It’s always interesting to see some of the journeys announcers make for quick-succession games. From Joe Buck calling both New York Giants-San Francisco 49ers and St. Louis Cardinals-San Francisco Giants on the same day in 2012 to Bill Raftery calling Ohio State-Indiana and Villanova-Butler (for two different networks) on the same day in 2016 to Jason Benetti‘s four-flight, three-game stint in 27 hours in 2017 to Buck’s seven games in seven days in 2020, we’ve seen a lot of cases of announcers moving quickly from venue to venue to call different events. The latest one is Kentucky Wildcats‘ radio announcer Tom Leach (seen above at the 2014 Final Four), who will be calling their home football game against the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs Saturday and then their road basketball game against the No. 2 Gonzaga Bulldogs Sunday.
To do that, Leach will be calling the football game as normal Saturday, then going home to get a few hours of sleep. He’ll then be joining a flight Kentucky athletics has chartered for donors (who pay for their own seats) out to Spokane Sunday morning, and then will call the basketball game 28 hours after the football game and 2,160 miles away before travelling back with the basketball team. It’s a lot of travel, but Leach told Mark Story of The Lexington Herald-Leader he was eager to try to make this work:
“There are a lot of good things about my job — and one of them is getting to call the big games,” Leach said Wednesday. “Why pass up a chance to do one (of this weekend’s big games) if it is possible to do both?”
…“It’s a little crazy schedule, but when you get to the end of your life, you probably won’t be thinking about the great, extra sleep that you got,” Leach says. “You’ll be thinking about the fun experiences that you had.”
…“I can’t imagine there have been many times when Kentucky football and Kentucky basketball have both been playing top-five teams on the same weekend,” Leach says. “To get to broadcast both games is a treat.”
It is certainly cool that Leach found a way to pull this off. Those are two big games, and it’s neat that he’ll get a chance to call both. And as he says, sleep is overrated relative to unique life experiences.
[The Lexington Herald-Leader; photo from Leach’s website]