Hello, ladies and gentlemen, I am Isa Gettleman and we're here for an exclusive interview.
Right here on SportsCastr.
I have Andrew Ember, the P A announcer for the Florida Panthers.
I'm a big Panthers fan.
If you go to a Panthers game.
Even if you're not a Panthers fan, you should hear Andrew us.
He's the p A announcer, he says.
Welcome to the ice, He says, When there's a goal, he's the face of the Panthers.
He's not a player.
But every time you go to a game, you hear his voice.
Andrew, welcome to the show.
Thanks so much for coming on today.
Thanks so much for having me mad. It's a pleasure to be here.
So, Andrew, my first question for you is how are you coping with Kobe? 19.
Obviously, the NHL season got cut short, and that means you missed tons of pay announcing at the stadium Panthers air in Toronto.
They just came out off of a tough loss.
But what are you doing right now? Drawing Kobe 19 to keep yourself busy? Yeah.
I mean, see, the thing about P announcing is it's not a full time career.
So, um, you know I go to the arena non home games, But I do, um, marketing work by day, even in season.
So now that we're not in season, technically, I'm just doing marketing work by day and, ah, wishing I was at the arena by night, so it's not quite as much fun.
But, you know, it helps pay the bills and stuff like that.
So do you mind if I show a video of your boat call from earlier today? Go for it.
So again, if you just want to get a taste of Andrew's great voice and one of his goal calls that this is exactly what he don't.
Obviously, he wasn't at the stadium, but he still was nice enough on Twitter, sends a video and tweeted out of his go call.
And this was on Mike Hoffman's go today, the first goal of the game.
And sadly, the Panthers last.
But it was a great goal and obviously a great go call by you.
So let's share the audio so they can hear you.
Okay, there we go.
So this is just a little taste of one of his goal calls.
This was from this morning.
Therefore school of the game by my coffin.
Let's listen in.
He's forced to hold my around.
Scored by number 68 My Hoffman, assisted by number 11.
Shaq who? And number three cheese Danso.
11 16 of the first period.
Hoffman his first from Huber. No.
Ngentle at 11 60.
So that's a great voice.
I go to tons of Panthers games, and that's exactly what you sound like.
There's no auto tune.
There's no there's no replays.
That's exactly how you sound.
So now I know it's a real person doing it.
Yeah, I detected a little bit of an echo there, but definitely Ah, people ask me all the time.
Ah, is there an effect on your mike? Is that really you? And I'm like, this is just me men.
You know, I talked maybe a little bit stronger, a little bit louder a little bit more from the diaphragm when I'm on the mic.
But it's It's May.
Yeah, that's great.
Uh, so my next question for you was being a pay announcer.
You sit literally right next door glass on the ice.
Besides actually having a job in announcing the game How do you How do you enjoy the game? Cause you're right on ice.
I mean, it's always a delicate balance right there.
You can't get too caught up in it. It's It's tempting.
Sometimes I will admit, because it is.
You have so much respect for the size and the speed and the town when you're right there.
So, I mean, there is a temptation to just kind of follow the game a little too much sometimes.
But you got to remember, you gotta always be looking to the clock because you always have to have your last minute of play and all that ready to go? Um, so, yeah, I mean, I'm a huge hockey fan.
I can't I can't deny that.
So, um, but you have to understand that you're there to do a job.
The players and the coaches were counting on you for that one minute of play.
Um, the people in the stadium are counting on you for the goals and the penalties and the adverti*****ts and stuff like that.
So, um, your there first and foremost to do a job first and kind of be a fan second, because you know, the gold calls do sound better when they're coming from someone who is actually a fan.
And, you know, I was a fan of the team even before I had the job.
So, um, I think that's always important.
Yeah, that's great.
And since you bring up, you know, you're already a fan of the team.
I know you grew up in the local area, like me.
You went to effort you.
So what is the relationship with the Florida Panthers in terms of you grew up in the area.
I went to my first game in the opening season.
I was only five years old when the team got their start in 1993.
Ah, but my dad got tickets with a friend, and we all went to the our first game down at the Miami Arena.
We walked those railroad tracks and the dirt to get to the arena and stuff like that.
Um, it was it was love at first sight for me with hockey.
Um, my dad claims that even at that young age, I understood the game more than he did.
Um, it was just something that stuck.
Um, and I know it's not traditional, you know? Ah, lot of people in our era grow up loving football and basketball and all sorts of other sports.
But for me, it was always always hockey.
So from that point on, we made it a point to go to, you know, 4 to 8 games a year.
Um, but we always enjoyed it.
It was quality, father son time, Um, and it just it went on and on through getting season tickets.
Ah, when they were, you know, had already moved to sunrise.
So, um, it's just it's been a love it for your site thing for me since the beginning.
Now, did you play hockey when you're working, everyone always thinks that I did, but I didn't.
I played soccer, and I played a little bit of baseball growing up.
I played soccer until 18.
So, um, soccer was my was always my sport.
To play hockey was always my sport to watch.
Um, so no, I did not play hockey.
Ironically, I play hockey now more than ever before.
The ah shut down for the pandemic.
I was playing in a deck Hockey League of Floor Hockey League.
Um, so I'm actually playing more now than I ever have, but no growing up, I did not play at all.
One amazing thing about years when you started the job, you were one of the youngest p A.
Announcers did that ever, you know, hit you.
And you were ever said when you were trying out to be a P.
And after that, maybe you won't make it because you were one of the youngest.
And when you became the p a announcer, did that hit you that? Wow.
I'm the youngest p a announcer.
One of them in that nature.
I mean, it was always something that kind of stuck out.
And even during the interview for Arthuis audition process? Yeah.
I mean, there were some young kids like me for sure.
Um, I don't know if you consider me a kid in the mid twenties, but there were lots of young people, but there were lots of, you know, a lot older people.
Um, and that was definitely majority.
And in the NHL, the majority of the people, if you had to get, like, a mean age, you know, it's definitely ah, forties fifties sixties job in their legends who were still doing it up into their seventies and eighties.
So I mean, um, it is It is unique, and it's not lost on me.
How blessed I am to have gotten that opportunity at such a young age.
When I came in, I was the youngest announcer in the NHL.
Um, I don't believe I am any more.
I think it was announcer who came in a year or two ago.
Um is a couple years younger than me, But I think at the time I got the job in 26 I'm not sure if anyone is or was younger than me in their first season, so I'm not sure that's great.
So, you know, when you come in So obviously, doesn't you pay announcer When you come in, you have the Panthers.
Is that Is that your thing? And what things you bring in that are new and that you just use when your when your p a announcer So funny story with that? No, the Panthers goal is not me.
The crowds shouting of gold dates back meant to base almost the beginning.
Um, that's been a Florida Panthers tradition for a very, very long time.
And ironically, in my first exhibition game, I didn't really do that because I was told, you know, make it your own making your own make the job totally your own.
Don't try to be anybody else kind of thing.
So, you know, it was kind of I had all these thoughts in my head.
I was so nervous.
Um, and I didn't do it.
And everyone was like, let us say, goal.
And I was like, You know what? They're right.
This is a tradition that needs to stay forever.
Not even just me, but into decades and decades in the future.
So, no, that didn't start with me, But I'm very, very happy to continue it.
Um, as for things that maybe I have brought to the table that others haven't I don't know, I I'm very much a believer in changing up styles.
So, um right, I kind of bring different.
I have what you call the swagger.
Um, that I brought into my first year originally was Brian Campbell, or I would kind of say his name like Brian Campbell.
And it was like, kind of like this swaggering voice that's not really ah, normal in the hockey arena.
Um, I just try to do a lot of different things because my personal pet peeve with P a.
Announcing is when the announcer says every single name in the same exact way, the same exact time, the same exact cadence over and over and over again.
My goal is always toe.
Have multiple ways to say every single player that I can kind of change up how everything sounds back and forth and back and forth.
Hold Long name, hold the first name.
Hold the last name.
Emphasize this initial Ah, do it swagger here, your extra hype here.
So that's one of the things that I think I've tried to bring special.
That's a little yes, that's great.
Now something that many people may not know about you are You appeared on American.
Enjoy your season line.
I don't watch that that consistently.
I do. You know, I see it on the TV.
I watch it sometimes It's interesting.
It's definitely interesting.
You competed in that Just what was the experience? Cause I know this is sports broadcasting.
I love sports, and that is definitely a sport, you need to exercise a lot.
You need to get in good shape for that.
So just, you know, bring us to the process of becoming a competitor.
Er and actually, when you were in it, the experience.
Sure, we'll give you the Reader's Digest version because I could.
I could go on and on forever about that experience.
But, um, it was wild, you know, I wasn't always into fitness, but I did get into fitness rather quickly in my early twenties, and it just grew into an obsession it grew into.
Basically, my religion was just getting healthy, eating right? Ah, and lifting weights and stuff like that.
But when I first got the inkling that I wanted to try a ninja warrior, I was so bad at it.
Um, it's kind of crazy because lifting weights does not correlate whatsoever to American Enjoy your skills because everything a ninja warrior is about, like holding your body weight.
Ah, supporting yourself on your arms and lifting heavy weights just does not help with that.
So at the very beginning of training, I was terrible and I think being batted, it kind of drove me Teoh.
It was like I can't let this conquer me.
I gotta go conquer it.
Um, so that gave me some extra motivation to work really hard.
Um, I probably wasn't as ready as others were on the actual time I competed on the show.
Um, but it was widely, I'm telling it was the most exciting experience of my life.
The biggest adrenaline rush I've ever had.
Um, many don't know what, but they actually tape the episodes overnight, so I actually ran the course at 4 a.
So it was just a all night performance.
Ah, the Panthers played the next day.
So I was on the road back and forth and back and forth, doing games and doing interviews for ninja and come back and doing games.
It was just such a wild few days, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
The actual experience on the show, I think, went relatively well.
Um, I made it to the third obstacle, which was the wingnuts.
That was the first year they existed on the show.
And really nobody knew how to do them.
I think only like 30% of the competition went ****her than me.
and my rookie season, which I will take all day. Compare.
Considering how, um, un prepared.
I guess I was in some ways going into it.
Um, in the following years, I really, really worked hard.
Teoh put myself in a position where I could have conquered the course and unfortunately, didn't get the opportunity to compete on the show.
Because there's no qualifying process, there's no like local qualifiers.
It's literally just you submit a tape, and if they really, really like your story out of Blake Million's her.
However, it's not quite millions, but it's it's large numbers.
Let's just say you have, like, a 300.
1% chance of getting on the They pick about 5 to 600 out of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people who enter.
So it's literally just up to them.
Um, I'm so fortunate and thankful that I got the one shot I continue to submit to this day, so I hope to get another shot at them a little better at the sport.
But I'll tell you, man, it was it was unbelievable.
It was a wild experience.
So I have a few more questions for you.
When? When you were a kid And did you want to be a broadcast on? If you did, was it, you know, play by play? Was it color announcing? Wasn't you know, to be a sideline reporter? Or was it actually to be a p? An answer The FN.
I grew up plans playing video games, and I would announce them I was that goofy kid were like, if my friends and I were playing Mario golf, I'd be like, Oh, and he's on the T.
You know, I just do whatever whatever popped into my head.
Um, so I've been doing this for my whole life, you know, like and granted, That's more like play by play, you know? So, uh, I don't Yeah, I can't say that.
I grew up saying I am going to be a public address announcer.
I grew up saying, I love sports.
I enjoy talking.
I want to make my mark somewhere somehow.
And then, as I got a little bit older, got chances to actually try things out.
That's where it all went down and f a u.
You know they didn't have anything in terms of a broadcasting department at F A U for their hockey team.
So I actually did public address and play by play, announcing at the same time I had to microphones in my hands.
And so I'm holding here, one that's going to the Internet with the play by play and one that's in the stadium for P.
Announcing it would be like and they dump the puck in down deep penalty to number five, and I would literally go back and forth and I got to try out both things, and that's where I'd kind of group go to say, Hey, I think my stadi or my voice is meant to Philip Stadiums.
I think my voice is conducive to that large bowl effect.
Um, and I also want to do other things, because when you do play by play, that is a full time career.
That is a job you're traveling nine months out of the year.
Um, it is a different life in public address, public address.
You're that hometown, your hometown voice.
You help establish home ice advantage, which I absolutely love.
But then you do other things.
Um, and I really want to be able to make my mark all over the place.
So p a just was a natural fit for how I wanted to live.
How wanted toe work and how I really thought my voice was kind of specialized for That's great.
Now, what is your relationship with the players? If you have one, you know you're right by the ice.
I know you know.
Some broadcasters interview the players, your p a announcer, but I'm not going to say that you don't interview players because you may, you may do that.
So what is your relationship with the players if you have one? Um, I would say in a word, None.
Um, it's not part of the job.
In fact, it's probably in in the, ah contract to stay away and not go out of your way to interact with the players, which I totally understand.
My literal only reactions with any of the players is anything during, like pregame warmups.
There have been a few times where players have kind of come over and been like, Hey, can can you radio up to tell them to turn the volume up on the music? Um It's very little, very.
It doesn't happen much at all.
So I would say I have no relationship with the players.
They're great guys.
It's cool over here.
Things down there in the box.
Um, but, yeah, there's there's no, there's no relationship.
There's no interviewing or anything.
So this may be a scary question.
What is the most curious moment you've had? I know you're right. By the ice apart.
Maybe a fight right in front of you.
You know, You know, sometimes the those incidents were the glass, you know, almost breaks.
There's big hits that happened right in front of your face.
So what would you say? The scariest moment at a hockey game? Yeah, I don't think there's been anything like frightening that's made my heart stop.
There have been a couple of moments with a pocket has contacted an off ice official one or two seats away from me.
So I have come about, you know, inches from getting hit in the head with the puck.
So I guess that would probably be the craziest thing to happen.
Other than that, it would probably be the time where one of her off ice officials got an accidental stick to the face when a player came into the box.
Um, a little too heated and kind of like slammed the door and on the backswing caught the official who was two seats away from me in the face with this stick.
Um, that was that was unexpected.
But in terms of actual, you know, frightening.
I I've never feared it forever, you know, for anything too scary.
So but it's cool.
What is your favorite Panthers moment that you have seen at the state? Man, that is a tough, tough question.
There's nothing like a playoff games.
So getting the chance in my my opening season to call three home playoff games, including a double overtime game? Yeah, I wasn't one of the Panthers on those games.
Um, so to get to do that, Siris was probably the great.
I think if anything sticks out from that, um, it's actually remember the clip you played for me earlier today when I did the goal call, there's actually at the very beginning of that you'll hear me touch my phone and it's it's me saying panthers and the crowd saying Goal that comes from a very specific moment.
That was the first playoff goal that I ever got to call.
That was 90 seconds basically into that game one against the Islanders at home.
Teddy personal scored the goal, and I just I'll never forget saying like gearing up to stay Panthers.
And the crowd was so amped to call out goal in return that it came out like quickly and all over the place and passionately.
And I'll never forget that, Just like the excitement, the energy, the intensity behind that and that whole Siri's.
That is something that will absolutely, never forget.
Um, other than that, it's just, you know, the individual comebacks are crazy.
I still remember coming back from four against Anaheim at home this season.
Ah, I remember a really huge game against Vegas a year or two ago. When we scored.
I think it was Ekblad had a crazy overtime goal that completed a comeback and just the energy in the stadium.
I remember late season runs were I'll watch as the final horn goes off for a win and I'm literally watching as rats are coming over my head onto the like looking back and forth.
Is there just raining down on top.
You, um It's those kind of moments for sure that are absolutely my favorites.
That's another thing as a rat.
Hey, you know, it's I don't know how we got to get over you because you're at the penalty box.
So I don't know how it hasn't happened.
Now that I say it, I'm sure next game next season, the first win.
Ah, it's gonna knock me right in the head and will probably huge one.
You know what? It comes with the territory.
I am stunned to say that No, um, I've never had that experience yet.
Yeah, Yeah, I'm glad you're OK.
Um, what do you think is the hardest part about your job? That's another good question.
Um, it's part of the hardest part is definitely pronunciations.
Fortunately, our ah, the p a announcer is in the NHL have a very tight knit group.
Were actually called the P A brotherhood.
Um, and we have our own resource base where all the home announcers do the pronunciations of our guys, and then everyone else can use them, so it's not quite as daunting as it once was, but there are always call ups and prospects that aren't on the list.
And you have to go and try to find their YouTube video highlights from the East, DHL or from Europe, Um, in a different language and stuff, you know, it can be difficult to find every single pronunciation.
Other than that, I think a lot of it just comes down to, you know, making sure that you know the game backwards and forwards because knowing the game is one of the most important things to save you.
If you're ever in a crazy moment, I still remember, you know, towards the beginning of my job, when I was just so nervous and I was worried about making mistakes, the one thing that really kept me in the game and kept me alive was just knowing every single part of the game, knowing what to expect, knowing how to do every single penalty in Golan and last minute of play call and and just just being ready for anything.
So the knowledge of the game is really going to take you far, Um, but yes.
So like when? When it comes to just reading back a goal, especially for the road team there somewhere.
If you're not ready for it, you're gonna have to take breaks in between that goal call to make sure you got the name right and the number, right? If you're confident, if you've done your homework, if you've done your research and you are a student of the game and just know the players on all teams backwards and forwards, it comes naturally, it's quick.
Um, and that, uh is I don't know if that's the hardest part, but I think it's one of the more important and underrated parts of being a p a announcer.
Yeah, that's great.
So I'm gonna ask your question that relates to this statement.
I cannot remember the last time I've heard a broadcast or have a sore throat.
Their voice down, the different.
So for you, I go to a lot of Panthers games and the voice your ears talking with right now, the voice I told on your Twitter videos or the exact same voice.
I poured out Panthers games, and that's no surprise because you're there.
But have you ever had a time? Reno.
Your voice sounds different.
You have a sore throat, and if that has happened, What have you done? So, you know, just how can you make it through that? Yeah, well, a couple of years ago, I wouldn't have had a good answer for you.
But last year, for the first time in my life, not my career.
For the first time in my life, I had laryngitis.
It happened in middle of March.
I think it was right at the end of a road trip.
So about 45 days before the team was coming home for their first game, I got laryngitis and my voice just literally disappeared.
Um, it had never happened before in my entire life.
I hope it never happens again, because it is an absolute the worst case scenario for an announcer.
Fortunately, I had a few days to recover.
I ended up going to a walk in clinic.
They put me on a cortical steroids.
I said, you know, just do whatever it takes to get me a chance to have my voice come back.
Um, and it was close.
It was really close.
Um, I had to come in that morning for an emergency sound check just to make sure that once I got on the mic.
It was gonna be, um it was gonna be okay.
Um, and the good thing about a microphone is sometimes even when your voice isn't quite there fully, Um, a microphone as a way of making you sound just a little bit stronger.
It was a Thursday night. I'll never forget it.
Um, I had laryngitis, but I got through it, You know, I brought warm tea, and I just kept going back to the tea if I needed it.
Um, had that game than a few days earlier.
I don't quite know if it would have been quite that good.
Um, but my goal is to just always battle through it.
Even if you sound a little bit off one night, it's something that comes with the territory.
Because when you're in that seat, I tell you, there's absolutely nothing in the world that makes you want to give it up, even for a night.
Yep. That's great. Hopefully doesn't happen again.
So my last question for you is what would you say to any broadcaster who wants to be at a position? You are, you know, a pay an answer for you know, any sport.
You know how there's only was a few amount of P and answers, right? You have a backup p an answer.
I I watched the video about you.
You are back up for a few years or, ah, few games or whatever.
And you know, there's only a few announces in the NHL.
A few pay and answers in the NHL, an MBA and after MLB because there's only a few teams.
So to be, want to be like you have your job.
There's only one out of the, you know, 32 or 30 NHL teams.
That's amazing, right? So the question is what? Yeah.
So what would you say to people that want to, you know, be the job that you are at today? Sure.
Um, I would say, you know, do your best to not say no to anything.
Um, when there are opportunities in the industry, go forward, even if they seem small.
Um, I'll tell one quick story about when I was an Internet ESPN radio.
Um, there was an opportunity that came my way, and I wasn't sold on it, and I declined it, and they never came back to me with another role again.
I'm not saying that I was that I regret it because that was taking me in a direction that I didn't quite want to go to.
And I think I knew that at the time, which factored into that.
But had I, you know, it could have opened up an entirely different world of possibilities in that time.
After that moment and anything related to hockey, I didn't turn anything down.
Um, I was, ah, communications in turn for a year with the Panthers.
I did every game that I could at the ah, the practice facility. The Panthers.
I called, um, tournaments.
I called high school.
I called college.
I called kids. I called mites.
Um, anything, even if it didn't pay a dime on most, didn't.
So, um, get as much experience as you can take every opportunity that you can, because in those moments when it finally comes time to try to make the big show, you're going to lean on all those years of experience that you collected.
And it's not gonna be about the money.
It's not gonna be about, you know, the size of the opportunity.
It is gonna be about repetition, repetition, repetition.
They say that what you need, like, 10,000 hours to become an expert at something.
And I think I'm still trying to get to that point.
Um, but I'm getting there, you know? So it is true, you know, get grab every opportunity that you can force your way and if you have to.
And by that I mean, like, keep reaching out.
If you reach out to someone in an important position and they don't respond, take a little bit of time and then reach out again.
Say, Hey, I just wanted to check in again.
Um, I'm really passionate about this.
Anything that I can dio let me know and I will do it.
Um, so it really is all about trying hard, reaching out experience and just going for every single opportunity that you possibly can.
And I assure you that will go a long, long way towards helping you reach your goals.
There's 32 MLB teams.
I keep getting mixed up because every sport is a different matter.
Teams you know, sports broadcasting camp that I go to at f a u where you went to college.
You know we have Randy Moller came actual last year on the Marlins.
Paul Ceferino their play by play naps.
Or you know So for Paul Severino, there's only he's one out of 32 player plain answers.
You're one out of one, your one out of 31 p a announces.
That is truly amazing in the NHL.
So that's just really great that, you know, you had that spot.
And what's even more amazing is, you know, let's say I want to come to pay announce.
I have to wait for you to leave.
So if you're lucky to have the spot, you're lucky to have the spot that someone left.
So my final question is next year. Opening day.
Do you do the same thing opening night for the NHL? You do the same thing as each opening night for the Panthers or something going to be different.
I mean, it is far too early to know.
I would say that if my experience in this role speaks to anything, it will probably be You know what we ate? What we dio, you know, it's just another opening night.
We try to put it on Amazing show.
I'm sure it's going to be very different this year for the obvious reasons, Um, and it's going to depend very, very much if there fans in the crowd, it's There are so many question marks right now.
If there's no one there, obviously it's not gonna be much of a show, you know, cause we're not gonna put on a show for the players.
I'm gonna be there to announce regardless, um, I would say, But the showy, the entertainment value, the big things that we do, um, for a normal game is going to be completely dependent on where our world is.
If we're, you know, pretty much through this and and getting back to a sense of normalcy.
And if there's people in the building that is really going to be, ah, all those factors that go into that Thank you so much, Andrew, for coming on today on my show, for we announced that Stony Team I only NHL team I watched only actually NHL Stadium might been to.
I've been so tons of Panthers games.
I've heard your voice many times and it's the first time I'm actually seeing you in speaking here.
So I'm so happy to have you on.
Thank you so much.
Stay safe during the covert during the crone advised pandemic.
And hopefully next year I'll be able to go to a game.
And if I don't hopefully I'll still be able to hear you watching TV. Here.
You call Panthers.
I think I think we did that backwards.
There were a lot next year.
Foreign Bill's been bringing a lot of leadership and hopefully the Panthers just keep on getting better by the years.
Thank you so much for having me on.
And I hope I get a chance to meet you when things get back to normal in a game.
Thank you so much for coming on.
Thank you so much, Andrew.
So they have a Andrew Ember here on an exclusive interview here on SportsCastr.
I might get home when this is gonna wrap up my stream.
The Panthers took a sad loss today, but Andrew, hopefully he gets back to, you know, being at the stadium soon and doing his job as a p an answer for the Florida Panthers.
That's grew up with this video.
Thank you everyone for watching your phone.
Exclusive interview. Andrew.
One of the best in the business.
Thanks for coming on.