Rouses Everyday - September & October - page 14

Father time, however, came calling — that
and a sore back — and Dad decided to
retire, a tough decision for a man whose
life-long passion, after family, is sports.
He felt in his heart that he would not do
justice to the team and its rabid fan base,
and informed the Saints administration just
before the start of the 2013 season that he
would turn in his PA jersey. In return, the
team, fans and friends lauded him in a way
that surprised and humbled him, including
being honored on the field before the 2-13
season’s first home game, to the chants of
“Jer-ry, Jer-ry, Jer-ry,” and a Super Bowl ring.
The public’s positive acknowledgement of
him was overwhelming for us all.
In a move that was bittersweet, and most
fitting, the New Orleans Saints
passed the announcing torch to
my other brother, Mark, who
— I might add quite happily —
decided to retain my services.
Buddy and I are now on his
stadium announcing team.
Although the voice may be
slightly different, the rhythm and tradition
remains much the same. There is no
daydreaming during the game, or checking
out the action on the sidelines or in the
stands. This is the toughest part for me, as
I am one of those fans who would rather
hide my eyes during the most crucial plays,
as if somehow that will ensure success. We
keep our eye on every play, shout stats and
numbers to the new man in the middle, and
within a few seconds Mark makes the call,
just as Dad did for 44 seasons before him.
Impartiality was the toughest part of Dad’s
game. While hopes are high and nerves are
on edge, NFL rules for many years stated
that a neutral tone was mandatory from
the public address announcer. No Harry
Carey touches allowed by the league. This
was not an easy task for a die-hard Saints
fan such as my dad, especially in the last
few years of the team’s success. There were
moments when a bit of home flavor was
evident, which did not go unnoticed by the
visiting team officials on occasion. He once
broke his little finger pounding his hand
in excitement after a play, but you would
have never known from his delivery. He did
however spend the second half of that game
with his left hand in a bucket of ice.
The NFL has loosened the rules a bit.
Mark can be a little more partial toward
the home crowd … And there is nothing
like OUR home crowd in the Mercedes-
Benz Superdome, where the team went
undefeated during the most
recent 2013 season.
And so begins another season
for the boys in black and gold.
Our spirits and hopes are high
for another great autumn on the
gridiron and in the Jerry Romig
House Controls booth.
His familiar voice and trademark calls have become
the stuff of legends … "FIRST DOWN, SAINTS" …
"Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiittttt’s GOOD!" … "COOOOOOLE-STON"
… and a crisply delivered "Drew Brees."
Jerry Romig in the announcers booth. — photo courtesy
The Advocate, John McCusker
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