In-House Voice Silent

One of the few missing elements of current DU athletics is a 'voice of DU'.

Of course, we love our hockey radio team. Announcer Jay Stickney with his sardonic wit, great play-by-play calls, and obvious Pioneer bias. And crusty veteran color man Norm Jones is a true classic with great experience and understanding of Pioneer history. Mark Rycroft is an unpolished radio voice but a hockey expert that you would want to sit next to at a bar and talk hockey - credible and perfect for the role. No changes needed to this broadcast team.

Raj Sharon is the DU radio play-by-play basketball voice on Mile High Sports and Pioneer Vision. He is young and in the process of establishing his role as the voice of DU basketball - but it is still early. DU basketball play-by-play is clearly a contracted role for Sharon and he does not have a broadcast team to provide support, like hockey. Outside his role doing play-by-play for Pioneer basketball, Raj has additional duties covering the Nuggets and NBA as a reporter and works for ESPN Radio in Denver.

However, up until several years ago, sportscaster Mitch Hyder served as DU in-house broadcast coordinator, worked play-by-play for basketball, covered 'other sports' and was the voice of DU athletics. He was best known for his play-by-play for basketball and, as an Indiana native, his passion for basketball was evident. If you like a 'homer' to broadcast your games - Mitch met that profile. He lived and died with W's and L's, called out officials, and made each broadcast a true event. He also did special features for other DU sports and voice-over work for highlights in addition to calling a number of other sports.  In this writer's view, his professionalism and passion for the University of Denver was a huge benefit to the athletic department and the University as a whole. He also hosted coaches shows and conducted a number of taped interviews and University features. Many of us, living in remote locales, knew DU through the voice of Mitch.

Since Mitch's departure, DU has moved to sportscasting 'by committee', covering sports and special features with a variety of broadcasters contracted by the university and/or expert color analysts who have in-depth knowledge of the sports being covered. Of course,  it can be fairly argued that with over-lapping sports and seasons it is unrealistic, costly, and unnecessary to have a full-time 'voice of DU'. And, of course,  there is a cost to hire and retain an in-house broadcast professional to fill this role.

Do you feel DU is lacking a 'voice of DU' or do you like the way things are? Or, do you just believe the focus should be on the athletes and let the rest of the stuff, like broadcasting, take care of itself?


Anonymous said...

I miss Mitch!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, the number of people who listen to DU sports on the radio is a small number. We can't be picky.

We are blessed to have Jay Stickney, whose unique voice and sense of humor is so much more interesting than the other bland personalities that dominate the radio waves.

As for hoops, Raj isn't Mitch, but he's ok. Give him time to develop his voice.