This week in GTKAC we venture off the field and up into the booth to meet the newest member of the WSU Broadcast team.
Matt Chazanow was hired in place of long-time play-by-play announcer, Bud Nameck. A bit of information on Matt has come out already but he was kind enough to share some more with All Coug’d Up.
What did you know about Washington State University before having taken the job in Pullman?
I knew the broadcast because I had worked with the IMG Pac-12 schools as the unofficial “west coast guy” for IMG College’s audio department. I knew WSU to have some of the best fans in the country, and I knew Pullman because I had visited for work years ago. WSU’s athletics brand is one of the most attractive in the country…the colors, logo, intimacy…and I was well aware of the major history (great QB’s over the years…Rose Bowls).
After living in Pullman for a couple months, what is most different from what you expected? Biggest culture shock moving to the Palouse?
It’s funny actually, I expected Pullman to feel smaller than it does. An anecdote sums it up…In my world sometimes you need to pick up a cable for broadcast purposes and on the road that isn’t the easiest thing to do.
In some remote locations if you need a special cord to get on the air it can be a cause for panic because you have to order it to be shipped to you and that takes more time than you have. Pullman by reputation as a “remote location” and “small town” would lead one to believe it would be one of the places that might be difficult to acquire the necessary cabling in a pinch. However, I found the opposite to be the case (there are a few music stores in the area that all had what I needed) and that is true with just about everything else.
Heck, aren’t there like five car dealerships in town? How many small towns have that? It just honestly feels like there are more big city retail options than you would expect with the quality of life perks of a small town.
Tell us about your funniest WSU locker room or travel moment so far?
The first road game in New Jersey afforded me an opportunity to spend time with my mother. I tried to explain to her how statistically improbable it is that the football team come to a venue 30 minutes from her house. Last time the team had been that far east was against Temple in 1996.
“It is an incredible opportunity to work with Bob.”
Give us an interesting (or out of left field) story Mike Leach has told you?
Coach knew all about North Carolina when he “interviewed” me. I did not see that coming. I lived in NC for the last 9-10 years or so.
(The clip of Coach Leach hijacking the interview is found here)
How does your touchdown call at Rutgers rank against some of your other calls in your career? (great call btw)
It was a great moment. I talked to Bill Moos after the game and told him that I thought that was more exciting than overtime…there is no clock…and more exciting than a hail mary…which eliminates the true tactical element of football.
I argue that football’s popularity is not only because of its physicality and room for analysis between plays but because it is such a chess match. With a few seconds left in the red zone and a shot to win/lose the game the offense and defense both have a reasonable opportunity to influence the outcome definitively with strategy and execution.
I was lucky enough to be a part of a lot of great moments in the old Big East tourney in Madison Square Garden, and some of the national college football games I called before had future, and now current, NFL stars…the SEC baseball tourney the last few seasons has had incredible talent in Hoover too. Loads of upper tier draft picks…it’s been pretty amazing, but it really does not get much better than what River just did in Piscataway.
Matt Chazanow working at WSU fall camp in Lewiston, Idaho.
Have you played catch with Jason Gesser yet? If so, were your arms or ribs bruised?
I have not, but I have played with his son and he did break a few of my fingers. He is about 10 years old…must be in the genes.
What are your thoughts on working with a legend like Bob Robertson?
It is an incredible opportunity to work with Bob. You could not have a better scenario. I am new and embedded in the athletic department…my office is in Bohler…so with my access to coaches and players I am uniquely informed on a day-to-day basis of what is going on with the team. That will be true with basketball and baseball too.
To have Bob on the broadcast is an amazing chance to maintain the historical perspective. I got to ask him about his first hand recollections of the 1965 Cardiac Kids team…AND HE CALLED THOSE GAMES! There’s nobody else in the world I could have asked for that kind of insight. Bob’s interview last year with Keith Jackson was the best 9 minutes of audio IMG produced in the nation, and one of the best 9 minutes I have heard in the 10 years I worked in that office. I also can be a sponge and soak in broadcast techniques and take his feedback. He told me candidly in the hotel on the road that he thought the broadcasts had sounded really good. That meant so much and I told him so.
(Bob’s interview of Keith Jackson can be heard here.)
What is your favorite place to eat and/or drink in Pullman or Moscow?
I have not hit them all yet, but I love South Fork.
After learning about the program which Cougar Football great would you most like to meet and interview?
My buddies and I growing up used to have arguments about which QB had the best arm, Marino, Favre or Bledsoe. I look forward to meeting Drew and interviewing him. Jack Thompson was fantastic…we met and talked for a while at a recent practice and had drinks. We had a blast. Really, everybody I have met here has been just so welcoming and excited. I get a chance to call Cougar football and basically interview Gesser all game long…it’s just fantastic.
So far Matt is fitting in perfectly with Cougar Nation. Looking forward to several seasons, and winning calls, with him on the mic. You can find him in Twitter @M_Chaz.