Rowland has ‘seen a lot in the last 100 games’
LUBBOCK, Texas — Saturday night at Texas Tech, Toby Rowland called his 101st Oklahoma game as the play-by-play voice of the Sooners. Before the game, Rowland spoke to The Oklahoman about his first 100 games, the wild 2016 game in Lubbock and what he’s learned. Q: What’s it like looking back at calling 100 games of Oklahoma football?
A: In some ways it went really fast and in some ways I can’t really remember life before this. I remember vividly getting ready for that first game against Tulsa in 2011. It really does seem like it wasn’t very long ago now. We’ve seen a lot in the last 100 games. We’ve got to see some great games, some unbelievable finishes, some shocking upsets, some record-setting performances. It’s just been a thrill ride. When I got the job I knew it would be the opportunity of a lifetime and it really has been but I think it has somehow exceeded my expectations. What’s it like being back here after what happened two years ago?
That was one of the most enjoyable games I’ve ever called. For a play-by-play guy, something exciting is happening every 20 seconds it seems like. I just remember how ashen white Teddy Lehman’s face was and that’s the moment I knew people at home aren’t enjoying this as much as
I’m enjoying this right now. It’s fun. You know there’s going to be a lot of offense, or certainly you expect a lot of offense in this game. That night was probably unlike anything we’ll ever see again. As time goes on, we look at who was in that game and what they’re probably going to do in the NFL, it’ll probably grow through the years, the legend of that night. That was something else. I’m psychologically confused as to how I’m supposed to feel about that game. I loved it, I thought it was great, but I’ve heard so many people tell me it was the worst game they’ve ever experienced that I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about it. What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned through 100 games?
Just like anything, the more repetition you get, the more you just slow down and let it happen. You don’t get out over your skis, let the play happen before you call it. I’ve gotten older and matured and calmed down a little bit. People who listen to me may disagree with that because I’m still pretty excitable. My ease going into a broadcast is significantly greater than it was eight years ago. I’m not like a nervous wreck when I’m getting ready to call a game. I sleep a lot better on Friday nights than I used to. It wasn’t nervous, I was just geared up. It’s a big deal to call an OU football game. You’re excited. You prepare for it all week. Everything you do all week is leading up to Saturday.
Oklahoma radio play-by-play voice Toby Rowland, right, called his 101st Sooners football game Saturday at Texas Tech.