Sportscasters provide the emotional and cultural context with which we remember the games that we love. They are verbal touchstones of a time and place; describers and narrators of both our jubilation and our heartbreak.
One of New York’s preeminent sports commentators, Howie Rose, visited Queens College for an interview with an up-and-comer in the field on Wednesday, March 24.
Alex Garrett, the college’s wunderkind sportscaster, has had many run-ins with Howie Rose and other sports luminaries since launching his weekly radio program, The Sports hour with Alex Garrett, earlier this year.
The 18-year-old freshman invited Rose on his program for more than breakdowns of the coming baseball season or the sad state of the New York Rangers; it was an examination of breaking into the broadcasting business and the luck that is involved.
“I didn’t end up doing what I thought I would have to do, and that was leave town and work for some small town team doing play-by-play, which I was quite willing and excited to do,” said Rose. “But things broke a little differently and that is why I say that there is a lot of luck and timing involved.”
As he told Garrett, working in New York gave Rose the chance to not only work with teams he watched as a kid, but to make some of the most memorable calls in New York and sports history.
Rose counts the call he made of Luis Castillo’s dropped pop-up against the Yankees last season among his best, but he knows he will always be remembered, and revered, for one call in particular.
“I’m sure it all comes back to “Matteau! Matteau! Matteau!” said Rose, referring to his call of Rangers’ forward Stefane Matteau’s overtime winner against the Devils in 1994; the goal that sent the Rangers to the Stanley Cup Finals and Rose into a frenzy. “I didn’t like it the first time I heard it because I had never heard myself go over the top like that. I’ve gotten rather comfortable with it over the years and I’m proud of the fact that it’s endured the way it has.”
Wanting more than just his calls to endure, Rose’s advice to Garrett and to college students in general, was that your passion is only going to become your job if you put in the necessary work.
“Whatever your passion is or whatever your interests are long term, just put in the work,” said Rose. “Don’t ever let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. If you work, you’ll get there, you’ll make it.”