Monthly Archives: November 2021

Featured Sportscasters: John Motson

Welcome back sport caster lovers, I see you came back for more and that makes my heart jump with joy. You came back for an exciting play-by-play announcer of the name Mr. John Motson. 

John was born on July, 10 1945 and is 76 years young. As you notice I say IS, implying the young man is still alive enjoying his retirement after a long and successful career. John began his career in 1971 working for the British Broadcasting Corporation, which is located in the UK. From 1971 to 2008 John was the main football analyst for the network. However, his career began in 1968 as he was hired to be a sports presenter on Radio 2. Radio 2 is a British national radio station, and it is the most popular radio station that has over 15million listeners a week.

In 1990 John was selected for the 1994 World Cup semi-final game between England and Germany. Other than that, John dedicated his life to learning the game of football and commentating on it. In his entire career he broadcasted over 2000 games both on radio and television, and may I add that is pretty darn impressive!

In 2008, Motown retired from tv, but continued to appear on BBC Radio 5 Live. BBC Radio Live is the UK’s sports talk show for news and quick facts on players. Since 2015, Motson has provided commentary for the CBeebies football program in Britain. 

As I was researching the talented young man I found an interesting fact that you video sports game lovers would find interesting. Motson is an ex-commentator for the FIFA World Cup video game by EA Sports! His first video game was FIFA 96 and he was also a  commentator for the 06 and 08 years as well. If you have these games go and play them, because now you know who John Motson is!

ps the answer to last weeks blog is: they don’t want to wake up their audience that’s supposed to be watching

This week’s question: Why can’t a fish be a Radio Announcer?

Featured Sportscasters: Foster William Hewitt

Welcome back beautiful people. Today is week 2 of this journey and it will lead us to talk about Foster William Hewitt. Before going on this journey of finding sportscasters he is a guy that never crossed my pallet when hearing or knowing him. With that being said, William was quite the extraordinary man and here is why… 

He was born November 21, 1902 and grew up in Ontario, Canada. At a young age Hewitt developed an interest in radio. However, instead of a radio station being his first job he worked as a reporter for a newspaper company, which in the 1920’s was a big source of news income to the people. Shortly as 3 years passed, an opportunity arose for the young man at CFCA. CFCA was the first licensed broadcasting radio station in Ontario at the time. It was owned by The Toronto Daily Star and they were known for the very first play-by-play hockey game on February 8, 1923.

Hewitt quickly found a gap for himself in the league as he broadcasted his first game on February 16 between the Toronto Argonaut and the Kitchener Greenshirts. The game ended up going into overtime as the Greenshirts pulled off the upset. 

On May 24, 1925 Hewitt had the honor of broadcasting the world’s very first horse race. His impression from the broadcast then led to an opportunity in 1927 where he was invited as a guest announcer to broadcast the first game from the Detroit Red Wings Stadium! He also was a part of opening night ceremonies and got the designated broadcaster position for the team!

Wow!! That was a lot to take in for me. Hewitt had such an impact early on in his career and found a way for himself. He got involved early on in his life and only climbed the ladder as time went on. Maybe that’s the trick… to start young so you can pick what you do once you have experience?

ps the answer to last weeks blog is: “Wee paws for station identification”😂

Question of the week: Why do golf announcers whisper?

Featured Sportscasters: Bill Stern

Welcome back to Featured Sportscasters, I’m glad you enjoyed the intro post and I’m excited to have you along with me during this journey! Our first spotlight broadcaster is Mr. Bill Stern! He was born on July 1, 1907 in New York and passed away on November 19, 1974. He was only 64 years young. Bill began doing play-by-play commentary in 1925 when he was hired by a local radio station to cover football games. Shortly after his time at WHAM he was hired by NBC in 1937 to host “The Colgate Sports Newsreel” and Friday night boxing on the radio. 

What makes Bill unique from any other broadcaster known to man is that he is the very first person to broadcast a game! The very first tv broadcast took place on May 17, 1939. The game being played was a double-header between Princeton and Columbia. Princeton ended up coming out on top with a 2-1 victory at Columbia’s home field!

Stern also televised the first football game on tv that same year on September 30th. Stern was known because of his appearances on CBS Sports. He was successful there for many years. He was their sports director as well as their on air talent. However, Stern’s life wasn’t fame and glory and easy like he had made it out to be. 

One evening when Stern was on his way back from a football game in Texas he got into an atrocious car accident that resulted in him having to amputate his left leg above the knee. However, that did not stop the young man as he kept pushing through the obstacles and did not let them hold him down. 

Lastly, In 1950 Stern landed a job with ABC as he would become the star of the show in their eyes until 1956. He was the go to guy for sporting events, as well as he served as an anchor for the Tv show “The Names the Same”. 

All in all, Stern had a very successful career and loved what he did. It starts with passion to be able to do a job for many years and after that the road will pave the way. 

As we par our way to the end of this week, be sure to come back next week for another great featured caster! 

Featured Sportscasters: Intro Blog 1

Hello, and welcome to Featured Sportscasters you sports fanatics. Featured Sportscasters is a 12 blog post series that will highlight sports broadcasters and their talents. Each week a new post will be published that highlights a sportscaster and their sport they talk about, and what makes or made them unique. You won’t want to miss anyone that is featured in the upcoming weeks. I will talk about the oldest of the oldest, dating back to the very first sports broadcast known to man all the way to the newest top reporter as we know Holly Rowe.

Before we begin this 12 week journey of intense thoughts, laughter, light bulb moments, and learning I would be selfish to not let you know who I am and why I am going to be writing these.

First and foremost, hey there my name is Maria Allocco and I too am a sports fanatic. Sports have always played an important role in my life ever since I could walk. I played just about every sport I could growing up except hockey, my parents told me my attitude wouldn’t have been acceptable, but oh well I still am alive. My favorite sport of all time to play and watch is basketball. I played basketball for 17 years of my life, and then just recently hung up the jersey as they would say because I wanted to focus on my new passion which is sports broadcasting. Yep, you read that right and now you’re probably having your first light bulb moment as to why I am doing a series over sports broadcasters and you would be correct!! Like I previously said, sports have always had an impact in my life and when I stopped playing them I then knew I would want to talk about the sports I love for a living.

I mean, haven’t you always thought of how that person sounds so professional and good on tv or is that just me? If you have wondered, you will slowly find your answers in the upcoming weeks which means you just have to keep tuning in.

That’s enough small talk, I’m going to leave you with a question and you’ll have to come back to find out the answer: What vegetable can work as a sports announcer?

Not Your Typical High School

High school is a time for young individuals to grow and learn new things about themselves while being surrounded by uplifting peers and teachers. For Madison (Madi) Gallarelli, high school was an unescapable four-year nightmare of harassment and homophobia. 

Gallarelli attended private Catholic schools from Kindergarten to her senior year of high school. Her parents were Catholic and raised their family the same way. Unfortunately, Gallarelli’s parents were unaware of the alarming side effects associated with going to a Catholic school after Gallarelli came out as gay her freshman year. 

“My school taught us that being homosexual is merely a temptation and that I would be accepted in the church until I acted on that temptation,” said Gallarelli. “But once I acted on it, I was told I would be excommunicated.” 

Gallarelli recalls her junior year morality class discussion when the topic of homosexuality was talked about. Gallarelli says her school only discussed the topic for one day, leaving the students completely uneducated on the topic. It was obvious to Gallarelli that the school wanted to ignore homosexuality, leaving many unanswered questions for her but also for other students ignorant to the subject. Gallarelli was one out of two openly gay students in a school of about one thousand kids. 

“No one else wanted to come out because they were terrified of what would happen to them if they did,” Gallarelli said. “People would call me gross, faggot and dyke. Every day in class, a girl I barely knew would push all of my stuff off my desk, and my teacher did nothing.” 

Gallarelli explains her social life struggles and the harassment that she faced as an openly gay individual in a Catholic school. She recalls how this behavior made her feel and the emotional stress it added to her life. 

“My mental health plummeted. I had suicidal and self-harming thoughts,” Gallarelli said. “When everyone is calling me disgusting every day, it becomes hard not to believe it.” 

Gallarelli’s personality began to change as a result of the school harassment. She remembers feeling constantly depressed and anxious in her everyday life, resulting in a drastic personality alteration.

“Madi completely changed from the happy, funny and outgoing person we had always known to someone who was withdrawn, quiet and full of anxiety and self-doubt,” Gallarelli’s Mother, Michelle Gallarelli, said. “She wouldn’t talk to anyone, and we worried about her constantly.” 

Mrs. Gallarelli states the changes she saw in her daughter due to the constant harassment at school. Mrs. Gallarelli was almost completely unaware that Madi was experiencing severe homophobia everyday by her peers. As the bullying continued, Gallarelli explains her high school years as her lowest point mentally, eventually leading to her battle with internalized homophobia. 

The rainbow project, an organization that promotes the health and wellbeing of the LBGTQ+ community, defines internalized homophobia as oppression that happens to gay, lesbian and bisexual people who have learned and been taught that heterosexuality is the norm and “correct way to be.” Internalized homophobia is a mental illness that creates a negative self-worth of oneself because of their sexual orientation. 

“I began to force myself in uncomfortable situations as a way to try and “fix” myself,” Gallarelli says. “I had been taught that homosexuality was a choice by my school, so I tried to choose a heterosexual lifestyle.” 

Gallarelli remembers her attempt to change herself by hanging out and going on dates with boys. She recalls pushing herself to uncomfortable lengths in hopes of not being disgusted by herself. 

“Of course, none of that worked,” Gallarelli said. “So, I began my journey in therapy in hopes of helping my crippling thoughts.” 

Gallarelli started therapy her junior year of high school after two years of constant harassment from peers at school. Gallarelli knew she needed a safe space to reveal her traumatic school experiences that were ultimately degrading her perception of herself. 

“Therapy helped my mind to shift its thinking,” Gallarelli said. “I began to think more highly of myself and care less about what others thought of me.”

Gallarelli explains her victories in therapy and the impact it had on her mentally. She began to work through her internalized homophobia and realized that she should not hate herself because of her sexuality. 

“After Madi started therapy, she started to find herself again,” Michelle Gallarelli said. “She regained her confidence, voice and self-worth.” 

Michelle Gallarelli recalls seeing the change in her daughter’s personality after her therapy began. Not only did Madi Gallarelli’s mood change, but so did her outlook on life. 

“I began to realize, if there is a God, He wouldn’t condemn me to hell for loving another human,” Gallarelli said. 

Gallarelli explains her big break-through moment while in therapy. Going to a private Catholic school for her whole life shaped her thinking to be specific to the teachings of the church. She constantly thought negatively about herself due to her teachers and peers in school. Now, thanks to therapy and her progress in mental health, Gallarelli is able take further steps in understanding what makes her happy and with whom she should surround herself. 

“I came to Piedmont because of the supportive environment,” Gallarelli said. “I surround myself with people who accept me and love me for who I am.” 

Gallarelli has found her true self in the clothes she wears, the friends she has and the overall support she has received since leaving Catholic schooling.

“Madi positively impacts so many people’s lives by just being herself,” said Marissa Taghon, roommate and best friend of Gallarelli. “She is the most caring and supportive person I know and will drop anything to be there for a friend when they need it.” 

Taghon explains how Gallarelli is the first person to ask if she is doing okay and make it known how much she cares about her friends. Taghon loves having her around as a positive and inspiring light in her life. 

Throughout Madi Gallarelli’s experience enduring harassment, deteriorating mental health and homophobia due to attending a Catholic high school, she has shown strength in facing her struggles head on.  

“I don’t regret experiencing the bullying in high school because it has made me the person I am today,” Gallarelli said. “Resilient, confident and very gay.”