Under normal circumstances, last weekend would have been the busiest of the season for Stillwater Radio Sports Director Rex Holt.
Holt is the Voice of Oklahoma State Cowboy wrestling and OSU Cowboy baseball and in early March those two seasons overlap – wrestling competing in the NCAA National Championships and baseball about to enter Big 12 Conference play.
That’s the situation Holt faced last week before the plug was literally pulled on the wrestling and baseball broadcasts when the NCAA, OSU and other colleges decided to cancel spring sports seasons because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the wrestling championships and the overlap with the baseball season it’s absolutely the busiest time for me. It’s the busiest week I have all year,” Holt said. “I was supposed to go to Dallas on Tuesday (March 17) for a baseball game with Dallas Baptist and then Wednesday I was planning to make the 11-hour drive to Minneapolis (Minnesota) for the National Wrestling Tournament.
“I was disappointed I was going to miss the opening of O’Brate Stadium (March 20) but the national tournament is a highlight for the wrestlers. I planned to return home sometime Saturday in time to work the Sunday baseball game with TCU.
“But, after the second baseball game with St. Louis (March 11), I was visiting with Josh (Holliday) on the postgame show about the upcoming three games with Fresno State which would have been the last in Allie P. (Reynolds Stadium). Josh said he said he didn’t know what was going to happen.
“We had heard rumors that the Ivy League had canceled spring sports … everybody in the press box was talking about it. We kept hearing all these reports. I tried to take care of a lot of things to get ready to be gone a week for baseball and wrestling and then everything shuts down … I don’t know how I feel about it,” added Holt.
While expecting to miss the O’Brate Stadium opening, Holt will be a part of the 2021 festivities. He’s toured the O’Brate press box and sat in the spacious home radio booth but working a game from those impressive surroundings must wait a year.
The absence of sports also impacts the sports talk radio show – The Game - Holt hosts five days a week. Like other sportscasters, he’s been ‘flying by the seat of my pants.’
“We have less and less to talk about but right now we’re using it for a sounding board for all the fans who want to call in and talk about sports … they are also having withdrawal symptoms,” Holt noted. “We reminisce about the old days, talk about what’s going to happen when we get on the other side of this thing and talk about what might happen next football season.
“It’s a forum for the fans to call in and talk a little while keeping social distance. The Game is about the only sports show we have left right now,” he said.
This season was Holt’s 38th broadcasting Cowboy baseball and his 34th season broadcasting Cowboy wrestling. He’s encountered nothing like this current new normal.
“I go from the busiest time of the year for me to nothing. It’s been weird … it feels like it’s late June or early July,” he said.