As a familiar voice to Angelinos, Spero Dedes will be on the call the first time the Los Angeles Chargers take the field.
This marks the third straight year the nationally renowned broadcaster with strong ties to the City of Angels will handle preseason play-by-play duties for the Bolts. He'll be joined by Hall of Fame Chargers quarterback Dan Fouts on ABC7 Los Angeles' three-game preseason slate.
For Dedes, the opportunity to give fans the first taste of Los Angeles Chargers football is something he deeply relishes.
"It's an honor," he said. "To have the chance to get to a town and market like L.A., it's pretty special. From my experience in my six years with the Lakers, and having moved back after my three-year hiatus in New York, I've come to appreciate the city and everything it has to offer. I think they are really going to be excited about this Chargers team. There's a lot to like."
While fans will get their first look at the Bolts in action during open training camp practices at Jack Hammett Sports Complex, the preseason offers the first chance to see them go full force against another opponent.
To that end, Dedes is eager to expose Hollywood to its newest starts.
"Look, this is a team that has been down on its luck the last couple years with the injuries they've suffered. But there is a lot to feel good about. Obviously, you have your franchise quarterback in Philip Rivers, who I feel at this stage of his career could really use something like this move to revitalize himself a bit. He gets to hit the reset button at the right time. You also have some young stars in Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Melvin Gordon and so on. Then you throw in a guy like Tyrell Williams, who really started to come into his own and add in some of these draft picks like Mike Williams, who everyone is super excited about. Then, don't forget about all the guys who were injured last year. You're getting Jason Verrett and Keenan Allen back. You add those guys back in with the young players and draft picks around Philip Rivers, plus the energy with the new coaching staff, and I just think there's a unique feeling of optimism around this team."
The announcer is also eager to see the Chargers in their new home at StubHub Center.
"I've thought a lot about what that day will be like," he admitted. "I've been to StubHub Center a lot for soccer games, and it is going to be as unique an in-stadium experience that we've seen in the modern history of the NFL. Just being there for day two of the draft when I hosted the Chargers' draft event, and walking into the stadium, just imagining what it will be like was exciting. It's such a unique opportunity, so to think this will be the site of eight Chargers' regular season home games, I think the people are in for a really special experience. The energy is going to be off the charts."
Finally, Dedes would be remiss if he didn't mention the legend he gets to share the booth with in Fouts. Not only is number 14 a legend on the field, he's established himself as one of the game's preeminent and most respected voices in broadcast television. Calling the action alongside Fouts is an honor that never grows old.
"Dan is phenomenal. To have a chance to listen to him for a number of years, and now be alongside him is one thing, but to be next to him calling Chargers games is pretty special. I've had the chance to get to know Dan a little bit these last couple years. Outside of the booth he is so much fun. He's got an incredible sense of humor. He challenges you as a play-by-play guy because he comes prepared and he knows his stuff. He also brings his unique sense of humor that you hear every Sunday with Ian Eagle during the regular season. I've had so many (wonderful) experiences in this league (that) sometimes I pinch myself and (am) reminded how lucky I am. These games I've gotten to do with Dan the last couple years have been pretty special."