Paul Porter is going to Disney World! Sort of…
The legendary Orlando Magic PA announcer won’t be there in person, but he’ll be there in spirit. Looking to recreate some of the sound effects and comforts of home, the Magic have asked Porter to record some of his most classic calls, which will then be used as a soundboard during Magic games throughout the NBA restart at Disney.
“I am very grateful that the Magic have asked me to do this,” Porter told Orlando Pinstriped Post. “I’m more than happy to do it, to be included, even if it’s a minor role in the playoff experience.”
Porter said he will be using his home studio to record the Magic starting lineup and his famous calls that have long echoed first inside the O-Rena and then Amway Center, such as “SLAM!” and “Travelinggggg!” and “On the line!” His most famous call of all, the pre-fourth quarter rallying cry of “Stand and cheer, your Orlandoooo Magic!” likely will not be used. Simply because there are no fans in the facility to stand and cheer. But…
“The Magic said feel free to add anything that I think would be good to play at the games,” Porter said. “I think it will help the players and coaches feel more at home by hearing familiar voices and familiar calls.”
Porter says there will still be a PA announcer on site to handle announcements after baskets, fouls and other responsibilities. Was Porter surprised the NBA intended to use PA announcers in empty arenas? No, because coaches rely on foul information that PA announcers receive from official scorers for verification purposes.
“There is a definite need for it,” Porter said. “It will be much more low key. I don’t think you’ll see a lot of hype and that sort of thing with no fans in the stands. But there is certainly a need to disseminate the information.”
For Porter, Orlando’s PA announcer for 31 years, it will be the first “home” Magic playoff game he hasn’t been behind the mic for.
“It will be very, very different,” he said. “I certainly will watch. I support the team and I’m rooting for them to go as far as they possibly can. But it will be very different not being there to be a part of it. This is such uncharted territory, not just for myself, but for virtually anybody connected.”
Porter, also the Tampa Bay Lightning PA announcer, has also made recordings for the Lightning, which will be used at whichever NHL hub city the team is destined for.
“Even though I won’t be at either arena,” Porter said, “I’ll still be heard during both the Lightning and Magic games.”
Porter also has a third job, one that could get him back behind the mic the soonest. He’s the press box announcer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, for which he relays information to the media. The press box in Tampa Bay is certain to be a little more crowded this season thanks to a key addition: Tom Brady.
“We certainly have a lot of excitement here,” said Porter, a Tampa Bay resident. “I really do hope that they can work something out where at least some fans can be in the stands. To have the greatest quarterback of all-time and fans not be able to see him would be quite disappointing.”
But before making announcements about Brady, Gronk and the Bucs, he’ll be heard introducing Markelle, Vooch and the Magic.
“I’m glad to have a role in the whole affair,” Porter said. “It’s good to still be a part of it, even though I won’t be there physically,”