By Tabitha Evans Moore | Editor & Publisher
It’s Thursday night and Moore County Raider football announcer Jason Brown stands in the press box waiting for kick off. He’s put in a full day at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery receiving department but the Moore County Middle School Raiders face off with South Giles tonight, which mean the Voice of Raiders is in for a long night.
Jason says former Blue Helmet Club President Doug McKenzie first introduced the idea of football announcer to him over 10 years ago. The gig is one part play-by-play and one part ringmaster. He’s got the home and away rosters taped to the wall for easy access. There’s a main microphone and a back up microphone. In his years of announcing home football games, he’s experience everything from exploding amps to unexplainable refs calls.
With his trusty play list of classic hip hop and stadium rock cued up, Jason keeps the energy going inside the stadium despite the fact that the game has been on not one but two lightening delays. He’ll be back at this perch tomorrow night for the Raider home game. Friday Night Lights amp up things a bit. He says announcing, especially on Fridays, is such an adrenaline rush that he rarely remembers any of the particulars.
“People will ask me questions after the game but unless it’s a really key play that stood out, I usually don’t remember the details.”
A Bell Buckle native with deep Moore County roots
An alumni of Cascade High School, Jason Brown is married to a Moore County gal, Jana Logan Brown, who teaches Spanish and coaches cheerleading at the high school. The two have one daughter, Iris Brown, a sophomore at MCHS who cheers on the varsity squad on Friday nights. He and Jana were actually introduced by former Raider star, Kyler Parker, and current Raider receiver, Will Parker’s, Uncle Kurt Parker, who is the football announcer for Cascade.
“We were sitting at the Shelbyville Sonic and I looked across the parking lot and noticed Jana. We made eye contact and that was it. I knew she was the girl,” Jason says. “Jana just happened to be passing through town with one of her friends. The chances of that happening or happening again are slim to none.”
Jason says Parker poked and cajoled him until he finally got the nerve to cross the parking lot and introduced himself. The rest, as they say, is history.
His main goal is to support the team
Despite the fact that he’s spent over a decade in the Raider press box, Jason says he’s always nervous prior to a game and he goes through his own rituals to get him in the zone. He says the guy announcing on Friday nights isn’t really Jason Brown but really a character playing hype man for his favorite guys in Columbia blue.
“I have my natural everyday personality but the guy on Friday nights is a little more animated. I’ve watched and listened to guys like former Voice of the Vols John Ward and the Crimson Tide Sports Network’s Eli Gold. They’ve taught me a lot,” Jason says. “They add a little bit of theater to the game and I try to mimic that.”
Jason says he tries not to be a “homer” with his announcing style but at the same time his main goal is to pump up the football team in certain situations.
“I put a lot of energy and emotion into the games when I’m announcing. It’s probably over the top for regular Jason but just right for game nights,” he says. “Being a former football player myself, I realize how much work goes into what it is they do. I’m probably more supportive of our players when they lose because it’s never their intention to let down the fans when they step on the football field. It’s just sometimes the way it goes.”
Sophomore wide receiver Will Parker, whose family has a longtime connection to Brown, says that his presence in the booth can be a game changer for the team.
“His voice just hypes everybody up. He’s just so positive both during and after the game. If I’ve had a bad game, he’ll come and find me after and remind me that I’ve worked hard and I deserve to be out there,” Will says. “He’s just a really big confidence booster that makes me want to go out there and play.”
At away games he’s mostly just Iris’s dad
This Friday he’ll call the last of five consecutive home games and the likely the last the 2021 Raiders will play at Doug Price Field barring a late playoff run. He may not be in the press box in Cornersville on October 22 and the last regular season game in Huntland on October 29 but he’ll definitely be on the sidelines to cheer on his daughter.
“I’ve been calling games since Iris was in Pee Wee Cheerleading. Away games give me a chance to really appreciate what my daughter does every Friday night.”
Iris says her dad’s announcing felt weird in the beginning but now Friday night’s just wouldn’t be the same without him.
“When he announced our names, I always feel like he says mine just a little bit louder and it lets me know he’s proud of me,” Iris says. “All the kids at my school just love dad. They see how much he loves them and they give it right back to him.”
Jason say it’s an honor and privilege to be the Voice of the Raiders and that he may have started in Bedford County but Moore County now owns every piece of his heart.
“This place has given me so much: my family, a good job, and a good life,” Jason says. “Announcing games is just my small way of giving back. I am a Raider for life.” •
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