By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new look, a new logo and new players won’t be the only big changes at the start of 2017-2018 Minnesota Timberwolves season. The team also held tryouts for a new PA announcer.

Rod Johnson held the job for the past 21 years but is retiring.

Thursday afternoon, the organization held auditions inside the Xcel Energy Center since the Target Center is being renovated.

A representative said 300 people registered but only 70 could do the tryout in person. The rest sent in video or audio recordings.

If there was ever a chance to let your voice be heard, this was that moment for David Parker.

“I have had an opportunity to be a PA announcer for some high schools here in the area, so I just thought it would be a lot of fun with the open audition,” Parker, who is also a pastor, said.

Casey Nelson, a recent college graduate with a voice as deep as the ocean, drove from Wausau, Wisconsin, to put his pipes to the test.

“I was visibly shaking. I didn’t eat a thing,” he said.

Not long after their auditions was Joshua Miron, a local disk jockey.

“One thing you’ve got to do is you got to make people remember you. The best way to make people remember you is do something stupid,” Miron said, as he stood in pink shoes and a suit adorned with stars.

All three were excited for the opportunity to land the job, but shaking the nerves was tough.

“I have done vocal warmups but I’ve got like butterflies the size of hippos inside me right now,” Parker said before his audition.

Each contestant sat at a table near the baseline inside the arena. It had a microphone as well as the script they had been rehearsing which included a typical paragraph announcers read containing rules for fans. Afterward, they introduced the starting lineup, a chance for them to really show their personalities and vocal range.

“I just can’t imagine what it would be like to hear yourself on that PA system in front of all those fans,” Miron said.

The arena was basically empty except for the three judges and some staff milling around.

Many of the contestants were used to announcing lower level high school or college games but still needed that push to try out for the Timberwolves.

“My family encouraged me, (saying) ‘We want dad to get out there and try it,'” Parker said.

Taking a chance at the dream job was exciting enough for the contestants, but opportunity to actually man the mic for 41 home games left them hopeful as ever.

“If I actually got that opportunity, I would be on cloud nine,” Nelson said.


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