Re: Dave Pasch: From Madison

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Posted by Hey.... on October 26, 2008 at 09:59:22:

In Reply to: Dave Pasch: From Madison posted by on October 23, 2008 at 11:01:58:

Didya know...he's also Dick Alpert's (from WIBA) cousin?

: Behind the Mike: State native Pasch-ionnate about his job

: As a youngster growing up in Wisconsin -- a Cheesehead from Madison -- Dave Pasch got exposed to the "house announcers" from the Milwaukee Brewers and the Green Bay Packers. And he enjoyed every minute that he spent listening to the radio play-by-play voices of Bob Uecker and Pat Hughes with the Brewers and Jim Irwin with the Packers.

: As a young adult maturing on a college campus -- an Orangeman from Syracuse University -- Pasch got introduced to a much different broadcasting delivery and a more neutral approach. That training was in keeping with the school's legacy of churning out network-ready play-by-play men from Marv Albert to Dick Stockton to Bob Costas to Sean McDonough to Mike Tirico.

: Pasch, now 36, can embrace the best of both worlds today.

: On Sundays, he works for the Arizona Cardinals as one of their "house announcers" on the team's radio network. Pasch is entering his seventh season doing NFL play-by-play. "You're kind of riding the emotional wave with the team whether it's good or bad," he said.

: On Saturdays, he works for ESPN as the lead announcer on the network's early game (11 a.m. Central). For three years, he worked on Friday nights before drawing the new assignment last season. His color analyst is Andre Ware, the 1989 Heisman Trophy winner. "On ESPN, you get to be neutral, and you get to be more of a storyteller," Pasch said.

: In sum, he likes both media, television and radio. And he likes both roles, neutral and not so neutral. "My wife (Hallie) and I have discussed a lot of different things over the last five years with all the opportunities I've been getting (on ESPN)," he said. "Do we pick one (radio) over the other (TV)? Right now, I think we need to be doing both."

: ESPN has kept him busy over the last 12 months. As a result, Pasch, who makes his home in Phoenix, has been transitioning between NFL (radio only) and college football, the NBA and college basketball, and the WNBA and Arena Football. "You don't always want to be seen as a utility guy and I'm not saying that's how I'm viewed," he said. "But when you're doing all these different sports you feel sometimes that's kind of what you are."

: Given the diverse nature of the sports, what's the biggest challenge in pulling it off? "One of the most important things for a play-by-play announcer is to be on top of the rules," Pasch suggested. "You've got to make sure you've done your homework, so you can present the rules to the audience for each sport without getting them mixed up."

: Meanwhile, there are stark differences between the playing fields, he confirmed. That extends to the mechanics of a football broadcast. "Players are easier to identify in the NFL," Pasch noted. " You don't have 85 guys (on a college roster) where two players might be wearing No. 2 without a name on the back of their jersey and you can't figure out which No. 2 is playing on special teams, and which isn't."

: To this end, working in a two-man ESPN booth has been more manageable, according to Pasch, who used to sit between Trevor Matich and Rodney Gilmore. "There's just so much going on with one more person that you're trying to accommodate and listen to," Pasch said. "You have your two analysts, plus your producer talking to you, along with a spotter and a stat guy."

: Although they have been a "team" for only a relatively short time, Pasch and Ware have found a happy medium. "We have good chemistry," Pasch said. "He's a good listener and I can throw anything at him, and he's prepared with an answer. And we both love football. Andre does the Houston Texans on radio so we have similar travel schedules after our Saturday games."

: During his radio tenure in Arizona, Pasch has build a similar bond with his color analyst, Ron Wolfley, a former special teams standout with the Cardinals. "When you're doing radio (play-by-play), you're just doing the game," Pasch said, "because you don't have time to go through storylines and you don't have the visual medium to present those stories or the sound bites that you've gotten during the week."

: Despite his growing ESPN presence, Pasch admitted that there are still many positives about doing the Cardinals on radio. "You're doing the NFL," he said. "My analyst (Wolfley) is one of my best friends and we just have so much fun on the air. And, number three, there's that emotional tie-in with a team, and the wave that you get to ride."

: The latter approach runs counter to his Syracuse schooling, Pasch acknowledged, where neutrality is more of a factor in grooming budding play-by-play men. "You're taught more as a network announcer as opposed to being on the local side," he said. "One of the things that I had to kind of grow into with the Cardinals was being a little bit more passionate (with his call)."

: The reasons are obvious. "We're presenting the Cardinals to the (home) listeners, so we're focusing on what's going on with them," Pasch said. "You're going to get a lot more excited for a Cardinals touchdown. You listen to a lot of local guys and they're screaming and yelling. I've never been a screamer, but you do have to be passionate. If you're not, the fans aren't going to get excited."

: During a recent ESPN assignment -- a Big Ten football game between Penn State and Purdue -- Pasch was intrigued by something that Boilermakers coach Joe Tiller had to say about passion. "He was saying that you don't necessarily know what you're going to get from players every Saturday," related Pasch, "because there are so many other things going on in their lives besides football. Maybe the passion isn't there for everybody."

: At least not to the degree that it was years ago. That factors into the unpredictable nature of college football, along with parity. "There are so many surprises," Pasch said, "and that's exciting because you have no idea what's going to happen." Save for one thing. "If you've got a good quarterback," he added, "you've got a chance to win." A universal truth that hits close to home.

: (Mike Lucas, 77 Square)

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