For a wrestling fan, announcing the main event of WrestleMania or calling every Monday Night Raw alongside Jerry Lawler every week would seem like a dream come true.
While it certainly is a dream come true for many announcers, it is also their job and, therefore, it is something that requires them to work hard and take things seriously.
Being an announcer/sportscaster is no easy feat. You have to be very knowledgeable about everything involving the sport you are calling as well as be entertaining enough to keep fans from muting their TVs.
This includes knowing the history of the sport, all the current stars and their skills as well as having a keen sense of what the future holds.
Most announcers have the benefit of an offseason to recuperate and refresh themselves so they are just as exciting when they return to action.
WWE announcers do not have this luxury—or very many luxuries at all—and that is why they are some of the hardest working announcers in the business.
Michael Cole has what many would think is an amazing job—and it is—but he also has a task so unenviable that many people might not try and take his place.
Cole calls three hours of television every Monday, at least an hour on Tuesdays for TV tapings and then he works a three-hour PPV every month.
While this might not be as many weekly hours as an MLB announcer works each week, we also have to remember the difference in their duties.
Cole has to not only call the action in the ring, but he also has to hype everything WWE wants to promote while also trying to be entertaining and accurate.
Go ahead and say it. "Every sports announcer has to do that same stuff."
Yes, but do they have to do it at the pace that Michael Cole has to do it?
There are very little instances in professional sports where the announcers have to call as much action as WWE announcers have to call.
When I watch a baseball game, I am not shocked to hear a full minute go by when the announcers are silent because there is not always something to talk about, or they are simply watching and waiting for something to happen.
Unless a WWE superstar is giving a promo, the WWE announcers are always talking. ALWAYS.
They joke back and forth, talk about the match happening in the ring and discuss past and future events, all while plugging WWE's various other ventures and social media accounts.
The other thing that we have to remember is that even though WWE and wrestling are staged events, it is not as if they have a script to read off for a week to prepare.
Changes to the card are made on the fly all the time and the way the announcers manage to keep up with all the changes is very admirable.
JBL and Jim Ross have been known as two of the best color commentators of the past decade, and they didn't get that way by just showing up to work and putting on a headset.
They do their research, they talk to the talents and they have a passion for the business that is second only to the passion they feel for their families.
As much crap as everyone gives Michael Cole, you have to admit that the guy is a hard worker and probably one of the best employees WWE has at the moment.
He not only calls matches, but he also participates in them and he is often humiliated in front of millions of people for the sake of a cheap laugh.
Jim Ross dealt with the same treatment while he was a full-time announcer. Josh Matthews is dealing with it right now.
They put up with it because they are company men. They get it. They know that when the boss asks them to do something, it is because he thinks it is a good idea.
Cole and the rest of the announcers are also much more educated on the history of the sport than some of the announcers we hear every week for other major sports.
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JBL alone has proven that he has an encyclopedia inside his 10-gallon hat filled with facts about the wrestling business and the stars that inhabit it. He didn't get that knowledge by just wrestling.
He reads up on the history of the wrestlers and he talks to them to find out even more. The work doesn't start when the cameras start to roll.
The work starts at the end of each show so they can prepare for the next one.
This is not to discount the hard work that the men and women put in calling other sports. This is simply pointing out how different the job is for a WWE announcer.
While there is a plethora of announcers who are all sports historians, not all of them are that entertaining to listen to unless you are very invested in the game they are calling.
Even a non-WWE fan can admit that JBL is awesome at what he does.
WWE is a year-round, worldwide company that has only so many people sitting behind the commentary table to call the action.
No other major American team sport operates all year or travels the world on a regular basis. Individual athletes like MMA fighters and boxers may travel the world, but not with the same announcer calling every one of their fights—and let's not forget what the travel schedule does to these people as well.
WWE doesn't have home games. There is no home to have a game. All they do is go to other people's stadiums to do shows and that requires an insane amount of traveling.
Traveling is not as fun as it sounds when you do it for work, especially when you miss the family you have at home.
When examining every facet of the sportscaster's job, it becomes clear that the position is not as easy-going as it would appear from the outside.
It is hard work. Enjoyable work, but hard.
The next time you are watching WWE, pay a little closer attention to what is actually being said by the announcers and you will probably appreciate what it is they do a little more.
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