Merrill Reese has been the voice of the Eagles since 1977 but this upcoming season might very well present a brand new challenge.
Even if the NFL season happens, there seems to be a good chance it’ll happen in empty stadium because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That would mean Reese calling games without any live crowd noise.
Reese was a guest on the Eagle Eye podcast Thursday and was asked about the possibility.
To be really honest with you, I think that as a broadcaster, I am fueled as much by the roar of the crowd, the fans and the reactions as I am by what is going down on the field. You can describe plays and you can chronicle what is actually happening. But that feeling and that emotion all comes from the ambiance. And let’s face it, there won’t be any ambiance.
In a recent interview, FOX play-by-play announcer Joe Buck said the network is preparing to pump in crowd noise to its broadcast and virtually add fans to seats. There has been no word yet from WIP what their plan would be if fans aren’t allowed into the Linc or visiting stadiums.
Reese has a strong connection with Eagles fans and he certainly doesn’t want to call games without fans in the stands. But he has a plan if that happens.
“I will tell you if that is the case, I will try to stay energized and try to infuse, not false energy, but just to infuse a little more momentum, a little more momentum and energy into it,” Reese said. “There can be a great play and you know that, I’ll say, ‘The kick is long enough,’ and then I will pause and the crowd will roar and then I’ll say, ‘It’s good!’ You learn to time your calls with the crowd because the crowd punctuates everything you do.”
Hearing Reese call games without fans doesn’t seem right, but it might be an inevitability this season.
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