WFAN’s Howie Rose: Osama Bin Laden Death, Mets Broadcast ‘Utterly Surreal’

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Howie Rose thought he’d seen and heard it all in his years as part of WFAN’s Mets broadcast team. Sunday night was something entirely new as news broke of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden’s death.

“(I’m) still kind of spinning from what was an utterly surreal night on the air — and as well as off,” Rose told Marc Malusis after the game.

Rose and producer Chris Majkowski wanted to hold until the news became official. Mounting chants of “USA!” in the stands made it impossible.

“He started to get the reports that it looked like there was going to be an announcement that bin Laden was dead, but it was not official,” said Rose. “I think we both the shared the same preference, that we don’t say anything on the air until it becomes official.”

LISTEN: Howie Rose On ‘Surreal’ Broadcast

“There became this buzz in the stands. And a little bit after that, you heard certain areas of the ballpark breaking out into chants which were not difficult to decipher as ‘USA! USA!'” he added. “So at that point we had to acknowledge what was going on.”

People could be spotted all over the ballpark checking their phones. Rose, no stranger to breaking news, called the event an “emotional tug-of-war.”

“I’ve been on the air at times in the past at WFAN, as a host, when big stories broke — and you’re able to devote all of your attention to that breaking news,” he said. “Here we have two totally disparate items. You had a baseball game, on radio, which we had to describe in detail. And then, of course, you had the news about bin Laden which was a worldwide major event, which I felt we had to spend some time on as well.”

Were you listening to Howie break the news? Let’s hear your reaction in the comments below…

  • Mets Lover

    I was listening to Howie (as I do every game, even when watching on TV) and it was weird listening to him do the play by play one minute, then talk about 9/11 the next. As he said, it was surreal. i had the volume on the TV on low because I don’t like listening to the SNB crew, but it was high enough that I heard Dan Schulman announce that Bin Laden was dead. At first I thought I heard him wrong, but then I rewound and listened again. I called my son into the room and told him the news. He’s in the Army Reserve and is leaving this Saturday for 2 weeks of training. Howie was talking about how after 9/11 he didn’t care if baseball ever returned, but then after Piazza’s homerun and the smile it brought to the faces of the firefighters who were at the game, MLB made the right call. I stayed up and watched Obama’s speech, with the Mets game in PIP. After the speech, I went back to the game, but was just going through the motions waiting for the game to end, because I never turn off the Mets, no matter the score or lateness of the hour. When I woke up this morning, I totally forgot that the Mets won the game.

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