COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Now in its 100th year, Ohio Stadium is a place where traditions thrive on game day.
Script Ohio, Skull Session, Carmen—they’re all ingrained in fans’ experience.
They may not have noticed it, but so is a voice. The public address announcer, ‘The Voice of the Shoe’, Bob Kennedy.
“I’ve been announcing at Ohio State for 23 years," Kennedy joked. "I’ve been doing football for 20. The vast majority are just now putting the voice with the face, and for that, I apologize.”
On a typical game day, Oct. 22, Kennedy arrived, somewhat anonymously 3 1/2 hours before kickoff.
There’s plenty to do he said
“I’ve got rosters to look over," Kenney said. "I’ve got captains to find out about. I’ve got pronunciations to go over. I’ve got a script to go over."
Once the game starts, his baritone begins booming through the stadium P.A. Everything from housekeeping, “and here comes Big Matt with the Elk & Elk cam,” to recounting stats, “14:02 1=first quarter, Ohio State 3, Iowa nothing!”
"My voice has always carried, from the day I was born," Kennedy said. "I mean, you could probably hear me in New Albany and Hilliard without using a microphone."
In fact, his voice drifts on the breeze over the entire campus area throughout the game.
Once the game begins, he’s executing plays in the booth. The playbook is a beast.
“It’s probably in the neighborhood of 50 to 60 pages, just for me," Kennedy said.
Each word is on the clock since they’re coordinating with the network television’s broadcast.
Kennedy has help.
“I have three spotters," he said. "One spots defense. One spots offense. Another is what we call the Time Out Coordinator, or T.O.C.”
That would be well-known radio traffic reporter John Hill. According to Kennedy, Hill’s job is to “take instructions from the Game Day Producer, relay it to me and I act upon it.”
The result is a seamless, informative, and energetic boost to the stadium’s overall ambiance before, during, and after the game.
Ohio Stadium’s traditions and triumph’s make resonate loudest among fans, but rest assured, Bob Kennedy always gets the last word.