Author Archives: Maria Allocco

Featured Sportscasters: Peter Anthony West

Welcome back Sportscaster viewers! Today we enter the 6th week of this 12 week phenomenon, which means we are finally half way there to the completion of this journey! And boy has it gone fast! Especially since we are having lots of fun each week learning about new people and laughing at quirky jokes:) 

Anyways, this week is all about Mr. Peter Anthony West. West was born on August 12, 1920 which is way before my time- a whole 80 years difference. He died on September 2, 2003 and throughout his lifetime he did commentary up to the point where he physically just couldn’t do it anymore. 

West worked for BBC and did sports commentating on tennis, rugby, cricket, and occasionally did some hockey play-by-play. However, what makes him different from all the other commentators I have featured is that he served in the war, and the reason he stopped was because he got diagnosed with spondylitis. Spondylitis is inflammation in the spinal cord which for anyone that can be very painful!  

Once his career took off broadcasting, he got to report on the Olympics, and he just didn’t do it for a year or two. Anthony’s skill set earned him an opportunity to report on the Olympics from 1948 to 1972! Wow, that’s amazing! However, after 40 years on the mic working for BBC he retired in 1986.

Just like last week West found a corporation that loved the work he had to present to an audience and he stuck with them throughout his career. I know I said it once, but I’ll say it again: finding somewhere to work and people to be around that appreciate you is vital to being successful in any given job. I can’t wait for next week, we have Mr. Jack Buck to feature. 

I won’t see you guys until next week, so have a very Merry Christmas with your families and I hope you get all the presents you were wanting!! Also, don’t forget to eat a plate for me!!

Ps: The answer to last week’s question is “EEEEUUUURRROOOPPPEEE next” 

This week’s question is: What did the bad soccer announcer get for Christmas? 

Featured Sportscasters: George Allison

Welcome to week five of this twelve week series of Featured Sportscasters. We reached the ¼ mark last monday, which means we don’t have another milestone to break until we get to next week! This week’s focus is all on Mr. George Allison. He was not alive in my time considering I am only 20 years old, but without him and the people before him my dream would not be able to become a reality of being a sportscaster!

Allison was born in 1883 and became a journalist for his first career choice in 1905 and continued to do so for a few years. He was 22 years old when getting his first job, WOW he didn’t waste any time getting into his career!

In 1927 BBC Broadcast approached him with a job opportunity to cover club football, and of course he accepted the position. Later in 1927, he got to broadcast the Football Cup as a youngster and thrived. By 1931, Allison became BBC’s main football analyst and was broadcasting over 100 games a year and he stayed with BBC until he took his last breath. I guess he loved the atmosphere so much he never wanted to leave, but hey that’s what it is all about!! Change is good, but when you have found the job for you there’s no need to switch:)

In this time period, tv was not a huge thing so George’s commentary was on the radio station. However, not many people had money to buy radio’s so people would crowd in homes to listen to the passionate man. At this time, only about 25% of people owned radios. Man, wouldn’t it be awesome for families to have a get together just to listen to your favorite broadcaster on the radio or tv. 

Other than that, that is a quick life story of Mr. Allison. After researching him, one thing I can take away from him is that life is about finding the career that fits you best and when you find it take it and run with it as long and as far as you can. 

Ps: The answer to last week’s question is “because someone touched the dial”

This week’s question: What did the announcer say to the Britain’s Got Talent Contest?

Featured Sportscasters: Al Michaels

Awwww you’re back!! Today is week 4 of this journey which means we are ¼ of the way done. I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving and ate lots of food to stuff yourselves until next year, or maybe just until Christmas:)

Let’s get to business… This week’s featured sportscaster is Al Michaels and he is known for his play-by-play for Sunday Night Football in the NFL. He is the voice for NBC when it comes to the NFL and he has been in the field for 16 years. He is considered the best play-by-play announcer by the Associated Press! Wow, what an honor to receive!

Michaels spent his time at ABC Sports from 1976-2006. He was known then for calling Monday Night Football and now that he is with NBC he is known for doing Sunday Night Football. He has also commentated, Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Winter Olympics and Game 3 of the 1989 World Series game between the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. This game is famous because it was interrupted by an earthquake!

In 2020, he was honored with the 2021 Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Michaels is one of five individuals to receive this honor and to be recognized in such a distinguished way.

Another honor Michaels has received is that he has been awarded eight Emmy Awards, seven for Outstanding Sports Personality! This man is a legend!

Some personal information about the talented man is that he was born into a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Arizona State University where he majored in radio and tv and minored in journalism. He worked as a staff writer for ASU’s student newspaper and did play-by-play for football, basketball, and baseball on the campus radio station.

Mr. Al Michaels has had such a distinguished career and I believe he has many more years on screen! I knew of Al Michaels when writing this, but now I feel like his daughter since I did so much research on him hahah! That will be all for this week’s post, be sure to join me on December 13th for an oldie, but a goodie—George Allison:)

Ps: the answer to lasts week joke is: because when he goes on air he will die

This week’s question: Why did the Tv announcer get mad?

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?

From the Grass to the Court

“Left Foot, Right Foot, Breath, Repeat.” — a six-worded phrase that has so much meaning and potential, but yet is so small. Those six words are tattooed on Nakiyah Washington’s shoulder blade. A sophomore forward for the women’s Piedmont Lions basketball team, Washington lives her life a step and breath at a time, because she knows the importance of keeping a narrow focus on the road that’s ahead of her. 

“The quote is from legendary basketball coach Pat Summitt, and ever since my grandpa told me that as a little kid it was my motivation throughout life to play college basketball,” Washington said. 

Washington grew up in the small town of Adairsville, Georgia, which is just outside of Atlanta. She has a younger sister in middle school, and is supported by her two parents. 

“Where we live is all woods and grass, we don’t have a concrete pad,” she said. “My sister and I grew up shooting basketball in a grassy area that eventually turned into dirt from all the damage we had done shooting hoops. My dad had put a light on the back of the goal so we could see around us at night.”

With Washington wanting to make a name for herself after high school, she turned to her number one supporter, her grandpa. 

“Sophomore year of high school is when I became serious about college ball. I remember my grandpa and I being outside until midnight working on ball handling, free throws, layups and post moves. Really anything to boost my game — and he even made me run in the dark to condition my body whether it was freezing outside or really humid and hot.”

Washington’s freshmen year as a Lady Lion was a standout rookie season. She appeared in all 28 games and started 20. She led the team with 373 points (13.3 ppg) and 176 rebounds (6.3rpg) in the season. She was third on the Lady Lions team with a combined total of 613 minutes played. She also was 3rd in the USA South Conference in steals per game, averaging 2.8. Her career high for her 2019-20 season was 25 points. Not surprisingly, the accolades came in for the 5-10 forward. She was named to the All-USA South West Division Second team, a USA South Rookie of the week twice, and the USA South All-Academic Team. 

“I was really impressed with Nakiyah’s numbers for her first year,” said head coach Jaime Purdy. “She has the potential to be one of the best athletes that has stepped into this program.” 

Purdy has been the women’s basketball coach at Piedmont for 16 seasons.

“After my freshmen season, I knew I was doing something right,” Washington said. “Each practice I gave it my all, and luckily for me it transitioned to when the three black and white striped guys stepped on the court with their whistles.” 

Washington also succeeds in the classroom. She has made Dean’s list for three consecutive semesters as a Lion. She is the determined, strong-willed individual behind the meaning of a student athlete. 

“I have always taken my studies seriously. In high school I was a ‘B’ student. Every now and then I would make a ‘C,’ but I would try my best to make efficient grades. However, when coming to college I knew I had to do better because it’s now or never. It’s my future I’m working for.” 

Her determination is evident to others — both on and off the court.

“Nakiyah is a determined young lady, and you can see that determination in her eyes when just having a conversation with her,” said assistant coach Brad Cochran. 

Achieving excellence in the classroom and on the court has been a consistent goal for Washington, but her seemingly smooth path to success hit a huge roadblock when her grandpa passed away last year.

“It was a feeling of disbelief, I refused to believe it,” she said. “I had just gone home the prior weekend and saw him and we shot basketball in our favorite dirt spot that we had made with our long hard hours of work.” 

When the 2020-2021 basketball season rolled around Washington was a determined individual on a mission. 

“She was the first one in the gym and the last to leave,” Cochran said. “She wouldn’t leave practice until she made 15 free throws in a row and it showed in this past season.”

Washington led the USA South Conference and the Lady Lions team shooting 87% from the free throw line during her sophomore season. She credits the memory of her grandpa for her continued success.

“I knew I was going to dedicate the season to him,” she said. “Everything I did was for him. When I felt like giving up, I would hear his voice in my head saying, “Nakiyah Left Foot, Right Foot, Breath, Repeat.”

Traveling is just the Beginning

 If you were to go to Moldova to a small village named Malcoci, chances are the kids and supervisors know the name Sarah Hustey. 

“I’ve been traveling to Moldova since 2015, to help the young children. It is a humbling experience to see how much different life is overseas versus the United States.”

Sarah is a senior anthropology and sociology major at Piedmont College, but has different hobbies outside of college. If you spend any time with Sarah you would see that she has a loving heart with welcoming arms for everyone that’s around her and for the people she meets. 

But more than that, Sarah gets to know the kids she works with on a different personal level. One particular kid, Colea, says Sarah is the best caregiver he has ever had. She has worked with him since he was 3.

Sarah travels to the impoverished Eastern European country each year through her church.

“We teach them the grammar and vocabulary of the English language,” she said. “We also try to incorporate Bible lessons that fit into the vocabulary they are learning. We also do arts and crafts and they have an hour of recreational time so we can teach them new sports and games.” 

Every summer Sarah and the small group of three that she travels with looks forward to seeing how much knowledge the kids they work with have progressed since the previous year. 

Chris Hudson, who organizes the annual trip, said the goal is to help children gain skills they may not otherwise attain. “We go to get one job done and that’s teaching kids valuable skills they can use in their daily life. We basically watch the kids grow up from a young age until they are in their teenage lives,” he said.

In the profession Sarah is studying she sees all the gruesome and bad parts of the world. However, her outgoing personality and optimistic outlook on life is what allows her to keep pushing forward when times get hard. Within herself, she has found a way to be able to make other people smile around her and allows them to learn not only the way of life in the United States, but also in Eastern Europe.  What sparked the rest of the road for Sarah is when she was given the opportunity to teach Sunday school classes at her local church. 

“Sarah is always going out of her way to make those around her feel welcome and secure,” said Ms. Kary, Sunday School Superintendent at First Baptist Church in Gwinnett. “The first day of Sunday classes, the immediate interaction with the children and seeing their faces light up made me want to cry. Sarah definitely has a pure heart and for her to be able to connect with children on a different level is a blessing in disguise and I hope she realizes the impact she has on younger kids.”

She never thought that she could find a way to correlate with college and kids in the field she is studying. However, whenever summer rolls around Sarah looks forward to meeting the new kids, but her mind always goes back to the children she mentors in Moldova.

“I think the most rewarding part of going to Moldova is that the kids always remember who I am from the previous year,” she said. “All types of emotions come to me when I walk out of the van and the kids run toward me and yell, ‘Sarie.’ It lets me know that I play a significant role in their lives, when no one else will.”

Cardi B “Up” and “Good Girls” Reviews

Cardi B Up

Cardi B’s new hit song “Up” immediately broke the world charts as soon as it was released in 2021. With that being said, the song prior to her new hit song is what made her the well-known artist she is now. “W.A.P” by Cardi starts off with her flaunting a sexual toy while licking her lips. In “Up” Cardi features the same madness in her dance video and gives off the same sexy vibe to her listeners. Cardi is well-known for her outlook on life and enables her listeners to be able to express themselves. 

Good Girls TV Show

“Good Girls” started trending on Netflix in 2021 even though it was first released in 2018. The TV series is about three women — Beth, a mother of four; Annie, Beth’s little sister and a single mom; and Ruby who is their best friend who is happily married and a mother of two. The three women decide to rob a grocery store because they have severe financial issues. But to their dismay, their foray into criminal activity attracts the attention of a local gang member. 

When the show first started, critics called the film a “gentle, no good show.” Season 1 started off introducing the girls and momentum built when the local gang banger Rio was introduced into the show. When Season 2 took off, the show wasn’t considered “gentle.” Anymore. The series is more intrigued in showing not just the many bad decisions the women take part in, but the dilemma they face while trying to have a moral compass. The supposed murder of supermarket manger Boomer in season 1 comes back to haunt the girls, as he turns out to be alive and threatens to go to the FBI for their wrongdoing. The women soon realize that they accidentally disposed of a different corpse and now have the threat of Boomer running around town — and they still have an innocent body to dispose of.  Meanhile, the FBI is still on their tails, chasing and watching their every move. 

The show is based around the obstacles of being a good wife, person and mother. The more the women try to maintain a normal life, the more extracurricular activities take place with Rio. Ever since Beth discovered her new passion for crime, she gets even more confidence  and develops a plan to seduce Rio and take control of her husband Dean’s car business. However, it didn’t go as planned for Beth — nothing does in this show. Dean eventually takes the kids away from Beth and tells her she must change her actions before she can see the kids again. As the season comes to an end, Beth feels like there’s a huge burden on her and she feels trapped. 

Ruby also feels trapped. She lies to her husband and kids about her wrongdoings, but also wants everything in life and more; even the crime aspect of life. However, she comes close to betraying Annie and Beth, while putting her husband Stan’s job as a police officer in severe jeopardy  for stealing evidence in a crime case she was involved in. Towards the last episode of the season Stan gets arrested in front of their daughter, who no longer looks up to them. 

Meanwhile, Annie is getting intimate with her ex-husband and she ends up losing custody of her child Sadie. What the show fails to prevail is that Sadie is a transgender boy, which is an exceptional moment not only for TV but all of the LGBTQ community. It sets the tone to allow all genders and or people to feel welcome when watching the show.

The show isn’t all glamorous as the viewers may see, because shortly after the groundbreaking reveal, Sadie Beth starts to receive pieces in the mail each morning of random body parts of a deceased person. Not surprsingly, Sadie Beth doesn’t keep the body parts, but continuously disposes of the pieces down her kitchen sink disposal drain before her kids wake up for the day. 

Good Girls is its own genre of a show. It’s a comedy, love story and criminal drama all in one. It is produced by Jenna Bans from the hit crime show Scandal. 

Most importantly, the show ties together how women are very powerful and can make choices on their own. In today’s society, that is very important. The three “good girls”  are all acting within the show — not only are they criminals, but they are moms trying to give their kids a perfect life on a daily basis. Should we despise them as criminals or praise them as moms who are doing what they have to do to succeed in life? This show presents a moral dilemma for viewers. This tension is what makes “Good Girls” so good.

Season 4 Episode 1 of the Crime thriller is set to air on March 7, of 2021.