“They are rocking out of the box” is one of the coined phrases that many have come to love from Iowa Greyhound Park’s previous announcer, TC Christianson. Hearing about TC’s retirement, we recently spoke with him to talk about his career in announcing and his retirement after 21 years in the industry.
Since he was a kid, TC Christianson knew he wanted a hand in some sort of announcing. Wanting to be a radio DJ, he got his first gig in the radio industry in 1969. On the air till 2002, TC did TV and radio for Mystique casino, Dubuque Greyhound Park, and the Iowa Greyhound Association. TC also took up announcing the greyhound races, which he had been doing for a little over 20 years.
Loving announcing and the greyhound racing community at the track, TC had truly enjoyed his job. So much so that TC worked at the casino during the greyhound racing offseason.
“Some people say, ‘Oh man, I have to go to work.’ I never said that once in my life because I always truly enjoyed going to work. I would be early, hanging around with the fellow employees”
Listening to TC speak so highly of his coworkers, you get a sense that the track is like a second family for him. Though he has loved announcing and working for the track, TC’s decision to retire was decided upon because he wanted to be more present with his actual family, spending more time with his wife, three kids, and seven grandchildren.
Spending 21 years at a single job is a long time and it takes a special job for you to want to stay that long. That special job was definitely something TC found in greyhound announcing. TC is a people person and loved being around crowds and fellow employees at the track and casino. When thinking about the next announcer to fill his big shoes, TC mentions that they should enjoy themselves and have fun. Having enthusiasm and having fun while announcing expands to the patrons, providing them with an extra sense of fun and excitement.
This is one of the many things that customers enjoyed, as TC would walk around and talk with them, making their connection more personable. His enthusiasm when announcing was also prevalent when listening to his races. TC would enjoy announcing Iowa’s biggest stakes races each year with the Iowa Bred Feature that included the Secretary’s choice, Iowa Breeders’ Cup and consolation, as well as the Au Revoir; however, TC enjoyed the regular races just as much as the stakes races. He loved every race because he would see awesome runs by amazing greyhounds in all sorts of grades, including the maiden races. This enjoyment and excitement for every race came through in his announcing style.
“I’ve always admired many things about TC’s race calls. Here are two that I believe sums up his efforts. First, he makes a point to make every effort to name every dog at least once during a race. That puts a name to a number, and it’s difficult to do with the speed of the greyhounds. Second, it didn’t matter what grade of race; TC called each with excitement. Unless you looked at the program, you couldn’t tell the difference between a Maiden race and a stakes final. Each received a top grade call by TC.” – Gary Dura, writer and editor for the Telegraph Herald.
TC also mentioned that having coined phrases to refer to is always enjoyed by viewers. Sometimes, patrons and coworkers would call out their favorites to TC when they would see him.
“I will miss some of his colorful comments like, ‘They are rocking out of the box’ or ‘Julien is doing the electric slide.’ TC and I have been working together for 21 years. He has been a great employee and I wish him all the good luck in his retirement.” – Brian Carpenter, Iowa Greyhound Park Director of Racing/General Manager
Though TC is retiring from greyhound announcing at Iowa Greyhound Park, he will continue his radio program, Saturday Night Cruise, that he DJs every Saturday night, so fans will still be able to catch a bit of TC on the weekends. TC’s greyhound announcing at Iowa Greyhound Park will be greatly missed, but we wish him all the best as he enjoys retirement life.
We would like to thank TC Christianson for taking the time to speak with us about his time as a greyhound racing announcer. Catch TC on AM radio at 1370 KDTH every Saturday night from 7 PM to Midnight with Saturday Night Cruise. He’ll be taking your requests and playing the greatest hits from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Not in the area? You can listen live here. 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? Contact us at email@example.com.