Calling a score for Gore

I was going to write about how the 76ers are finally going to dispose of
Indiana and how Iverson is the man and how Philadelphia is going to beat up on New York next, then Milwaukee and then Los Angeles en route to the title. I was then going to mention the coincidence that the Sixers’ last championship, which was Philly’s last championship in 1982-83, went through the Knicks, the Bucks and then the Lakers.

I also thought about getting nostalgic and writing lots of thank you’s to those who helped me along the way. It’s strange to be three weeks away from the beginning of a new life – or something like that. But, that discussion can wait until Thursday’s issue.

Instead, I thought I’d share a fun little story with all of you. A few weeks ago, I met a woman who offered to pay me a considerable amount of money to be the public address announcer at a couple Bullis High School lacrosse games in Potomac, Md. As someone pursuing a career in sports broadcasting, I figure it is good to get your hands on a microphone whenever you get the chance. I mean, you just never know the kinds of things you’ll get to say or the kinds of people you’ll get to meet.

So, Friday afternoon I headed up for the game. Bullis was playing Sidwell Friends and it was senior day. My duties for the day included introducing the seven seniors to the large crowd of parents and fans in attendance: “This four-year varsity letter winner led the league in goals this season. Escorted by his parents Lynne Carbone and Jon Sowanick, ladies and gentleman, number nine, Jon Sowanick.”

Other than that, all I had to do was announce who scored, who assisted and who committed the one-minute slashing penalties.

Now, I’m not sure if any of you know who plays high school lacrosse for Sidwell Friends. I wasn’t aware of it until I saw his parents mosey their way into the bleacher seats located right below my PA box. That’s when I looked at the program and saw the name of Sidwell’s No. 16.

And from that moment, all I wanted was for him to score.

With Bullis ahead 5-0 early in the second quarter, Sidwell Friends stormed down the field and was fouled by a Bullis player – “penalty on Bullis’ number 13, Mark Davis, one minute for slashing.”

Sidwell maintained possession and passed it around the perimeter until they found No. 16 wide open in the slot. The pass was made, the shot was taken and the goal was scored. It was time to do my job:

“Ladies and gentleman, Sidwell Friends goal scored by number 16, Al Gore.”

And with the mention of their son’s name, Al and Tipper raised their fists and clapped their hands while the other Sidwell parents patted them on the back. Now, you’re asking yourselves where the Secret Service was during all of this. Well, let’s just say Larry sat next to me in the box. Larry was a real big man, wearing a solid red tie. I offered him some nacho cheese Combos during halftime, but he turned them down.

Anyway, there would be a second round of cheers later in the game when Gore scored again. The final was Bullis 11, Gore 2.

I was fortunate enough to meet Al and Tipper after the game. I introduced myself and said whatever came to mind first. I congratulated them on their son’s two goals and they said thanks. Then Al said something to the likes of, “nice job announcing.”

We wished each other well and that was that. When he entered his black Cadillac, I thought about what I could have said with the microphone. Maybe something like, “The final score of today’s game, Bush 272, Gore 268.”

I laughed at the thought. Then I thought about having to deal with Larry. Let’s just say I quickly stopped laughing.

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