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

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Fans check their cell phones during a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, Sunday, May 1, 2011, in Philadelphia. New York won 2-1 in 14 innings. News broke during the game that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum), (credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Fans check their cell phones during a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets, Sunday, May 1, 2011, in Philadelphia. New York won 2-1 in 14 innings. News broke during the game that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum), (credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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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…

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