alone scared me at first, but now I really enjoy it. The biggest key to having a partner is chemistry. I work with Chris Erway on football games and he knows my cadence. We understand each other and we're close friends. All of that matters in making a cohesive booth for fans to listen to.
'SLANG: How is it different calling a basketball game on the radio compared to other sports? Do you ever get nervous before a broadcast?
Rob Adams: Any sport on the radio is the same in that the broadcaster is the reporter. With no visual it's our job to paint the picture of everything. So it's all describing but there are differences between each sport. Basketball to me is simply a matter of knowing the terminology and telling listeners what I see. As for nerves, sure! I do get nervous. For my first Boomslang broadcast, I was nervous about making the audience comfortable with me and representing the team well to them. Opening games always fire up my nerves and championships can make me nervous. Once we settle in, it all just becomes a game.
'SLANG: You recently did play-by-play for the Greenwich High School's football team victory in the Class LL State Championship Game. What was that experience like and what is it about calling a championship game that can effect your performance compared to a regular season game?
Rob Adams: Despite getting nervous before a championship, the game becomes normal once the ball is kicked off. The stakes are simply higher in a championship. This was the ninth time I've called a Greenwich High football championship and they're always fun! It's a huge responsibility to relay the details accurately and respectfully to our audience.
'SLANG: What preparation do you do before calling a BOOMSLANG game?
Rob Adams: Preparation always depends on what information is available. In the case of Boomslang, I'm still fairly new to the program so I try to consult anything I can find online, use what is provided to me and also by listening when I'm at the game.
'SLANG: Who are your broadcasting influences? What was it about them that made such an impact on you?
Rob Adams: Vin Scully is the best ever. As I'm a big baseball guy, I grew up watching Vin call The Game of the Week on NBC in the 1980s and learned his pacing, cadence and his remarkable storytelling ability. That's what I love: telling stories! Vin's passing in August was like losing a family member. Doc Emrick, the famed hockey announcer also had an impact on me. His ability to use different adjectives opened my eyes to breaking up the monotony of saying the same things during a game. Plus, he simply loved what he did so you could feel the joy and his excitement. Dick Enberg influenced me in that he called so many different sports and I love being that type of 'renaissance man' who can dabble in any sport. I have a lot of different influences!
'SLANG: You made your debut as the voice of BOOMSLANG this past fall in a regular season match-up against Born Leaders Basketball. What was that experience like and is this the youngest level of competition you've broadcast?
Rob Adams: I would say this is close to the youngest group I've ever broadcast. I've done games with the Greenwich Youth Football League for several years as well as some Little League Baseball and youth hockey. Calling my first Boomslang game was unique in that here I was, this strange man, sitting in the bleachers at the gym at The Leffell School and people looking at me like I'm crazy - and they're right - I am crazy! But once I got over that, it became like any other game. I think that's important, that the listeners understand that I'm going to treat all the games no matter the level, the same.
'SLANG: Are there any rules you hold yourself to no matter whether it is an amateur or professional league?
Rob Adams: My rule is that the athletes, coaches and officials are the focus. It's not about me. Yes, I'm going to interject my personality for sure, but I respect the game first and foremost. I'm a conduit from the sport to the listener and I that very seriously. Other rules are things like never going on the air hungry (though it still happens) and simply being prepared before the start of a broadcast. It's like a road trip and sometimes it's not easy to pull over for a break!
'SLANG: Aside from Boomslang Basketball Club, which other team's play-by-play booth would be home to your dream broadcasting job?
Rob Adams: I grew up a New York Yankees fan, so that would certainly bring me great joy. I've worked at both the old and new Yankee Stadiums as a reporter, but not doing play-by-play. Otherwise, I just like having a broadcast place to call home. I also enjoy that people ask me to be on their broadcasts when there's an opening.
'SLANG: You wake up tomorrow with two things - a time machine and the ultimate broadcasting gig. Which game in the history of sports would you choose to travel to and call? Or do you foresee a match-up in the future that you'd prefer to jump ahead to and make the call for a game in the future?
Rob Adams: This answer could easily change because I'd love to have broadcast my boyhood heroes. I would have loved to have been calling games for the '90s Knicks against Michael Jordan, or the NFL of the '70s among other things - but, all things considered - to be in the booth for the 1956 World Series when Don Larsen pitched his perfect game would be the ultimate. It's a game I've studied and Vin Scully broadcast it. I love thinking about the challenge of how I would call such a moment.
'SLANG: We're lucky to have you calling our key moments and appreciate your talent and time. Any last thoughts for the fans reading this interview, looking forward to your next BOOMSLANG broadcast?
Rob Adams: Thank you for asking me to do this! If fans want to pass along any notes on the team and the players they root for, I'd love to learn more as we go! I hope the listeners are enjoying the broadcasts!
'SLANG: We know they are! Thank you, Rob. We look forward to hearing you on 'The BOOM Mic' calling the action again soon! 'S
SPECIAL edition BOOMSLANG player posters are back for winter! The returning players were given their posters and press releases to kick off the new season and our new players received their personalized press releases announcing their signing with the team. It's a fun way to carry over the fun from one season to the next and to introduce our new players to what the program is all about - great basketball and great fun. This season's poster batch is action-packed - here's a sneak peek at the winter roster edition!
THE REEL MVPs
DID you capture a great picture or video of BOOMSLANG at a recent practice or game? Want to have it showcased in the next issue of 'SLANG? Go through your photo reels, email your exciting BOOMSLANG content to email@example.com and it just might be selected to appear in an upcoming issue! (We know our BOOMSLANG fans always have the best seats in the house - so let's see what you have!) Here are a few pictures submitted at the end of our fall season to get things started!
Thank you for reading'SLANG Magazine - Issue 2! Keep an eye out for Issue 3 containing information regarding the remainder of our Winter League schedule and as always - let's go BOOMSLANG! 'S