INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A local sportscaster has his microphone muted due to COVID-19. But while he’s sidelined, Evansville native Brandon Gaudin has spent his quarantine using his voice for good.
Gaudin, the former voice of and graduate of Butler University, should have been calling NCAA tournament games for Westwood One, FOX Sports and Big 10 Network this spring. Instead, he’s trying to find creative ways to fill the sports void, just like the rest of us.
“I’ve got all this extra time. Let me kind of channel my inner child from those days back when I was young and put together a highlight video since we didn’t get to experience my favorite thing. And that’s the NCAA tournament, and every year I look forward to the ‘One Shining Moment’ video,” said Gaudin.
So he took a crack at his own: A full blown “One Shining Moment” video montage for an NCAA Championship that never happened.
Gaudin said, “By the time I had gotten home with the idea, I moved all my furniture out of the way. I have taped the markings on the floor. I had ordered a thousand dollars’ worth of stuff on Amazon and everything just kind of snowballed from there.”
He spent 10 full days planning out each scene, which included appearances from about 35 different teams, cheerleaders, mascots, pep bands and coaches. Each character was played by Gaudin himself. And the most impressive part of the three-minute montage? He filmed every clip on his iPhone.
“There was no assistance. So that phone for every shot was propped up. My apartment building has an eight-foot ladder and a 12-foot ladder on every floor, and I kind of don’t tell them this, but I stole those for the week,” Gaudin added. “I wanted everything to match up. I wanted the beating of the heart pounding my chest when in you’re faced with a run.”
The other tricky part of the equation was finding gear from each school. That’s where Amazon Prime came into the picture.
“The teams that you saw were all on target to make the NCAA tournament. And Amazon had a shirt available in my size that worked,” he added, “Everything that I had was not mine, except for the basketball shoes, and I owned the Butler shirt. Everything else was Amazon Prime.”
It was no simple feat.
“It led to a lot of insanity, I can assure you of that. But fortunately I think the product turned out OK,” Gaudin laughed.
It was more than OK. Gaudin released the video on what would have been Championship Monday (April 6), and it went viral overnight.
“I didn’t expect so many people to tweet and say, ‘You know what? With all that’s going on, this was a really nice distraction from reality and the struggles that we’re going through. And so look, if this provided three minutes, five minutes of a break, and people to just kind of de-stress for a little bit, that was, that was the neatest thing to see because I know a lot of people are going through an awful lot right now,” said Gaudin.
He added, “It reminded me how valuable sports are, how valuable that time of year is. That month of March should, how much joy it brings to people. But I have thought about sports every day, and I will continue to think about sports every day until they are back.”
In the last month without sports, Gaudin also managed to go viral on Twitter for a totally different reason.
Gaudin said, “Now that I’ve been quote unquote laid off, here, is realizing there are so many new people going to food banks that have never gone there before because they cannot afford to put groceries on their table. And so I had this idea for all of us who have kind of had our microphones and our pens muted for a little while to team up to try to raise money for Feeding America.”
Gaudin started a social media campaign called #Voices4Good. It raised over $17,000 for Feeding America, over 170,000 meals that will be served to those in need in the United States.