Future speaks loudly to voice of Gilman
Originally published May 10, 2002 in the Baltimore Sun, page 1D.
The Gilman-Landon boys lacrosse game had just ended on Tuesday, and Brett Hollander finally exhaled.
His hair, which had been gelled tightly into place an hour and a half before, was disheveled. The knot on his red tie was nearly undone, and two patches of dirt marred his light-colored pants.
"I feel like I went through a war," Hollander said.
A sportscasting version, anyway.
Hollander, a junior at Gilman, is the voice of the Greyhounds, believed to be the only high school team in the area to broadcast its home games on the Internet. He will be live again today at 3:45 p.m., calling the action as Gilman faces off against archrival McDonogh.
It's not that Tuesday's game was any more eventful than any of the other games that Hollander and classmate Scott Kidder, who directs the technical aspects, have collaborated on this season.
There was the challenge of trying to stoke interest in a game that Landon ran away with, 16-7, and the responsibility to stay positive about Gilman, while still giving the Bears their due.
With no color commentator, Hollander was a one-man show, pausing only a handful of times during the 1-hour, 45-minute broadcast for seven-second station breaks. He stood throughout the game and was constantly gesticulating as he called the action. His voice was loudest when he exclaimed, "Bull's eye!" for a Gilman goal.
And, finally, there were some technical difficulties that shut things down for about 1 1/2 minutes.
That all made for one tired 17-year-old.
"When you do live stuff, that's the name of the game," Hollander said. "You need to find a way to get it back together in a hurry, and that's the thrill of it."
Hollander, a fanatical Baltimore sports booster, said he has wanted to be a sports announcer ever since he realized he would never make it as a professional baseball player. That epiphany came when he was 9.
He inquired about the prospects of calling Greyhounds games on the school's radio station when he was still a seventh-grader, but the opportunity didn't present itself until this winter.
Hollander started taping play-by-play of Gilman basketball games and the Gilman Radio Club would replay it over the cafeteria's loudspeaker the next day. Only audible on certain parts of the campus, the radio station, broadcast at a frequency of 94.3 FM, got positive feedback, and members of the club, especially Hollander and Kidder, began dreaming of bigger things.
"It is a risk to do something like this, but Scott and Brett have done a wonderful job," said John Schmick, the head of the Gilman Upper School. "They have been tremendously responsible in every step and professional in every sense of the word."
The Radio Club already had the equipment in place and raised money through advertising and donations to pay for the services of On Air Productions, a local e-marketing and Internet streaming company that puts the live broadcasts on Gilman's Web site, www.gilman.edu. That costs about $300 per game.
Kidder, the general manager of the radio station, who acknowledges having no interest in sports, wears a headset and sits to Hollander's left. He cues up commercials and mans the audio board and the telephone coupler, the two pieces of equipment that transmit the sound and send it over a phone line to the On Air Productions studio.
"The games are very stressful because it's a lot of responsibility," said Kidder, a 17-year-old Towson resident. "People just don't understand it's just two people doing this."
The feedback from Gilman alumni, players and parents has been positive. Though no numbers are available for the number of listeners for the live broadcasts, On Air Productions' data showed that the three games broadcast in April combined for more than 1,000 hits since they were archived. All of the broadcasts can be heard by going on www.gilman.edu.
"Just to hear him talking and getting attention for us, it's really incredible," said junior attackman Luke Wilson, who said his brother, who lives in San Francisco, goes online to listen to the games.
Said Gilman coach Dave Allan, whose team is 7-7: "He just seized the opportunity and has done a wonderful job. I just wish we would give him something better to talk about."
Hollander has never needed an excuse to talk, which is one of the reasons he has always wanted to be a broadcaster.
"What's better than getting paid to watch baseball games, paid to watch football games?" said Hollander, who has already decided on a career in broadcasting and will focus his college search on schools with good journalism departments. "There couldn't be a better marriage for me than broadcasting. It is perfect."
Hollander has grown up watching games with the audio muted, doing his own play-by-play into a tape recorder. Piles of tapes, each neatly labeled, line the desk in his room in his family's Guilford home.
He used to mimic former Orioles announcer Jon Miller and Johnny Holliday, who broadcasts University of Maryland football and basketball, but has since tried to develop his own style, and he has had to it with lacrosse, a sport that until recently was given little radio or television exposure. Hollander plans to announce Gilman football games over the Internet this fall.
"People say that I'm a rookie at this, but the fact of the matter is I'm not," he said. "This has always been a hobby for me."
"Brett takes this incredibly seriously," Kidder said. "Some people treat this like a hobby. Brett attacks it as a profession."
10 Most Common Passwords
Naturally, "password" is at the top of the list. [link]
How many elevators does $1 million buy?
My college career is alas winding down, so tonight I went to attend a reception for graduating students in NYU's Kimmel Center. Situated on Washington Square South, it houses NYU's one swankiest spaces -- on the tenth floor houses is the Rosenthal Pavilion, a large ballroom with a a great view up Fifth Avenue.
Tonight, the Rosenthal Pavilion apparently was holding a reception for members of NYU's Sir Harold Acton Society, an exclusive club for NYU trustees and those that have given over one million dollars.
And so older people in tuxedos and gowns passed through the Kimmel lobby. Kimmel has four elevators, but apparently one had been "reserved" for the event, an NYU representative told me. "They probably paid for it!" she said. Well, perhaps, but my ever-growing tuition probably helped too. "It's actually a common misconception that tuition only covers..." she shot back.
So then another elevator arrived. "Actually, we're using this one, too," I was told. Yeah, not so much. I walked into the elevator anyway, and the 30 other students that had been waiting followed.
Meanwhile, I receive frequent solicitations to give money to my Senior class gift! I wonder how many elevators that will buy?
I'm a big supporter of giving back to institutions. I'm very active in fund raising for the school I attended in Baltimore.
But this whole experience makes me less than eager to start donating to NYU.
The new hotness in bed-and-breakfast marketing: .mobi websites!!!
Johannes Tromp says the Web site for his South Carolina bed-and-breakfast generates good business. But last fall, he found a way to reach even more potential customers: He made a version of the site for cellphones.
Mr. Tromp signed up for a mobile Web address with the newly available suffix "dot-mobi" and used a self-starter kit from a company called Roundpoint Ltd. to build www.kilburnie.mobi, the mobile site for his Inn at Craig Farm. He says he's gotten a surprisingly good response, with 30 to 40 new calls per month from interested travelers who heard of his inn by accessing the cellphone site.
"For people to find me, I have to make myself available any way I can," says Mr. Tromp.
30 to 40 calls a month from people visiting his website on mobile devices? I call bullshit. Most decently-designed sites will degrade gracefully on blackberries and the like -- no special site needed.
But hmm... I wonder if ScottKIdder.mobi is available?!?
The Gawker Media network reached 116,190,000 pageviews for March, 2007 -- up from 60,275,000 pageviews a year ago.
· Traffic Chart [Flickr]
Quoted from a just-received press release:
"Commercial Audio Giant's High Quality, Heavy Duty, No Fluff Products Provide Key Differentiator in Crowded Market"
Eep! I'm hoping that Gmail will just give up and let me go past 100%, as clearing off space would be pretty annoiying.
More on my Flickr.
I Got a New Digital Camera!
I look forward to learning a lot more about photography, and hopefully taking some decent photos along the way.
Keep your eyes on my Flickr!
Facebook and Grey's Anatomy
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz shows what happens to Facebook traffic when Grey's Anatomy comes on. You can even see the commercial breaks.
Reminds me of some similar graphs I saw Google speak at a NYU Recruiting event.
· Another Thursday Night at Facebook... [Facebook blog]
Academia is Consuming My Soul
Assuming everything goes according to plan, this May (!!!) I'll be graduating from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
The idea behind Gallatin is simple -- instead of declaring a major and taking certain classes in a certain order, we choose a topic of study and take classes we want. The requirements are minimal when compared to other schools -- a math or a science -- but the other schools extract their revenge when we have our colloquium in the final semester of our senior year.
What is this mysterious colloquium you ask? Gallatin's helpful little website defines it thusly:
The colloquium is an intellectual conversation among four people—the student, the student’s adviser, and two other members of the faculty—about a selection of books representing several academic disciplines and historical periods.
Sounds like a blast! Alas, the Gallatin Colloquium is the final hurdle we have to clear before the graduation at the end of the tunnel.
Basically, we have a list of books -- of which there must be a certain number from certain time periods -- and the panel gets to ask us any question they want related to our topic and those books.
While I'm comfortable discussing my topic -- in a sentence, how new media is bringing back the voice of the little guy (clichés abound!) -- relating it to Plato and Homer is a bit scarier.
And so I will be having this marvelous discussion on Monday, March 19 -- the first day back from Spring Break.
So, if you're having trouble getting a hold of me, that's probably why. Find me on the 20th!
"You should be sitting beside us at the table."
From President George Bush to New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller:
The president said quite forcefully that this program was something he regarded as part of the crown jewels of our national security, and that if we exposed it, we would be at least in part responsible, or [should] feel ourselves responsible, if there was another attack on the U.S. I think what he said was, "When we were called up to explain to Congress why there was another attack, you should be sitting beside us at the table."
(The emphasis is mine.)
From the excellent PBS Frontline documentary series Newswar.
L Magazine Knows Too Much
Most NYU stereotypes are pretty dumb -- and often inaccurate. But wait a minute! Maybe L Magazine is on to something here!
1 Phase I (Freshman Year) Fifth Avenue at Washington Square is a perfectly reasonable place for an 18-year-old from Beaver, Pennsylvania to get a sense of his societal standing in relation to the rest of New York, isn’t it?
Well, I lived on Washington Square West. And I'm not from Pennsylvania. But close enough.
2 Phase II (Senior Year) Having discovered that Greenwich Village no longer has any “bohemians,” our little hero convinces the ‘rents to help out with rent in Alphabet City, by which he means “pay it all.” Probably the coolest place he’ll ever live.
Okay, so not as accurate as above -- but I do live in Alphabet City. Oh L Magazine, tell me where I move to next?!?
3 Phase III (Age 23) At this point, as the territory known as “East Williamsburg” grows to include parts of Connecticut, our hero, weaned from the teat of parental generosity, learns all about “crazy” roomates and loft life.
No way am I moving to Connecticut.
Happy Belated Valentine's Day!
"An Arizona woman is under arrest, accused of tying up her lover on Valentine's Day in order to drink his blood...after tying him up, police said, she pulled out a knife and cut the man on the leg. She then told him she likes to drink blood and proceeded to drink from his leg, officials said.
...the victim managed to break free from his restraints and run from the bedroom. The woman then chased him with a pickax, police said."
Disaster on the Set of Family Guy
I think I liked South Park's parody better, but this is pretty good.
· Back to His Roots: Diller's IAC Invests in Online Video [WSJ]