Another busy week here at PSSI Global Services!
We started a full schedule of boxing on Thursday at Casino Del Sol in Tucson, Arizona, where Wes Hill and the Starlight truck transmitted a three-path mux for Golden Boy Boxing on ESPN. The fun continues on Saturday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, where Mati Kerpen and the Junior Truck will be covering Premier Boxing Champions. This weekend, heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder faces Bermane Stiverne for the WBC title, Akihiro Kondo and undefeated Sergey Lipinets go head to head for the currently vacant IBF junior welterweight world champion title, and Adrian Granados takes on former welterweight world champion Shawn Porter.
Just up the road at Madison Square Garden in Midtown Manhattan, we have Blake Blomstrom, Tracy Michaels, Jim Flowers, Steve Hagerty and Mike Howley with four trucks ready for UFC 217. Project managers Keith Valeri and Garrett Hunt are helping wrangle this enormous event, which includes a 4K/UHD transmission. The big story is the highly anticipated grudge match between current UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and his former MMA teammate T. J. Dillashaw.
Further south, we have one of our newest engineers, Chris Golden, out of the Orlando area, teaming up with Abisai Falcon in C23 for Boxeo Telemundo Championship Boxing on Friday. Welcome to the team, Chris!
Meanwhile, Mike Lemieux and project manager Eric Hall are enjoying a trip to the Salle Médecin in Monaco to cover HBO boxing. Dmitry Bivol of Russia is defending his WBA light heavyweight title against Trent Broadhurst of Australia.
This is also the week we say a bittersweet good-bye to part of the WWE team that travels around the country each week to bring you WWE Raw on Monday and Tuesday SmackDown (this week we’re at Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, for Raw and the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia, for SmackDown). We join Zane Michaels in sending well wishes to Terry Glover, his trusted driver for years. Devon Porter, a force to be reckoned with herself, will take on interim driving duties as we continue look for someone to fill Terry’s shoes.
Moving on to basketball, we’ve got Dave Buckman headed way up north with the Arizona truck to Portland Expo Center in Maine. He’ll be covering NBA G-League basketball on Sunday, when the Erie Bayhawks take on the Maine Red Claws.
And of course, we can’t forget hockey. Rick Kolinek returns to Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with K22 for the match between the Chicago Wolves and Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday.
Heading west to “Sin City,” or Las Vegas if you’re using a map, John Jennings and the Atlas truck are at TPC Summerlin for the Shriners Hospital for Children Open this week. This is Las Vegas’s only PGA event, but it’s an event not to be missed for professionals and fans alike. This year, the Shriners Hospital announced the winner of the Open will take home the brand new Howard Hughes Cup, as well as their share of the $6.8 million dollar purse (which comes out to a mere $1.88 million). Not a back jackpot for Vegas!
We have even more excitement at Texas Motor Speedway in Justin, where Kyle Meyer, Ben Bradshaw and our NASCAR C27 truck are ready for a full weekend of NASCAR fun. The weekend kicks off Friday with the Camping World Truck Series JAG Metals 350 Driving for Hurricane Harvey Relief as well as the Xfinity Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 300, and of course, the Monster Energy NASCAR Series AAA Texas 500.
And how about soccer? Marty Smitherman and K38 head to FAU Soccer Stadium in Boca Raton, Florida, on Saturday for the 2017 Conference USA women’s soccer championships. There will be a total of eight teams competing this week for a spot in the championship game. On Sunday, Marty heads to UCF Soccer and Track Complex in Orlando for the AAC Women’s Soccer Championship Semifinals, determined by the preceding games in Boca Raton.
Also on Sunday, we’ll be at the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference Semifinals at BMO Field in Toronto as the Toronto FC takes on the New York Red Bulls.
In other news, Brian Blomstrom and Chris Hovden are at the Anaheim Convention Center with our CK35 truck for BlizzCon 2017 in sunny Southern California on Friday and Saturday. This is the 11th annual BlizzCon event, and it gets bigger every year. With a custom-built encoding kit, Brian and Chris are transmitting a 14-channel mux out of both antennas to gaming fans around the world.
We’ve also been busy with bowling. On Wednesday, Dave Mitchell and our Pittsburgh truck were in Liverpool, New York, at the lovely Flamingo Bowl for the 2017 U.S. Open of bowling stepladder finals. The event started on Oct. 25 and culminated Wednesday with the final round.
Of course, we have plenty of college football this week as well. On Saturday, Dave Mitchell heads to Sox Harrison Stadium in Edinboro, Pennsylvania, where the Edinboro Fighting Scots take on the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans.
We’ll also be there for one of the biggest, most intense college football rivalries in the country on Saturday when the No. 19 LSU Tigers travel to Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to face the No. 2 University of Alabama Crimson Tide. Senior engineer Rick Ball is on-site with C12 to cover all the action.
We have another big game this weekend at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia, where the Georgia Bulldogs take on the South Carolina Gamecocks. And the rivalries continue at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where the Battle of Bedlam takes place between the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners and the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys on Saturday. Justin Roszak with C49 and Ron Ford with K26 will be there for every second of the battle.
Back in California, Steve Chaisson and the C36 truck will be at Bulldog Stadium at Fresno State University on Saturday as the Bulldogs take on the BYU Cougars. Steve will be doing a seven-channel “at-home” transmission of the game for our friends at ESPN.
Also for ESPN, we have Paul Blomstrom and John May in CK48 at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in University Park, Texas, to bring you all the action when the University of Central Florida Knights take on the Southern Methodist University Mustangs. The fellas there are doing a 10-channel at-home transmission out of the big C-band antenna.
Another exciting game this weekend is at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, where Utah resident Todd Harvey will be on-site when the Utah Utes take on the UCLA Bruins Friday evening. Harvey is one of our road warriors, so it’s nice to keep him close to home for a change!
Rick Varney and Nathan Holsey are both a long way from home at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, Texas, for the 4K/UHD transmission of the game between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Nathan brought the truck all the way from Sacramento this past week. Both he and Mr. Varney will be flying to California this weekend. For Nathan, it’s home. For Rick, it’s in preparation for next weekend’s 4K game at Stanford. Talk about a road trip!
Our C43 truck made its way to Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Dave Brin at the helm, heading to Michigan Stadium to cover the rivalry match up between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Michigan Wolverines for the Little Brown Jug. In 1903 there was a match where Michigan traveled to Minnesota, and for whatever reason, Michigan acquired their own jug of water. The game ended with a tied score of 6-6. The game was called with time still on the clock, and Michigan accidentally left their water jug behind. When asked to have it returned, the request was met with the challenge “if you want it back, you’ll have to win it back.”
Back west, Mike Sheehan will pilot C47 to Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington, where the Washington Huskies take on the Oregon Ducks Saturday. The Huskies seem to have the talent and momentum to win it and ideally head to the PAC-12 Championship. For Oregon, it’s more about their own eligibility for a bowl game and to ruin the Huskies’s dream. Either way, Mike is glad to be back on the road. He’s had some well-deserved time off with his family, but he’s done with his honey-do list and needs to keep active!
Steve Toth will be operating one of our REMI kits in Columbia, Missouri, at Faurot Field this week when the Florida Gators take it on the road to the Missouri Tigers Saturday. The Tigers have a real chance at a bowl game this year as well, having won their last two, and with a few seemingly simple games to go, they really need to crank up the defense and make it stick. Steve will be handing off 10 multiplexed cameras to the fiber circuit so that the ESPN team in Connecticut can produce the show.
And finally in Canada, the Hardy Cup Semifinals Canada West playoff action heats up Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver, and Dave Meyer will be right there with K20 to continue with the action when the UBC Thunderbirds take on the Regina Rams for the second week.
Last but not least, Strategic Television president Matt Bridges is back in New York City for the 24th year in a row providing phones, data and transmission services for the NYC Marathon. Matt — working this year with new project manager Tommy Lopez — has been up and down the marathon route installing and testing phone and fiber circuits for this great event. Good luck to Matt, Tommy and all the runners in the Big Apple this weekend!