Have you ever wandered who is behind one of the voices that does the play by play of Rowan University sports on the radio? Mike Delayo, 20, a junior at Rowan University who is from Roselle Park, N.J., not only does he do the play by play for Rowan Radio 89.7 WGLS-FM, but he is also the Sports Director. Mike is majoring in Journalism with a Communication studies, and New Media minor. As an avid New York Giants fan, Mike has made his mark in South Jersey with nothing but his voice. (Photo/ Dino Arhontoulis)
When did you first get interested in sports?
Well, what really started me with the radio station was I kind of randomly went to the interest meeting. I got an email as I’m sure you did, anybody in the college of communication. If you’re interested in the radio station come to the interest meeting. I did not really expect to join, but somebody who was at the meeting was talking about them working with the Wilmington Blue Rocks the minor league baseball team. I was like wow, that would be really cool to work with a professional team like that, so I ended up joining the station to hoping to do stuff with sports. I haven’t actually worked with the Blue Rocks. I don’t plan to anymore, but that was kind of my foot in the door there. Seeing that as an interesting opportunity from their I branched out to calling all the Rowan games.
What’s the prep time in trying to cover the football games?
Well the football games I prep as much as I think I need to. It depends on the team, there’s a couple of teams especially within the NJAC that I’m more familiar with than other teams. I say a handful of hours like two to three hours I’ll comb through some stats, making sure I pronounce guy’s names right. Which is definitely something you don’t want to look at a roster, when you’re at the game you have to say his name, and you say it wrong because that’s isn’t doing them a service. So just getting that, so you’ll have talking points ready. You don’t necessarily want to have to narrate everything that is going on the field. You want to be able talk about things that are relevant to the game, but not necessarily happening on the field, because anybody can say what’s happening on the field in the athletic event. It’s about making it interesting enough for your listeners to stay tuned, and actually enjoy listening to it. Rather than this being the only way they can find out what’s happening.
Is sports broadcasting the route you want take after graduation?
I haven’t ruled it out, and I’m really not sure if I want to do it, pursue a full time job in it. I do enjoy doing it, and I think it’s a lot of fun, and I would recommend anybody that has an interest in it. If they have the opportunity to definitely go out, and do it. As of right now I’m not thinking about a career in broadcasting although getting this experience leaves that door open for me. Right now it’s nothing definite.
What’s the process of covering the road games?
So the road games are really not too much different from the set up, we hope that it’s not too much different. We have the same equipment we bring to Richard Wackar Stadium here in Glassboro, we bring to anywhere we go on the road. We do make sure a couple weeks in advance that where ever we are going has the proper setup and equipment that we need. We prefer that there would be a wired internet connection available to us for the ComReck unit that we use to broadcast the games. If they don’t we have other equipment available like Tieline where we can go through the phone service, and go through there. Overall it’s really not too much of a difference in road games. As long as we have some connection to the internet we’ll find a way onto the air. The very last result we can always call the station, and their put us on the air. We don’t hope that happens, but if it does we just deal with it because we would want the game to be on the air at all costs.
How long have you been broadcasting the Football games?
This is my first season calling the football games actually, I’m now the sports director so starting with that. it was a perk. I got to call the football games with Derrick Jones at the station. I have been calling baseball, soccer, basketball for a little more than a year now.
So what are the responsibilities that you are responsible for as the Sports Director?
Well in addition to calling the football games with Derrick, I also have to kind of make the broadcast schedule for everybody else, and the other sports. It’s really just been making sure that I get kids who are interested in calling the games. I give everybody that wants an opportunity to come in and call games here at Rowan. For the soccer games we only do home games because it’s too much of a commute with class schedules, and what not. I also have to prepare the Rowan Sports Review, which airs every Friday, that’s something that been ongoing for years at the station. It’s just kind of a recap of all Rowan athletics, giving people updates on news that they might not have been able to read by themselves. Now I actually was given the opportunity to cut into that show’s time, make it a half hour to an hour. I have a professional sports talk show where we talk about the world of professional sports, something that the station hasn’t had for a few years. So between all those things, and a few extra things here and there helping out at the station that takes up most of my time.
How would people be able to listen to the games if they’re not using traditional radio?
If you don’t have the traditional radio you can log on to wgls.rowan.edu, and there be a link to listen to the main channel. The football games will always be on the main channel; you can tune in there. There would just be a link, and you can click it. Sometimes theirs a little bit of trouble depending on what windows configuration you have or what browser your using. More often than not you’ll either be able to click it or it would launch an external application you can play it through their. Really, really simple. For some of the other athletic events sometimes soccer, and baseball it would be on channel 2 which is located pretty much on the same left side of the website. You can click that, and if theirs coverage their that’s where ever you’ll be able to hear the game. Football will always be the priority on the main channel.
Since you said you’re from North Jersey are you a Giants or Jets fan?
I’m a Giants fan actually, very well liked down in the Philadelphia area so I kind of keep it quiet.
How do you think they are doing this season?
I don’t think their doing very good at all. I mean they’re lucky to have two wins. They kind of got gifted those two wins especially against the Cowboys Terrance Williams didn’t run out of bonds, and sealed the deal. The Cowboys didn’t get a chance to kick a field goal. It was looking good at 2-0, maybe they have time to turn it around, but things really haven’t changed since then. It’s not looking good.
Is there anything else you want people to know about you?
Well not just about me but, I’ll say that radio doesn’t get enough publicity as it used to, and I encourage anybody that has even a slightest interest, and not just radio but sports, and just watching sports to maybe just give it a try calling games. Because I have never even really thought about calling games until that radio meeting, and just having the opportunity to get out there call a game could really put you down a path where you really like doing something. Even though I don’t want to be necessary a career broadcaster. Somebody else might have aspirations after that to go on, and make that their career. If you have the slightest interest, I would just encourage anybody to give it a chance.
Do you communicate with the athletic department on a daily basis or does someone else handle that?
Derrick Jones right now, he handles still most of the communication between the department. Because he’s their reliable contact, he’s been there for a while, and has those communications. I really just started to meet all those people, so I hope as the season continues to go on or the entire athletic year. Rather that, I’ll build those connections and be able to communicate directly but right now Derrick Jones still handles most of that.
And do you plan on continuing on for your senior year doing the broadcast as well?
Definitely calling broadcasts, we’ll see hopefully. I’d be fortunate enough to be sports director again, and being able to do the football games again, and just kind of try to build on what we do this year.