It’s time for me to locate and remove cheater branches and prune other branches among the trees in my yard. I also pruned my sports media tree at the end of last January.

Last week’s “Steam Room” podcast with Ernie Johnson and (Chuck) Barkley sent me back to January when I made my decision to – at the very least – take a lengthy sabbatical from radio broadcasting.

Both gentlemen had husky voices in this broadcast, and they were fresh off two weeks of grinding through televised NCAA men’s basketball tournament action as part of the panel segments of the broadcasts. Chuck and Ernie each sounded like they were congested and not feeling well throughout the podcast, but they were entertaining, nonetheless.

It reminded me how people probably perceive the work they do – on the NCAA panel show between games that is – is just one big party.

Far from it.

TV broadcasting and panel hosting takes so much energy. It takes as much energy as stage and screen acting. Timing for commercials and other segments is very precise, too, and these gentlemen -  with the help of producers and directors in their ears of course – don’t just walk on the set and turn on the charm.

Johnson commented on how he enjoyed the silence ensuing his NCAA tournament and Inside the NBA performances. I understand how once the cameras are off it’s easy to take things down a level or two while making your way home.

I was never more tired after ballgames than the nights where I was finished broadcasting on the radio. I enjoyed the silence, too.

The postgame drain I experienced after a broadcast is the reason I greatly appreciate the consistency in cadence, energy, and wording Roger Grossman brings area viewers when he broadcasts Warsaw Tiger football and basketball. The belief broadcasters are unburdened by composing copy is a misnomer. Grossman’s leads into a broadcast are like butter

The Big Kat, Tiger Williams, lets you settle in, makes you feel part of the conversation, and his fluid delivery and inside tribal knowledge of Tiger football is complemented by the coaching insight of his color analyst – and Warsaw Community High School Principal – Troy Akers.

I also have sat nearby Tim Keffaber and Rita Price while they broadcast Valley basketball and football action. My hat goes off to them, too.

They click. They don’t stumble over each other. Tim takes a breath and Rita swoops in with commentary the way point guards dish off no-look passes in the transition game. Rita is the only person (obviously) older than I am among the folks I’ve mentioned but she still brings the energy I could not consistently maintain after the final girls’ basketball game I broadcast last January.

I have a different type of energy than these folks have, and there are two areas where my energy is best suited:

Public address (PA) announcing, and writing are the two remaining branches on my sports media tree.

I know have the right type of energy for PA announcing because when I’m giving fans the post-game salvo, I’m not ready for the night’s work to be finished.

I love hearing myself talk, too. Announcers and broadcasters must love hearing themselves talk to be successful. I enjoy the PA energy challenge of consistently delivering cadence and tone from pre-game “housekeeping” announcements to the final words conveyed to exiting fans.

I’m also hungry to get better and I make very tough self-evaluations. There is one announcer I want to match in cadence and consistency without sounding robotic.

Bob Kennedy, The Ohio State University’s voice of football each Saturday in the ‘Shoe, is whom I am trying to emulate. His announcement of results, while robotically consistent to the word, does not diminish the energy and crispness of his voice. On the TV, or in the stadium his classic-sounding, Central Ohio voice cuts through the noise.

Listening to Kennedy while I’m watching my Buckeyes in the ‘Shoe delights my sense of hearing.

I’m headed into my ninth season as a football PA announcer, and I mastered the energy challenge immediately. I finally feel, however, like I’m getting closer to Kennedy’s consistency.

My sports writing and columnist energy are also much better than my broadcasting energy. There have been 1,500-plus word columns I’ve written obviously requiring me to either eliminate a topic or cut my copy between 50% and 60% of what I poured onto the screen before I click “send.”

If you recall my “…Chip Davenport, Bad… Writer” column, I’m tough on myself in the print medium, too, self-deprecating to a fault, even.

Heavens to Murgatroyd, now I’m saying the last sentence aloud using the voice of Snagglepuss.

It’s easy for me to write a column or a game article at any time of the day or night. The first typed words of some columns you’ve read immediately followed a rattling 3:30 a.m. wake-up compelling me to stumble in the darkness to retrieve my laptop.

I am enjoying my growth process in print media, and my editor and another mentor are constructive critics to boot. The drive to get better results in greater levels of fun compared to levels of frustration I’ve also experienced.

Now, thanks to being mindful of pruning each year, I have two avocations. I have the energy to successfully continue each – if I don’t attempt any more electrical repairs on my own at home - through 2040.