Early November kicked off the start of Naples-Fort Myers 2017/2018 season, bringing with it the great announcing calls full of fun and energy that we love to listen to. Continuing our Track Announcer series, we spoke with Dave Bullock about his start in greyhound racing and his announcing gig at Naples.
Dave became interested in the greyhound racing industry through his dad who loved the sport and owned a kennel with his friend. Heading to the track as a teenager, Dave instantly became interested in greyhound racing.
“I went to Sarasota greyhound racing track at 15 years old and was hooked from there.”
Dave got his first taste of announcing as a teenager when a friend of his, who commentated on baseball games, asked Dave if he wanted to give it a try. Dave provided commentary on a few baseball games that season and enjoyed it. Throughout high school, he worked at a supermarket where he was designated as the salesperson over the microphone. This helped Dave to learn how to speak well on a mic.
Over the years, Dave continued to work and play the hounds. His late wife worked at Naples-Fort Myers and one day she was asked if she knew someone who could fill in as announcer for a few races. Thinking of Dave, who was then retired, she told the general manager, Larry Baldwin, to ask her husband. It was from that moment on that Dave started calling the races at Naples and it’s where he’s been for the last 19 years.
Discussing his tough, but fun job, Dave explained that announcing the races isn’t for everyone. Many people get spooked at the thought of speaking over a microphone and it can be difficult to follow the action and read the program. It’s a skill that you need to have that can then be fine tuned.
“Either you can do it [announcing] or you can’t do it.”
Dave brings energy and fun to his announcing that you definitely hear when you listen to him call races. One thing he likes to start off with from time to time is “Who let the dogs out?” and his favorite call he has ever said was during one of the Night of the Stars stakes where he said, “If you don’t have the 7 on top, you might as well get naked and climb through a barbed wire fence.” This is the fun and quick-witted statements that Dave brings to the table that attendees and viewers gobble up.
Video provided by Greyhound News of Dave recreating his favorite calls for the audience.
Having the best view in the house, Dave continues to enjoy wagering and seeing the action as it happens. Loving the crowd and people involved in the sport, Dave also enjoys heading down from the announcing booth to walk around and mingle with those watching the races. He’ll sometimes have a wireless mic on and ask attendees if they would like to call a race. Well not everyone possesses the skill needed to announce, it has sure made for some interesting calls.
19 years is a long time to be dedicated to one job, and the key to sticking with a job for so long is to enjoy what you do. Dave truly loves greyhound racing, announcing, and having fun, all of which show in the races he calls.
“I love doing it. You’re never going to get rich doing it, but I love greyhounds. I love all kinds of animals… And I enjoy being around the action.”
We would like to thank Dave for speaking with us and sharing his story in the greyhound racing industry. Head down to Naples-Fort Myers or tune into our live coverage of the races to hear Dave for yourself. One of our main goals is to promote the greyhound industry. Do you work in it or know someone who does? Would you be interested in being featured in our blog or podcast? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.