FOX broadcaster Kenny Albert is prepping his information charts for the NFL clash between the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
Right next to those charts are charts for a New Jersey high school matchup: Northern Valley/Demarest Norsemen and Dumont Huskies.
Albert, a long-time Bergen County, New Jersey, resident with a distinctive voice, has volunteered to handle play-by-play duties on the NV/Demarest livestream of the Norsemen’s game Thursday night.
What originally started as bit of a joke became serious. Before calling the undefeated Steelers and Bengals at 4:25 p.m. Sunday, Albert will call the 1-5 Norsemen taking on the 1-5 Huskies, who are squaring off for the first time since 1993.
“It’ll be a lot of fun,” said Albert, who does play-by-play for all four major U.S. professional sports, on Tuesday.
Albert currently has a daughter at NV/Demarest and said he’d been receiving emails about the school’s livestream showings of different sports. He said to Norsemen athletic director Greg Butler that if there were ever a Thursday night football game, he’d be happy to lend his voice.
That opportunity arose this week as COVID-19 continues to shuffle schedules around and the Norsemen were given a Thursday slot.
Butler showed Albert around the stadium Monday, then Albert watched some of the Norsemen practice and met with NV/Demarest coach Tony Mottola. Albert also reached out to Dumont coach Rick Burd to do his research.
“It’s amazing the talent he has,” Butler said. “He’s treating this like any other game. It’s going to be good.”
NV/Demarest has been livestreaming games with one camera and no announcers, just relying on the public address announcer to clue watchers on the action. Albert will be joined Thursday by NV/Demarest alum Eli Nachmany doing color commentary.
“I don’t think anyone wants to hear me talk for two straight hours,” Albert laughed.
The veteran broadcaster, who is the son of longtime basketball announcer Marv Albert, got his start in Long Island calling high school girls basketball games. He worked his way up the media ladder before joining Fox in 1994.
Albert joked that this is the first time he’s ever had to ask his daughter for the correct pronunciations for names, since she attends school with the players, and how, because of his constant travel, it will be his first NV/Demarest football game.
“I never feel like I am going to work; now, there is a lot of prep and travel time, but I love what I do. I have known some of these kids since nursery school,” Albert said. “This will be a lot of fun. This is a way to give back something to the community.”
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