Toby Rowland prepares to call his first OU football game

Toby Rowland said he hasn't come up with a touchdown call for the season opener Saturday night against Tulsa.
by Mel Bracht Modified: September 1, 2011 at 4:45 pm •  Published: September 1, 2011
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In traveling with the Sooner Caravan on numerous stops in the offseason, new OU radio voice Toby Rowland was frequently asked what his touchdown call will be when he broadcasts his first Sooners' game as the replacement for longtime announcer Bob Barry Sr.

“I would always tell OU fans that the one word I have ruled out is ‘pistols,' Rowland said with a chuckle, referring to OSU announcer Dave Hunziker's “Pistols firing!” touchdown call. “I will not use the word pistols. Anything other than that is fair game.”

Rowland, 37, the OU sideline reporter the past two seasons, said he hasn't spent a lot of time thinking up cute phrases to use for his debut Saturday night in calling the Tulsa game on the Sooner Sports Network.

“If you sit around too much and try to think up cute things, when they come out, they usually end up sounding corny,” he said. “I'm just going to be myself and be natural. Whatever comes out comes out. If anything sticks over time, then it sticks.”

Rowland has gotten ideas from several of his play-by-play colleagues, including Eli Gold at Alabama, Gene Deckerhoff at Florida State, Steve Jones at Penn State, Mike Kelly at Missouri and Hunziker.

“All have been awesome in reaching out, not only in wishing me luck, and in offering advice and tips,” Rowland said.

Rowland worked the spring game with analyst Merv Johnson, who is entering his 13th season in the booth, and new sideline reporter Chris Plank. But this will be his first game with new sideline analyst Roy Williams, the former Sooner and NFL star safety who also is making his debut.


by Mel Bracht
Copy Editor, Sports Media
Mel Bracht is a copy editor on the presentation desk and also covers sports media. A 1978 graduate of Indiana University, Bracht has been a print journalist for 34 years. He started his career as sports editor of the Rensselaer (Ind.) Republican...
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