Play-by-play sportscaster Alex Faust, who calls men’s hockey games for Northeastern’s student-run radio station, WRBB, paints an award-winning picture with simple words, such as “stick,” “save” and “slapshot.”
“Calling a game isn’t about having a formula for when you’re supposed to get excited,” Faust says. “It’s about having a conversation with the listener and giving him the best possible description of the action.”
The junior received the 2011 Jim Nantz Award — an honor bestowed upon the nation’s top collegiate sportscaster — on May 16 at the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association banquet in Salisbury, North Carolina. Judges included play-by-play sportscasters for the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Falcons and Indiana Pacers.
“To bring this award back to Northeastern is not only a victory for me, but for WRBB,” says Faust, whose broadcast partner, senior Jared Shafran, received an honorable mention. “The whole team has good chemistry,” he says. “The way we act on the air is the way we interact off the air.”
The Brooklyn, New York, native has enjoyed dozens of games at the old Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. But he has a soft spot for broadcasting hockey from high above the ice level in Matthews Arena, a grand edifice, he says, “with a lot of soul.”
“You can’t replicate the sound,” says Faust, who also hosts a sports talk show — “Hockey East This Week” — on WRBB. “It’s a unique adrenaline rush to call games in that place.”
He got his biggest rush on Valentine’s Day, when the Huskies grabbed a 2-1 lead over Boston College in the Beanpot Championship. The Black and Red had not taken a lead in the tournament finals since 2002.
“I was yelling so loud that my sides were hurting,” says Faust, who’s quick to add, “You have to make sure you keep your composure in a moment like that.”
Faust won’ t rule out a full-time gig as a play-by-play guy for a collegiate club, but the economics and political science dual major plans to pursue a career in consulting. Northeastern’s co-op program, he says, has “given me the practical workplace experience to use to my advantage.”