By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – Noontime Sports had the opportunity to chat with the Boston Blazers Public Address announcer, Mike Riley prior to their 9-7 win against the Philadelphia Wings, as well as get his take on the team and stadium atmosphere.
What do you love most about lacrosse?
“It’s a great game all around. It’s a lot of fun. It’s up and down, back and fourth. Lot of good action. Fights, high scoring affair, good offense, defense is great. [All in all], good all around game, [it’s] fun to watch.”
What is the best part about being the Public Address Announcer for the Boston Blazers?
“Hands down, getting the crowd on their feet when they’re down [and] getting them up in that good mood. I tell them to wake up and when they actually respond to you it’s an awesome feeling.”
Where do the Boston Blazers stand in Boston? What does the typical Boston sports fan think about the Blazers?
“You have a lot of good lacrosse fans here that come in to watch these games. High school, youth [lacrosse programs], college and that’s a good following right there. They have to market themselves to those guys, but they will eventually be with the big guys, [Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Patriots]. They’re only three years old. They’ve been around for three years and they were around before that so they’re kind of rebranding, re-establishing them self. It’s only a matter of time before they take that next step and become one of the big boys.”
What was the feeling like when you first announced a game this past season?
“I’ve worked my tail off to get here, really was enjoyable, but it was really meant a lot more to hear the fans react to you when you announce a goal, tell them to get loud and all that. That means a lot more than hearing yourself over the system.”
Do you have a favorite Blazers player? If so, who?
I like Danny Dawson a real lot. He’s the captain [and] I love his story, he’s a fireman in Toronto. [I also] love Bubba Durno too. He’s a real blue-collar type of player, got the big goatee and just a real big guy, old school kind of player, but this has been a blast. [Overall] the Blazers are a great organization.”
What would it mean if the Boston Blazers won a championship? How would Boston sports fans respond?
“[You’d be] in the mix with the big boys with the cream of the crop. The momentum would be on their side there and I think it would be a big momentum shift for the fans to be excited about them and the chance to win the championship.”
What’s the best song they play here at the TD Garden?
“Hey, the DJ here, Steve Finley is the best of the business, any song he plays is good.”