Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Turn the Fan on ‘High’ Please

In our past 3 seasons in Charm City, it’s always been difficult for me to tell what the fans like and what they don’t like. For a long time it seemed that attendance would go down at our bouts when we were hosting another league. It’s true, Charm City does love its four home teams, but I think the tide turned for the All-Stars this past Saturday in their bout against Carolina.

I have never heard our audience be so loud.

If you’ve ever seen me announce, you know that I damn near scream my head off. I have a very loud voice, and I take a cue from my stage-acting days (don’t ask) by projecting even more than I probably need to with a microphone. My assumption as an announcer is that if I’m loud, the crowd will be too. I want to get the fans excited, you know?

After a slight scoreboard/projector debacle, Dirty Marty went first and announced Carolina’s roster. The one thing I can say is that CCRG’s audience has come a long way from booing the opposing team. It took a while for us to convey that although we appreciated their misplaced affection, booing was not appropriate. Last Saturday Charm City played nice and clapped for the Carolina ladies (and they each earned a cookie).

What was to come next shocked me. I went on to introduce the “11th ranked Charm City All-Stars,” and as soon as I announced the first skater, everyone in the bleachers stood up and cheered like maniacs, and they kept it up all the way through the last skater. I was blown away. I had never heard a crowd that loud during introductions.

Baltimore’s always been great about supporting CCRG, even when they didn’t quite understand the game… which seems for the most part to have been largely up until this season. Again, I was thrilled and surprised at the collective AHHs and OOOs that emanated from our audience at all the same points I too was cringing and cheering. I was so proud that they all knew the game so well.

The crowd kept up their momentum all night and perhaps even saved more than I knew they had for the very end. CCRG pulled out a huge win over a mixed Carolina team (about 5 all-stars and the rest b-teamers), and when the last jam of the night was called, the crowd was once again on their feet cheering so loud that I could not hear myself screaming into the microphone with a speaker right next to my head. “Holy shit!”

Fans rushed from the bleachers down to the rink and elbowed each other more than a group of passengers who had just flown trans-atlantic at a baggage claim just to get the chance to slap hands with the winning team. Jeff the DJ turned to me and said, “This is incredible!”

I had goosebumps.

Even now, 3 days later, I can’t stop thinking about the energy our fans brought that night. It puts a smile on my face. I’m so glad it did the same for them.

Thank you, Charm City!

1 comment:

Holly said...

YAY!

I think the tide turned in January(?) When we hosted Dallas and the momentum followed through to the 2 armory bouts. Damn, I'm so proud of how far we've come.