Cougar Chronicle: Why did you decide to start a podcast?
Jacob Hare: My entire life, Sports have been my passion. I wasn't the most coordinated athlete, but I always loved watching professional sports. My family always joked around with me about why I knew where the Jacksonville Jaguars' third-string quarterback went to college, but never knew when my math homework was due. When you are passionate about something, it is the key to success. So I saw a potential career path in sports media and wanted to gain some experience in the field. So when I approached Jacob Erlbaum, also hoping to pursue a career in sports media/journalism, we knew we had to make it work because of the opportunities a podcast presented us with.
Jacob Erlbaum: We decided to start the podcast during the beginning of the pandemic. We were bored with no sports to watch and we both have a passion for sports media so we decided that we could rid ourselves of our boredom by talking sports and fulfill our interests in sports media by making a podcast.
CC: What is your favorite part about having a podcast?
JH: For me, I think it's the experience that has given me. Never would I have imagined that guys I grew up watching on TV like Scott Hanson, Matthew Berry, or even guys who are Hall of Famers such as Mike Ditka or Rick Barry would give Jacob and me 30 minutes of their time to speak with them. Listening and learning from such successful people in the industry who I strive to work with one day has taught me so much and allowed me to become a better podcast host.
JE: Getting the opportunity to talk with several prominent sports figures has been an incredible experience. Some of the people I see on TV everyday are people that I’ve had the chance to talk to and that has been extremely rewarding.
CC: Are you interested in pursuing sports journalism as a career path?
JH: Absolutely. When I was younger, I would sprint home from school to turn on the TV to see media personalities like Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and many others give their opinion on Monday Night Football games or the latest NBA trade. It blew my mind to learn that these people got paid for talking about sports. As someone who would wait all day in school to debate with my friends at lunch about the same topics as the media guys did, I knew that this was a career path I wanted to be on.
JE: Definitely. Sports journalism has always been a passion of mine and it is something I will pursue in college.
CC: When did you get into broadcasting?
JH: I got into broadcasting this school year. Jacob and I had always done the podcast since 10th grade, but we always brought up broadcasting. We tried to broadcast the boy's games from the beginning of the year, but it was complicated with spacing and COVID. However, when we learned about the Koehlet game at Haverford, Johnny and Coach Ryan Ansel helped us figure everything out because they both knew how badly we wanted to do it.
JE: When I was really young I became interested in it. My dad was a radio show host for 97.5 The Fanatic so seeing him involved with sports media certainly aided my interest in it. Watching lots of hockey games and listening to Mike Emrick was also a big factor in why I became interested in sports broadcasting.
CC: What is the most difficult part about broadcasting?
JH: As a broadcaster, you want to paint a picture of the game with words. Not over speaking or being too quiet but just letting the game be played and speaking at natural times.
JE: The speed of the game can be hard to deal with as well as trying to talk over the crowd noise. When things changes quickly in a game it can be hard to explain what is happening especially if a ref gets in your way and obstructs your view of the play. When the crowd gets too loud it forces me to yell which makes is annoying.
CC: What was your favorite Barrack game to broadcast?
JH: I think the boys’ and girls’ Kohelet games at the Haverford School. All the players, especially the seniors, wait all year just for this game. And to be a part of it was an extraordinary event that I certainly won't ever forget.
JE: I really enjoyed doing the Barrack vs International Christian first round playoff game. I like this broadcast because it went really smoothly and I thought we did a good job throughout the game.
CC: What is more enjoyable to do: play-by-play or color commentator?
JH: For me, it's easily play-by-play. Every pro sports game has a former player doing color commentary because they know how to read a defense or an NBA offense. However, at Barrack, Jacob and I take turns doing each role. We say what we liked and what needs to improve when we are in the color commentator role. But play-by-play has a much more natural feel to it.
JE: Play-by-play has always been my passion. I like getting to follow the action closely and get excited for the big moments. A good play-by-play broadcaster can make the game itself better and more exciting for the viewer
CC: Who is your favorite announcer? Do you use other broadcaster’s styles when calling a game?
JH: My all-time favorite announcer is the legendary Al Michaels. I have watched bad sports games my entire life just because he was calling them. The way that he makes you feel like you are at the arena with him is extraordinary. I also appreciate longevity, and Michaels is 77 and still at the top of his game. I have learned a lot from Michael's, but there are other broadcasters who I like to pick and choose from in terms of their broadcasting skills. Such as Kevin Harlan, Mike Breen, and Jim Nantz.
JE: My favorite announcer is Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick. I’ve listened to him do hockey games for as long as I can remember and he is the one who truly inspired me to want to go into sports broadcasting. When I call games I wouldn’t say I model my calls after any particular broadcaster but rather I listen to several other broadcasters do basketball games and based on that I try to follow their leads. I model my calls after several broadcasters but not one in particular.