By Alexander Cole
When the Concordia Stingers football team defeated the McGill Redmen to secure a playoff spot on Oct. 24, two Concordia students were living out their dreams in the press box. The Concordian’s own Samuel Obrand and The Link’s online sports editor, Julian McKenzie, could be heard over live stream, delivering play-by-play for Concordia’s campus radio station, CJLO.
This broadcast was the first in a new initiative by CJLO that will see many Stingers games broadcasted with students at the helm. Obrand, who has his own show on the station, came up with the idea and immediately approached McKenzie.
“He was more than thrilled to see it through,” Obrand said. “I then approached my station manager Michael Sallot about the effort and he seemed really keen about it as well.”
In order to prepare for the first broadcast, McKenzie and Obrand met five weeks before the football game just so that they could get everything perfect. For Obrand, the weeks leading up to the broadcast could not have come fast enough.
While the broadcast was in conjunction with CJLO, it was not actually put on the radio. Instead, the broadcast was heard through a live stream on Mixlr. The game was not heard on the radio due to scheduling conflicts with other shows on the station. As Obrand explained, broadcasting the game through the radio would have meant asking DJ’s to give up their time slots which was not something they could do. However, they would like to have games make it to radio in the future.
For both Obrand and McKenzie, the experience was a dream come true.
“It was too surreal, very dreamlike,” Obrand said. “The whole experience gave me a lot of joy and put me in a very content and confident zone, it’s definitely a place that I like to be.”
“Calling the game was such a thrill,” McKenzie said. “Our very first game will go down as one of the more memorable games of the McGill-Concordia rivalry. I don’t think you could’ve asked for more. It’s the games you dream of being a part of.”
McKenzie also went on to say that the real hero was Obrand’s brother, Richard, who provided the men with statistics on the Stingers and Redman players throughout the course of the game.
Obrand and McKenzie also did play-by-play for the Stingers football game against the Université de Montréal this past weekend, which has given them two games worth of broadcasting experience.
While McKenzie and Obrand were the first to be play-by-play announcers in the initiative, they are not the only ones who get to participate. CJLO is open to anybody who would like to call games for the radio station and practice their commentating skills.
The station is hoping to cover all Concordia sports including hockey, basketball, rugby, baseball and soccer.