May 27, 2011

Profile of Michael Baiamonte, the Miami Heat P.A. Announcer

From the Miami Sun-Sentinel:

He is known as The Voice.
Deep. Rumbling. Animated.
And, depending on your basketball loyalties and sensibilities, somewhat annoying too.
Increasingly, however, Michael Baiamonte has become The Face.
At least when it comes to Heat home games.
"For so many years I was just a voice behind a microphone," says Baiamonte, in his 21st season as the Heat's public-address announcer. "Now a lot of people recognize me by face."
That's because his repeated in-game pleas to "Stand UP …. and make some NOISE … for YOUR … Miami … Heaaaaattttttt!!!!" are accompanied by a closeup of his face on the Jumbotron.
It's been that way at least since the Heat's run to the 2006 NBA title, and national TV cameras have taken to showing him as well.
No wonder his phone and email have been burning up with requests to emcee weddings and Bar Mitzvahs at as much as $500 an appearance. That more than justifies his decision 11 years ago to quit his job training telemarketers for an insurance company.
Yet it's clear The Voice, with his willingness to straddle the line between announcing and cheerleading ("Let's Go Heat!"), has made his presence felt.
"The energy and the atmosphere at a game, every little bit helps, and Mike has that captivating voice," Heat forward James Jones says. "When you hear the fans clapping and cheering and making noise when the other team is trying to run sets, it can be a distraction for them and it can be a plus for us."
Baiamonte, 47, takes a showman's approach to his job, which he's held long enough to be one of the half dozen or so longest-tenured Heat employees.
"A big part of it is entertainment," he says. "You want to put on the best show you can."
Only a few PA announcers in the league have been at their post longer than The Voice, who grew up in South Florida and attended Gulliver Prep, where he also introduced the lineups before home basketball games.
Read the full article... 

May 25, 2011

How the new scoreboard was unveiled at Fenway Park (video)

I thought this was a creative, brilliant way to introduce the new video scoreboard at Fenway Park:

May 23, 2011

Hey look, the old scoreboard from The Igloo in Pittsburgh is up for auction

"The Jumbotron itself is approximately 21ft.7in.H x 24ft.7in.L on each side. The four LED screens/monitors in the Jumbotron are 10ft.L x 7ft.7in.H. The Jumbotron is suspended from the roof and they Buyer is entitled to any of the gears and rigging used for suspension. The Sound Cluster is not included with the Jumbotron. Included with the Jumbotron are thirty-two ancillary scoreboard units and they are mounted throughout the Arena seating areas on the face and back of the North and South balconies. The two LED Boards are also mounted on the North and South balconies."

Up for auction here, along with other signage and scoring components.

Update: See also "Only $3001 For A Boat Anchor"

How to Dance the Robot, with Jon E Shakka

"Please consult with your doctor b4"

May 19, 2011

Exclusive photo of my home office

  1. Table and chairs from IKEA, a Swedish company that specializes in efficient packaging and requires purchasers to assemble the furniture at home.
  2. Three laptops.  Two Dells and a IBM Thinkpad.  At least one human is often sitting at one of these devices, interfacing with the web or accounting software.
  3. Two blue file folders, the contents of which shall remain undisclosed.
  4. Aerius allergy pills.  To relieve sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes.
  5. External hard drive, containing photos, music and video.
  6. Ipod.  Audio playback device constructed by Apple.
  7. Various cables, all USB.
  8. Bic Z+ 0.5 pen. Black ink.
  9. Wireless mouse, Microsoft. This is a pointing device, used in conjunction with the laptop keyboard to navigate screen menus and other screen interfaces.
  10. Cordless phone, General Electric.  Connected to land line.  Like Skype but without the visuals.
  11. Samsung flip phone.  For receiving phone messages to secret business phone number.
  12. Blackberry, recharging.
  13. Stack of CD-R's.  Archaic storage device, can store up to 700MB of data.  Commonly used to store and play back audio for use in devices like mini vans and Hyundai's.
  14. Items in background blurred for security reasons.
  15. Dog is out of frame, please infer his presence about 2 metres to the right of this image.

May 10, 2011

Charlotte Motor Speedway unveils the world's largest HD screen (200x80 feet)


This screen is as big as an NHL ice surface. 200 feet wide by 80 feet high. The Dallas Cowboys screen is 160x72 feet, practically tiny by comparison.  The press release:
CONCORD, N.C. (May 10, 2011) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the world's largest high definition television for a spin earlier today at Charlotte Motor Speedway by taking virtual laps around the legendary 1.5-mile track using an iRacing simulation. 
Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway, invited Earnhardt Jr., an avid video gamer, to show off his skills on the giant HDTV. 
For its operational debut, Smith and Earnhardt Jr. used an oversized remote to power on the 200 foot-wide, 80 foot-tall HDTV, created by Panasonic, to reveal a highlight video of past racing action at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 
"Charlotte sets the standard for the rest of the tracks," said Earnhardt Jr. "They always do things first and do things the biggest and look, here we are today with another first from them. Charlotte holds a special place in a lot of drivers' hearts, mine included and the big TV makes this place even more special. 
"The Coca-Cola 600 is one of the best events we have all year long. Now fans can get a ticket to the race and have the experience of the live event with the comfort of their own TV at home with this big TV," Earnhardt Jr. continued. "This place just keeps getting better." 
"This giant Panasonic HDTV will be a game changer for our fans on race day," said Smith. "It will give them a whole new way to experience a NASCAR event at Charlotte Motor Speedway." 
Today's event signaled the completion of the Panasonic HDTV project, which took up to 57 workers a day, working more than 11,000 man hours, more than four months to construct. The 332-and-a-half-ton structure is the largest HDTV in the world. The 158 panels that make up the face of the television's screen will be illuminated by nine million LED lamps during select events at Charlotte Motor Speedway. 
Sam Bass, the official artist of Charlotte Motor Speedway, was also on hand to unveil the souvenir race program covers for the 27th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and 52nd running of the Coca-Cola 600 on the gigantic screen. 
For photos from the event, visit
The public debut of the world's largest HDTV will take place May 21 under the lights during the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. The screen is centered along the backstretch between Turns 2 and 3, across from the start/finish line. Fans seated throughout the frontstretch from Turn 4 to Turn 1 will have clear viewing angles of instant replays, leaderboard updates and interactive entertainment displayed in clear 720P high-definition visuals. 
Frontstretch tickets with the best views of the world's largest HDTV start at just $49 for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on May 21. Fans can also purchase two frontstretch tickets for just $99 to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 29. 
Tickets for all May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway can be purchased online at or by calling the ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).