I’ve gotten some private feedback from several people already on this subject, and I really appreciate it.
My personal take is this: At this level of play, especially say, the final 8 of a world class pinball tournament like this, these players are going to be uncoachable, at least in regards to relatively rudimentary comments like “lock is lit!” or “He’s going for that jackpot!” These are world class players, and I can assure if I’ve noticed a lock or certain shot is lit, a player like Steve Bowden or Bowen Kerrins is going to notice it too, or at least would within a matter of seconds. The commentary is aimed at hyping up the crowd and the players, and at providing information to the people in the room who really don’t have a clue as to what is going on. It was vitally important to me I give these people some idea of how to follow the action, as well as repetition so this stuff would start to sink in. I have friends, co-workers, and family who were there, and I’m going to talk with them as well and see how effective this was.
I’d love to review some of the audio work, and I did have a film crew there so I may get the opportunity to check some of it out. If I was violating any IFPA rules that’s one thing; if it’s a judgement call that’s something else altogether.
On a last note on this - I was standing (and so was my PA) on the exact opposite end of the room from the PAPA booth which was doing “normal” extensive, rules-oriented, detailed commentary on the match for the home audience. There were numerous times when I was tired of hearing myself talk, or there was a lull in the action, or a baited hush fell upon the crowd.
During these moments, I often heard - clear as a bell - rules based commentary coming from members of the booth, and I was much further away from the PAPA booth than the players were. Clearly, these players don’t need a PA to overhear commentary, so I’m not sure what I was doing was any more likely to “coach” players than the kind of standard commentary we’ve seen at most major tournaments over the years. In fact, on occaision, I’d overhear something Ray Day said in the booth during the final 4 and “steal” it for my live commentary (Thanks Ray!)
Regardless, I’d never want to influence a match. Just influence a kickass show.