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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

‘First-and-10 Arizona!’

First-and-10 Arizona!

A UA alumnus’ voice booms through the stadium announcing Arizona’s movements across the field.

Jody Oehler, the public address announcer for the Arizona football team, graduated from the UA in 2003 with a degree in communication.

“”A lot of people are just weirded out because I sound like I’m significantly older than I actually am,”” Oehler said. “”Most people think I’m like 55 … I don’t know how it happened to be honest, I used to answer the phone and people would think I was my mom for a while, it just happened. One of those things.””

Oehler gets to the stadium two to two and a half hours before kickoff.

“”You know, it’s a football game. I’m a U of A alum, but I’m also at work so I have to sort of get programmed that I’m there to do a job,”” Oehler said. “”It’s a different experience for me than the students or fans.””

He still walks around the tailgating areas on some days to “”soak up the atmosphere,”” then the real work begins.

“”There’s two primary functions of doing the PA for football: One is all of the stadium announcements like concessions, rules, Pac-10 Code of Conduct and those I’m really familiar with because they don’t change,”” and the other is “”announcing what’s happening on the field.””

One of the hardest parts of the job is learning to pronounce the players’ names.

“”I’ve got to meet with the opposing team before the game and figure out how to pronounce their names so I’m not butchering anybody’s last name because nobody likes to hear their name mispronounced,”” Oehler said. “”Believe me, my last name is hard to pronounce so I’m particularly sensitive to that.””

Some names are hard to get through though.

“”(Marvin) McNutt was probably one of the more challenging names to get through as a professional, but its his name; you can’t do a lot about it,”” he said.

The UA has its own list of curve ball names.

“”I did initially (practice names), but now Lolomana Mikaele is like announcing Ben Smith to me,”” Oehler said. “”With names like that, I just repeat their names over and over and over again when I’m first learning how to pronounce them. There are still a few that I’ll just go check.””

Oehler “”keeps it simple”” when announcing games.

“”People always ask me, ‘Oh do you have catch phrases?’ And I want to keep it very simple to the game. I’m there to describe the action and announce it and not be a part of the action,”” Oehler said.

He has been announcing the games for four years.

“”I remember my first year, my first scrimmage … the first two times I had a chance to do PA was the spring game and the fall scrimmage, and I remember doing it and it’s intense: you’re calling the action in the stadium and you have to be instantaneous and it was an adjustment and I’m glad I got it,”” he said. “”It’s a really fun job, so as long as they think I’m the right person for the job, I’d love to keep doing it.””

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