A conversation with Otto Penicka, voice of Spartan athletics
Issue date: 8/27/10 Section: Sports
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The Observer: So how long have you been announcing at CWRU?
Otto Penicka: I started working at Case in January of 1988. I didn't start announcing when I had arrived; what happened was they did not have a basketball announcer the next year and they asked me if I could do it, not knowing that I had some previous experience. Then in September of 1990, I used to set up the football games and Dr. Hunter, the current athletic director, told me before the first football game that the person who was announcing couldn't make it and asked if I could fill in and I said sure. I was told it was a one-time thing, but the next week when we had our meeting before the game I saw my name in the program as the announcer. I asked Dr. Hunter if I was doing it again this week and he said, "You're it." I never found out what happened to the other announcer, but I've been doing it ever since.
The Observer: What has been your biggest moment of announcing at CWRU?
Penicka: The most exciting moment for me would be calling the football playoffs. When I started we weren't very good and now we can win the UAA. Of course there are all these rules and regulations that say you have to be neutral and can't be the "hometown cheerleader." Which is fine because I don't like being the cheerleader, but of course inside I'm cheering for Case.
The Observer: What has been you worst moment during announcing?
Penicka: I enjoy what I do so I don't think I've ever seen anything too terrible. We didn't use to be very good, so it was tougher to keep an even keel. It was hard to keep that even keel when you're losing 50-7, but now that we're winning it seems like those days are behind us. The worst thing for me, personally, is when you see something like #36 carries the ball down the middle, but there's no #36 on the roster. Whether it's because of injury or a number change, everyone in the pressbox is looking for a name and you don't always have an answer.