For a decade, Kristen Kerbaugh has had a front row seat to Trail Blazers home games as the Stage Manager for the broadcast team. We talked to her about how she got started in television and found out what she is doing up at the front table during games. She’s got some fun memories and funny stories about what it is like to be so close to the action. Game 5 against the Thunder? We got chills just hearing her talk about it!
We also discuss how we’re feeling about Trevor Ariza joining the Trail Blazers, wonder how Caleb Swanigan will fit back in and, of course, we can’t stop talking about Damian Lillard. We’ve got some great listener feedback to share, and speculation about what kind of suit Skal Labissiere might wear when he makes it back to the bench. All this and more on the latest Women’s Hoops And Talks Podcast.
1:00 Icebreaker: Favorite Anthony Tolliver and Kent Bazemore moments
3:30 Kristen comes from a family that works in television so she started by holding mics on the side of the field. Worked as a runner or production assistant until she got the job as stage manager. Has always been a Trail Blazer fan, Rip City is in her veins.
5:30 Works with announcers to make sure they are ready to go and have everything they need, plus acts as in-arena eyes and ears for the show’s producer.
7:45 How stressful is this job? It is pretty repetitive so once the routine is down it’s not too stressful.
8:15 Favorite part of the job is getting to sit up close and watch the sport and team that she loves.
10:00 Which broadcasters have you worked with and what were they like? Mike and Mike, worked with visiting teams for the first season, Bill Walton, Mike Breen, Walt Frazier, Dell Curry, Reggie Miller. Everyone was unique, some were more laid back, some more focused. Sometimes they like to wander around the arena.
12:00 What are people sitting up at the front table doing? Broadcast crews on either end, there are people supporting the broadcasts with stats, public relations folks.
13:00 The search for Tara’s doppelganger, we want to get her on the podcast!
14:50 Ever gotten hit with a ball? Only time she’s been hit by a ball was during warm-ups. Her job is safer than the sideline cameras. She did get showered with LeBron’s chalk. Nurkic likes to interact.
18:20 What is it like being so close to the bench? Do you pick up the Blazers’ vibes? During games the bench players are really engaged, with each other and the coaches.
19:30 Memories of Lillard’s game-winner against Oklahoma City Thunder. The end of the game felt like it was in slow motion. When Nurkic entered the arena she was excited to see how the crowd would react.
24:30 Keeping it together during the four overtimes against Denver.
25:30 Feelings about the trade the Blazers just made? Interested to see what growth Swanigan may show. Will we be able to get past the Trevor Ariza/Rudy Fernandez incident?
29:00 What is it like watching Carmelo Anthony up close? He genuinely seems to be enjoying himself.
32:00 Sitting up close you can really feel the players’ emotions.
33:45 What is it like getting to have a front row seat to Damian Lillard’s excellence? He is everything that we read or hear about. He makes a point of signing autographs and getting to know everyone that he can.
38:00 Does the trade the Blazers just made help set your expectations for the rest of the season? Cassidy believes in a Disney ending to the season.
40:15 Thinking that Swanigan will be a part of the young crew as a backup center.
41:00 Listener feedback! Ideas for new tagline, thoughts on Whiteside’s rebounds, icebreaker suggestion, what is going on with Rodney Hood?
51:00 What kind of suits is Skal Labissiere going to wear when he returns to the bench?
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Music used in the episode: “Happy Alley” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.