Galloway feels right at home in the booth
If you recognized the voice calling Saturday’s Ohio State vs. Central Florida game, it’s understandable.
Bellaire High product Joey Galloway was calling his second major college football game ever on ESPN-2 as he watched the Buckeyes upend the Knights, 31-16, inside Ohio Stadium.
Many former players take the broadcasting route after their playing days, but after Galloway called it quits from the National Football League in 2010, his long-time friend and former teammate at OSU, Kirk Herbstreit, who is top college football game analyst for ESPN and ABC, approached him about giving some thought to broadcasting.
“It was probably more Kirk’s plan than mine,” Galloway laughed during a phone interview last week. “My idea was to be prepared if I ever chose that, but he really talked me into it. He put me in touch with the right people and (ESPN) called me and I thought I’d give it a shot. I guess the process was pretty simple.”
Galloway made his debut with ESPN last season, primarily working in the studio on shows such as College Football Live, which airs daily on ESPN and a variety of programs on ESPN-U.
During the bowl season, Galloway was afforded the opportunity to call the Outback Bowl, which saw Georgia and Michigan State square off in Tampa, for ESPN Radio.
“That was my first time ever truly calling a game and I really enjoyed it,” Galloway said. “I liked the stuido, but I enjoy calling games much better. Just going to the game and feeling the energy and being a part of it is really nice.”
While he might not have known it, the Outback Bowl was evidently serving as an audition for his current position.
“During the offseason, (ESPN) approached me about calling games,” Galloway said. “It’s exciting for me because I’m able to get to the stadium and be part of the atmosphere. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Galloway works along side Beth Mowins, who is the only female calling college football for the ESPN Family of Networks this fall. The duo had never met before this season. To get accustomed to working with one another, two weeks ago, they were dispatched to Arizona to call a high school game for the network.
“I’d always heard great things about Beth from guys like (Kirk) Herbstreit and (Chris) Spielman,” Galloway said. “She’s great. She’s a hard worker, she’s extremely prepared. She’s extremely professional and really does her homework. After playing football at high levels, it’s crazy to think that I could be learning something about the game from a female, but Beth is that prepared and knowledgeable about the teams, coaches, players, history, etc.”
The pair’s first college game was a wild one as Northwestern held off Syracuse in a 42-41 game in the Carrier Dome on the Orange’s campus.
As for his future assignments, Galloway is unsure where he’s headed this coming weekend. ESPN informed its broadcast teams of their first two weeks worth of assignments. After that, it’s on a week-to-week basis. What he does know, however, is he’ll be in the noon slot on ESPN-2 throughout the season.
“We find out on Monday and then the process to prepare begins immediately,” Galloway said.
The broadcast team’s week leading up to the actual game includes sifting through game notes from both universities, a conference call with coaches and select players on Wednesday.
Most weeks, the announce team arrives at the site of the game on Thursday and attends the home team’s practice. More films and meetings commence on Friday and that evening there are production meetings.
“It’s like a full-time job,” Galloway said. “Part of the learning process is all of the preparation. A lot of people don’t realize the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes to get ready. I’m actually still learning that myself.”
On top of the work of preparing this week, Galloway found himself in an awkward spot calling a game of his alma mater.
“One of the biggest challenges is calling this game,” Galloway said earlier in the week. “Herbstreit has been on me since day one to be neutral every day in this job. Sometimes people take you as being a homer or a hater if you say something positive or negative about someone.”
Galloway concentrated hard on making sure he didn’t refer to the Buckeyes as “us” or “we” as he often does when he’s talking about the university he starred for from 1990-1993.
“At the end of the day, if I slip and said ‘we or us’ it won’t be the first mistake I’ve made in this profession,” Galloway said. “It’s a process and I am learning it.
During the off-season, Galloway, who currently resides in Columbus, spent time at Woody Hayes Athletic Center talking with Buckeyes’ head coach Urban Meyer has he worked to connect with former Buckeyes’ players.
“When I do the broadcast, I can’t come across as Coach Meyer and I are friends,” Galloway revealed. “I have to talk about him as if he’s just another coach.”
- GALLOWAY was in the news locally a few weeks ago when he gave his former basketball coach Gene Ammirante a brand-new Cadillac after he was inducted to the OVAC Hall of Fame. Galloway did the same thing for his former football coach John Magistro when he retired at Bellaire.
“Giving those guys a car won’t even scratch the surface of what they’ve given to me over the years,” Galloway said. “I’ve been blessed in my life to have so many great people in my life and Coach Magistro and Coach A are near the top of the list. It was just a way for me to say thank you to them and it’s just a token of what they’ve meant to me.”
- GALLOWAY took a break from his OSU-UCF preparation on Labor Day to take in the Big Reds’ reserve game at John Marshall.
Staskey can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @TLSportsSeth