One critic called it a “Black and Gold” conga line while another said it made him “cringe”. Many viewers hav e-mailed the station to say it has made laugh and fired them up for the playoffs and we have gotten more than a few requests for copies of it.
What is it? It’s WTAE’s newest promo cheering on the Pens in their pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup. While it’s not yet an internet hit ( 535 hits on You Tube as of 4am ), it’s become a source of laughter for many viewers and more than a couple have asked me about the story behind it.
If you haven’t seen it, you can click here for the video. It’s only 15 seconds, but it’s enough time to squeeze in a laugh as well as showcase the lighter side of our news team. In the spot, Michelle and Wendy are taping their feet to the tune “Let’s Go Pens” and Wendy gets up and reveals a Pens logo on her currently enlarged belly ( she’s pregnant ). Next, it’s Sally and Mike having an impromptu hockey game in the studio .. and Sally cross-checks Mike. Then, we got to JB who’s working on the computer and swinging his white towel at the same time. The spot ends with Kelly and I marching to the beat across the set.
Our promotions department came up with the idea .. and it’s a simple one: why not get behind our team and have fun at the same time? I know I enjoyed doing it. As a sportscaster for many years, I could not be a fan and show my support in a vocal way. I always felt such behavior would take away from my credibility as a sports journalist. Even though I enjoyed watching the Steelers, you would never catch me yelling “Let’s Go Steelers” on the air.
Now, I work on the news side of the business. Even though I’m still someone who is not supposed to play favorites, when it comes to sports I’m so far away from the daily coverage in the locker room I can have fun. I went to my first Steeler game – as a fan – last year and sat in the seats and ate and cheered and booed. When I go to a hockey game, I don’t mind giving the visiting team some verbal abuse. For the first time in many years, I can watch my local teams as a fan and behave in that manner.
That’s why I like this promo. We are all – at heart – fans of our local teams and when they are playing for a championship why not get into the spirit. I hope the video – at least in a small way – expresses that feeling. And by the way, the Pens jersey I’m wearing in the spot is mine. I love the powder blue look and I would not mind if they wore that more often.
Let’s go Pens! I think they will win it in seven games … which means at least two more weeks of us here at channel 4 moving to the tune “Let’s Go Pens”!