Sportscaster Bob Wolff donates voice, advice

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS PHOTO / ABBY BRACK LEWIS
Longtime sportscaster Bob Wolff was in Washington, D.C., last week to donate his personal library of audio and video recordings — 1,500 hours worth of footage — to the Library of Congress. Wolff, who has worked as an announcer for 74 years, agreed to answer some questions from SportsBusiness Journal.

SBJ: What advice would you give to today’s announcers?
Wolff:
The one piece of advice I’d give now to anybody inspired to be a sportscaster is to listen to the other guys on the air, know what you have to do in order to appeal to the audience; and do it in a way that you think will be a little different so you’re going to stand out in an audition.SBJ: What do you mean by standing out?
Wolff:
I don’t care what it is. Don’t worry about your voice. It’s the tone of the voice that matters. It’s not a completely journalistic field. It’s more of having a particular appeal, even if you have a strange voice. If you appeal to somebody in what you’re doing, you can win. But if you just become one of the many, then you might get a job but you’re not going to be advancing.

SBJ: In your 74 years of broadcasting, what are your favorite calls?
Wolff:
The ones that are most important to me are not necessarily the best calls, but the ones that were on the national networks. The ones I did include the Don Larson perfect game call [in 1956], the Colts-Giants championship game [in 1958], which was called the Greatest Game Ever Played, the Knicks championships. I’ve done Rose Bowls, Sugar Bowls, NITs. But the ones that are remembered are the ones that keep repeating on the national networks.
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