The “Barr” is Higher

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Our wrestling fans and there are many of them are not easy to please.  They want more dual meets on television; they want the tournaments televised; they want to argue the opinions of others, etc.  In other words, they love their sport and they are willing to speak up about it.

It’s rare when you find common ground.  I think I have found it – Scott Barr – the RCN-TV wrestling announcer.  The locals love his knowledge and relish his opinions whether they agree or disagree.  Wrestlers and wrestling fans certainly know who he is. And now, it appears, he has also been discovered by the national media – more on that in a bit.

Scott started with us in 1985.  I previously knew Scott as a former student of mine, a member of our very successful Scholastic Scrimmage team, and, eventually, a fellow teacher.  He wrestled in high school and had moderate success.  But when it came to in-depth understanding of just about anything, he doggedly would do the research.

Many years ago, I found myself doing high school wrestling for the RCN telecasts.  I played football, basketball, and baseball.  I did not wrestle.  I certainly needed someone alongside me who truly understood the sport and was very verbal.  I immediately thought of Scott.

He was terrific from day one.  He not only knew the sport; he set out to become as knowledgeable about it as anyone with whom I ever worked.  It became his passion to the point where, in 1997, he authored a book about District XI wrestling called Wrestling Country.  And just this past April, Scott was inducted into the District XI Wrestling Hall of Fame.

He is equally adept at other sports having done baseball, soccer, boxing, volleyball, kickboxing, etc.  I am always confident going into a broadcast with Scott by my side.  And, perhaps, his greatest skill is demonstrated every year during the Dream Come True Telethon when he mans our auction segments.  QVC announcers have nothing on him.

That brings me to the National Wrestling Media Association.  Their Mission Statement is, “The National Wrestling Media Association (NWMA) is the national professional organization for journalists who cover the sport of amateur wrestling. This includes reporters, editors, publishers, webmasters, photographers, broadcasters, sports information directors and other media professionals who share an interest and involvement in the sport.”

Scott has been nominated by this group as their Broadcaster of the Year.  That’s right – the RCN-TV guy!

Scott Barr

The other nominees are Shawn Kenney and Jim Gibbons.  Kenney works for ESPN and does play-by-play for college football, basketball, baseball, tennis, and the NCAA and ACC wrestling championships.  Jim Gibbons is a three-time wrestling All-American, former Iowa State wrestling coach, and is a wrestling analyst for the Big Ten Network and ESPN.  He won NCAA championships as a wrestler and a coach.  This is formidable company, for sure.

I know the cliché in award shows is that, “It is just an honor to be nominated”.  But, in this case, truer words could not be spoken.  When you look at the space Scott is occupying with the other nominees, it truly is an honor for both our RCN wrestling coverage team and, more specifically, for Scott himself. The winner will be announced later this year.  I would love to see a huge upset in this heavyweight class.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS) 

  1. As I write this, the NBA finals are not over quite yet, but the Toronto Raptors are one game from clinching the championship. And I don’t know if there is a better basketball player right now than Kawhi Leonard.  He makes almost 60% of his shots, over 40% from 3-point land, and 90% of his free throws.  And… he makes everyone around him better.  Stephen Curry with Kevin Durant may be better as a pair.  Without Durant, Leonard is the best.
  1. What would you do? Scott Berry bet $400 in Las Vegas at the beginning of the NHL season that his hometown St. Louis Blues would win the Stanley Cup.  The odds were 250-1.  In other words, if the Blues win Game 7, he will pocket $100,000.  He could help his cause by betting on the Bruins now to insure he makes a profit or he could sell his ticket on the swap market.  He says he was offered $75,000 to sell.  He has declined all the offers.  Wednesday night at 8:00pm is Game 7.
  1. I woke up this morning to the news that David Ortiz (Big Papi) was shot in a bar in the Dominican Republic. The gunman was beaten rather badly by the patrons in the bar.  Ortiz, according to the doctors, had serious injuries, but is out of danger.  Why he was shot remains a mystery.
  1. The Notre Dame baseball team continues its run towards a PIAA state championship this week. The championship game is Thursday with the semifinals scheduled for Monday.  Go Crusaders!
  1. Blue Mountain League baseball coverage continues next Tuesday with Martins Creek taking on Northampton. The BML Game of the Week comes on at 9:30 PM.  Join the RCN-TV sports team.

 

 

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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