Swift Current Broncos fans who are hoping to still hear the familiar voice of Shawn Mullin as play-by-play broadcaster for their team next season have been signing an online petition.
The petition was started by Swift Current resident Desmond Weinberger after the Broncos announcement of a new media production format. This will include online streaming of game-day audio broadcasts by the Broncos, which will replace radio broadcasts of games.
“I would love to hear that familiar voice of Shawn,” he said. “I’ve lived in the town going on for 12 years now. Swift Current has become my home and on the radio I listen to Shawn all the time whenever the Broncos were playing. He’s just good at what he does. He is a really good announcer and we’re fortunate to have somebody of that calibre in this town.”
Weinberger, who works at a restaurant in downtown Swift Current, believes his sentiment is shared by many others.
“I work in an industry where I talk to people and they love him,” he said. “This whole town loves Shawn Mullin as the voice. He’s just a really good announcer.”
He emphasized the petition’s only purpose is to show support for Mullin as play-by-play broadcaster and the petition is not about the Broncos decision to change the broadcasting format.
“I felt if we were going to go away from radio and go to the streaming, why wouldn’t he get the option or opportunity to either decide whether or not he was staying on,” he explained. “He’s loyal, he loves that team more than anything, he’s knowledgeable, he’s a perfect fit. … So basically the petition is just to give him the option. We want him to go out on his terms. If he wants the job, I would love him to be able to say I’ll take it. If he decides he doesn’t want to do it in the end, that’s fine too.”
Weinberger feels positive about the Broncos decision to change the broadcasting format by streaming game-day audio broadcasts and by using podcasts and other ways to deliver information about the team to the fans.
“There‘s nothing wrong with moving forward,” he said. “I think it’s fantastic that we’re actually moving into the next generation with technology. Streaming is definitely huge. Podcast is huge. To be able to access an interview at any moment and just go on and click on a button and watch an interview, that’s big too. That will bring a lot of the younger generation in too, exposure to the Broncos, and people from out of town and everywhere. It will be good.”
His only concern is the potential implications of the new format for rural residents who might not have internet access or cellular service coverage, and those who are not familiar with the new technology.
“My stepdad lives on a farm,” he said. “He listens to the games on the radio. It’s people like that who don’t have the internet access. That’s the only issue that I have. They won’t be able to listen anymore, and that breaks my heart, because it’s like 33 years that the radio has been announcing the games and it’s not there anymore. There are 80 and 90-year-old people that are living on farms that don’t know how to use the internet, and they curl up on a Tuesday night and listen to the Broncos game by the fire. It’s comforting for them and something they’ve done for years and now they won’t be able to do it anymore.”
He is hoping the Broncos will be able to find a way for those fans to still listen to game broadcasts and to receive information about the team.
“Hopefully they can do it,” he said. “I remember years ago they didn’t even have internet on farms. Now they do. We’ll see how it goes.”
Weinberger started the online petition on April 22 and 250 people have signed it in the initial five days. He is expecting more people to sign it as they become aware of it. He has shared the link to the online petition on his Facebook page and also on the Broncos Banter Facebook page. He is also planning to distribute a paper copy of the petition to get signatures.
“I’d like people to get out there and sign this petition and show the Broncos that we support Shawn as our voice, because he has been the voice of the Broncos for almost a decade,” he said. “We’re fortunate to have somebody who loves them as much as he does, and it’s rare to find somebody who just genuinely loves what he does and he’s good at it.”