Plenty of industries have been hard-hit by COVID-19 and its effects. The sports industry is among them.
Freelance broadcasters have been particularly impacted. Without sports to broadcast and without contracts, freelancers have been out of work and losing income as a result.
Two Saint Ignatius Broadcast alumni have been impacted as a result – Brendan Gulick '09 and Mike Watts '11.
Both Gulick and Watts were highlighted in an article on Sports Illustrated by Ross Dellenger. (Read the full article here)
As it turns out, Watts is in a unique spot. Watts was the public address announcer at Madison Square Garden on March 12 for the Big East tournament quarterfinal between St. John’s and Creighton. Watts' voice announced the game's cancelation, ending sports for several months in America.
And, as Dellenger notes, Watts is the one resuming things. On Saturday, the National Women's Soccer League Challenge Cup was the first major American team sports game since Watts "ended sports" 107 days ago. Watts was the play-by-play announcer, broadcasting remotely for CBS Sports HQ. He's broadcaste
Yes, Mike Watts is the answer to the trivia question, "What sports announcer was present for the final game before the pandemic and the first team game to take place following the shutdown?" Remember that for trivia night in a few years.
Watts, along with fellow SIBN alum Miles McQuinn '13, joined the Close the Yearbook podcast recently to talk about sports and the coronavirus. Listen to the full interview with Jack O'Rourke '20 and Ethan Schum here.
Meanwhile, Gulick has also made the best of the situation. As we reported on a few weeks ago, Gulick recently became the new publisher, managing editor and beat reporter for the Ohio State Buckeyes on Sports Illustrated, at BuckeyesNow.com.
Gulick also enjoyed a special personal moment over the weekend. Gulick proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Alex, in a beautiful moment at the Arcade in downtown Cleveland.
Congratulations to Brendan and Alex!