When we started Baylor Lariat Radio, I don’t think we ever imagined how far it would come in just a year. We never imagined the opportunities we would get and the people we would meet.
Looking back at last year, all the Lariat Radio had was a simple podcast called “Don’t Feed the Bears,” which was just a bunch of people who liked the NFL getting together to talk sports for 30 minutes. “Don’t Feed The Bears” was fun and fairly relaxed; we would just huddle around a single microphone in a room and do the show. The Lariat Radio staff has recently won two international awards in the AVA Digital Awards competition, adding to their collection of over seven national and international awards for “Don’t feed the Bears.”
Halfway through our sophomore year, Director of Student Publications Paul Carr approached us with what seemed like a crazy idea: doing play-by-play for Baylor men’s basketball. He told us that if we could figure out a way to live stream the game, he would buy the equipment.
Following a little research and a few weeks’ time, the athletic department allowed us to use a table just below section 116 in the Ferrell Center to call our first basketball game. We only called four or five games that first semester, but it was incredible just to be there as students doing live broadcasts of big time college basketball together.
The next goal was football, and with the 2016 season fast approaching, we worked hard to get the athletic department to give us a spot inside McLane Stadium. That was easier said than done. We were denied multiple times, but after some convincing, we were shocked to find out that they had a radio booth that we could use for every home game.
We still remember saying how incredible of an opportunity this was right before we went live during the first game against Northwestern State. Our first college football broadcast.
As the season progressed, we continued to gain experience calling football games. Having only done basketball, the sheer amount information and time required to call a football game was a big change. About halfway through the season, we decided it was time to leave the comfort of McLane and try calling an away game. It just so happened our first road game was also Baylor’s heartbreaking loss against the University of Texas.
Looking back on the season, we not only broadcast every home game, but we also traveled and called the Texas, Oklahoma and Texas Tech games inside Cowboys AT&T Stadium. We both agree that the game at AT&T Stadium was our favorite experience. We were given the national radio booth and were treated like seasoned radio veterans inside one of the biggest football venues in the world. It’s humbling (and really cool) to think we were probably the first 20-year-old college kids to call a Division I college football game inside that stadium.
So where are we now? Currently, we are working our way through the men’s basketball schedule. We call every home basketball game live so if you can’t make the game check us out. We still do “Don’t Feed the Bears,” although now you can listen live at 6:30 p.m. every Monday on Mixlr. Baylor Lariat Radio is currently in the process of expanding: On top of “Don’t Feed the Bears,” men’s basketball and Baylor football, this year we added a radio team that calls the women’s basketball games and, soon, Baylor baseball as well.
We hope to continue to grow and gain broadcast experience because calling games takes practice and commitment. We speak for the entire radio staff when we say if you have not listened to us yet, we hope you give us a chance next time you cannot make a game. Or if you are at a game, come find us in section 116 — we’d love to say hi.