Aug. 8, 2010
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
Football camp didn't just begin for a bunch of Lobo players and coaches last week. It also began for Greg Remington, who is back in the KKOB radio booth, this time with Scott Galetti as Rem's play-by-play guru.
"I go to camp just like the players do," said Remington, who this summer retired as UNM's Sports Information Director. "I need to bone up and get more familiar with everything. I need to learn more about the Lobos' system, but also more about the coaches and the players."
Remington is not a stranger to the KKOB booth. He was the color commentator from the 2000 season to the 2007 season, but he was alongside Mike Roberts and looking at Rocky Long teams. Remington left the booth two years ago and two former Lobo players sat alongside Galetti. Getting Remington is a plus for Galetti, who had to break in two rookies the past two seasons.
Ex-Lobo quarterback Kole McKamey was expected to return this season, but expanded job commitments - and a wedding - took McKamey out of the booth.
Remington is a willing - and capable - replacement.
"I think it's going to be a blast," he said. "I think the student-athletes and the excitement of games are probably the main reason people go into this business. Being in the booth allows me to stay close to the players and the coaches."
Remington's trademark in his previous eight years in the booth was being a historian of Lobo football and being a walking encyclopedia of Lobo facts and figures. He provided things that other announcers - and sportswriters - could not provide, because only he knew those facts.
Remington got this intimate edge from being around the team on a daily basis and also from helping put out the weekly notes on the football team.
"I was close to the coaches and the student-athletes," said Remington, who came to UNM in 1983. "I think I was able to bring a different insight into the game because I was around them so much and was very familiar with the facts and stats about the team. We wrote the weekly (game) notes.
"I also was able to provide a historical perspective because I've been here since 1983. I plan to continue to provide that insight and perspective for Scott. I hope to provide information not privy to the common fan."
Actually, the depth of Remington's knowledge provides data not privy to almost anyone. But there is a dark side of the job, too.
A big challenge for any Lobo - or semi-retired Lobo - is to do the job as color commentator, but still provide insight when things are going badly for the Lobos. Do you have the guts to question a Mike Locksley call? Can you call out a player for a missed assignment, a bad pass? It can be tough.
You could almost hear McKamey's knees shaking at times early in the 2009 season when he approached Locksley after a loss. McKamey seemed more at ease later in the season, but the 1-11 Lobos of 2009 did not make for easy booth commentating or cupcake postgame interviews.
"Part of my job as an analyst is to describe what is happening on the field, and that includes success and failure," said Remington. "You have to point out the obvious and you have to ask the obvious question.
"The broadcast is for the Lobo fans and they'll probably be thinking the same thing that I am after a game. I'm there asking questions for the fans about components of the game they are interested in hearing about.
"As an analyst, you realize that sometimes you are going to be playing a team that has faster players, or bigger and stronger players. You look to see if people are in the right place, if there are a lot of mistakes or few mistakes, and you look to see if the Lobos are getting better."
Remington, clearly one of the top SIDs in the nation, said he stepped down, in part, because of the grind of the job. "I was in the business almost 30 years and it was time to slow down a little bit," he said. "The seven days a week was getting a little tiring, but I'm also not ready to step away from being a Lobo."
The booth allows Remington to stay close to Lobo football. He also will remain with the athletic department on a part-time basis. He will work with the UNM Hall of Honor, special projects (including The Pit), run NCAA events, and he will remain as primary contact for women's golf.
But for the next few weeks, he'll be walking the sidelines as much as he can, checking out Lobos as much as he can.