Jim Nantz has done just about everything in a sports broadcasting career that spans almost 30 years. He's called Super Bowls, and he'll do so again at the end of the 2012 NFL season. He's interviewed the Masters winner in Butler Cabin many times, and he's also been the main man behind the microphone for the NCAA Final Four. He is the second broadcaster in history to call all three events -- Brent Musberger also did all three for CBS.
One thing Nantz hadn't done before, though he had experience in voicing for video games, was to call all the action for the Madden series of video games for EA Sports. That changed this year, and now, Nantz and NFL booth partner Phil Simms are the voices you'll hear when you're playing the game. In Part 1 of an extensive two-part interview about a great many things, Jim gave us a very interesting look inside the process of speaking and assembling all the sound clips required for a realistic NFL video game experience.
Hint: It's a LOT more complicated than you may think.
Shutdown Corner: How were you first approached to do Madden '13?
Jim Nantz: I had already been in the EA family, so to speak, having done the EA Tiger Woods game. That went so well that I got a phone call one day, and they said, "Hey -- we'd really like you to be involved in the Madden game." Which, of course, I loved. I loved the fact that they were attempting to pair me with my real broadcast partner at CBS, Phil Simms, and I heard what the game plan was for Madden '13. They were out to make this the biggest game-changer in the history of the franchise, and all they talked about was making everything authentic. "Real, real, real" was the operative word. And I jumped all over that. Once Phil was also involved, I said, "Let's go."