By Emily Simanskis, For The Miami Student
Scott Shriver shows up to watch the RedHawks men’s ice hockey team in a red fleece quarter zip, black dress pants and comfortable brown dress shoes. He’s always an hour early, just happy to be in the building. Though most fans attempt to sit as close to the ice as possible, Shriver goes to sit two floors above everyone in a small room with four other people.
Some have walkie-talkies clipped to their belt and most wear headsets, while Shriver settles behind a desk crowded with highlighted papers, two stand alone monitors, two functioning computers and a switchboard. Fans warm their vocal chords and Shriver warms his, fully aware of his job as the public address announcer. His eyes never leave the ice throughout the game.
He cheers along with the fans but has to answer an old phone that rings to confirm what happened on the ice before he announces it to the entire arena. He claps along with the band, stands for the alma mater and dutifully announces the starting line up with enthusiasm. Scott Shriver is a RedHawks fan through and through, but he just happens to sit a little higher and talk a little louder.
“It’s so much fun that I don’t think there is really a hard part,” Shriver says about his job behind the microphone that he’s had for 25 years.
Growing up in Oxford, Shriver attended Miami, studied communications and theater and attended Miami hockey games when they were played in Hamilton as a club sport. He saw the team become popular after it moved to the old Goggin arena on High Street and now believes that hockey is Miami’s chance at a National Championship.
By chance, Shriver became the public address announcer after first being asked, as a spectator, to announce the volleyball team’s starting line-up. When there was an opening he auditioned to become the announcer at the hockey games and has loved announcing for The Brotherhood and various other Miami sports ever since.
When a goal is scored halfway through the game, the entire press booth shares the fans’ excitement and Shriver happily scrambles to find the exact information about the play. Holding a small button that turns his microphone on, his voice growls with enthusiasm as he announces the goal.
“It’s not really me on the microphone, it’s a role I’m playing,” Shriver says. “There’s an extra layer of performance.”
And perform he does.
Shriver’s body lurches into his announcing of the opening line-up, penalized player or goal scorer, often accompanied by the appropriate fan hand movements. And, with a minute and a half remaining in the period Shriver prepares for perhaps what he is most famous for, his routine announcing of one minute remaining in the period.
“He waves to us and we wave to him and he’s part of the culture,” said first-year Sammie Miller. “The one-minute left is my favorite part about him.”
Shriver takes no credit for the tradition saying the band started the ritual at old Goggin but notes that the game is more fun when the students and seasons ticket holders know the cheers, routines, and rituals. And Shriver is all about fun — laughing about the flack he receives from a coworker after announcing the wrong player and smiling into the microphone after being prompted to end a conversation to resume his job.
Robert Humphrey, a technician who’s regularly in the booth, speaks kindly about Shriver, his personality and interactions with fans. Shriver notes that a long time ago it was more nerve-wracking but acknowledges that he’s grown comfortable in his position, something that all fans can tell.
“I think he has good timing revving up the crowd, let’s put it that way,” Miami alumna, Mark Northrope (’87) says of Shriver with a smile on his face.
Most of the time, Shriver becomes part of that crowd — dancing to “YMCA,” chuckling at the various graphics that appear on the big screen, muttering in defeat and pounding the air in excitement.
And, as the clock ticks to one minute left in the third period, Shriver misses the announcement by mere seconds because being a fan and loving the game comes before being the RedHawks’ public address announcer.