Cougs' new booth dynamic will be interesting

BUD NAMECK IS moving to a brand new role, Bob Robertson is a hall of famer skilled enough to carry an entire broadcast all on his own, and Shawn McWashington has never done a broadcast in his life. So how is this mix going to work in the fall when WSU's new, three-man radio broadcast booth comes together? We asked Nameck that question and more.

"Bob and I have not had a chance to sit down yet," said Nameck. "I did talk to him (Monday). We will sit down probably when Bob is going to be over for a Spokane Indians game. We'll meet with WSU's people (at that time) and then at that point everything will be determined.

"Bob's the play-by-play guy so he'll do all the play-by-play. What I envision is whatever I can do to help and assist Bob, that's what I'll do ... On the sidelines I kept track of stats and trends and I'm sure I'll continue to do that to an extent.

"But a lot of it is still to be determined."

Adding to the intrigue of how all the moving parts will mesh is Nameck's replacement as the sideline reporter: Jessamyn McIntyre. She's an experienced radio professional, and is an executive producer at KIRO in Seattle, but she will be a rookie when it comes to on-air reporting.

PAUL SORENSEN, WHO HAS done college football color analysis for the last 25 years, including 13 next to Robertson on WSU broadcasts, said there's another dynamic that will be at work besides the new faces.

"In the Air Raid offense, there's probably no more than 25 to maybe 35 seconds between plays. That's a very compressed window -- and I know firsthand just how compressed because I called the Texas Tech-EWU game in 2008. Bud and Shawn are going to have to get in and out quickly with very brief statements before Bob is back to the play-by-play. It's tough enough with two people, let alone three, but those guys will find a tempo that works. I'm excited about it."

Sorensen said one of the first things that will need to determined is the protocol Nameck and McWashington will follow when they want to chime in.

"When I started out with Bob, it was pretty basic: I'd stick my arm straight out. That was the signal that I wanted to talk. It's going to be interesting at first, but my guess is that they'll hit their stride pretty quickly."

Nameck says the key to a good start will be practice.

"I think if we can do a rehearsal of sorts, I think that would help immensely," he said. "Bob is going to be very comfortable in his role ... and (for me it's) whatever Bob would like me to do to help and assist him in the broadcast. I think it would be a great thing if we could get together and watch a (game replay) on a big screen and rehearse ... it would be a good thing if we're able to all get together and do that."

Talking about the new faces in an interview with KIRO yesterday, WSU athletic director Bill Moos said Robertson, who is 83 and one of the most beloved figures in the Cougar family, will be in the booth as long as he wants, but Nameck's presence there next to him will allow for a seamless transition whenever Bob decides to step back.

Nameck emphasized that point.

"I just want to make it very clear, I talked to Bob today and (any thinking that) I was in and Bob was out on the play-by-play, that couldn't be further from the truth. The only thing where I would take over .. is when Bob says he doesn't want to do this anymore."

NAMECK IS BEST KNOWN FOR his long-time work as the voice of Cougar basketball, but he is no stranger to WSU football play-by-play. Earlier in his career there was a 12-year stretch when he was the television play-by-play man for local and regional Cougar football broadcasts. So being in the booth rather than on the sidelines, he said, will be nothing new for him.

"I've always been a play-by-play guy so moving to the booth is comfortable. On the sidelines you get a different view of the violence of the game ... but in the booth you can see things develop in a way you can't otherwise. I was always running from one end of the field to the other and you couldn't see some things on the sideline at times," he said.

WHILE NAMECK AND McWASHINGTON have never worked together, their relationship goes way back to when McWashington was running pass routes at Martin Stadium in the 1990s.

"I'm excited about working with Shawn. When you start covering a team, you start identifying guys you can talk to and get insights from and Shawn was one of those guys I always would talk to. We got to know each other pretty well. I haven't talked to him (Monday), we've been exchanging messages, but I plan on calling him right after I get off the phone with you," said Nameck.