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From The Sidelines To The Front Lines: Announcer Zinno Called For National Guard Duty

Mark Zinno
Mark Zinno

While most Americans are doing their part in combating the COVID-19 virus by staying indoors and isolated, National Lacrosse League Georgia Swarm play-by-play announcer Mark Zinno is making an impact in another way: military duty. The longtime radio and TV host was on the receiving end of a call, when he resumed military duties, invoking his status as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Georgia Army National Guard.

Zinno, who moved to Georgia in 2017 after working at various Baltimore-area outlets after graduating from Loyola (Md.) College, spent a week on the front lines in the state. He discussed his experiences with GeorgiaSwarm.com, the official site of the NLL team whose season was interrupted following its March 8 contest.

Some of the highlights of his conversation:

“Whenever that bell rings, it’s never something that I’m running from; it’s something that I’m running towards. If the opportunity is there for me to help serve my state and fellow citizens, then I want to be at the forefront of that.”

“I think we’re a very fortunate state that we’ve got really good people who put their best foot forward doing everything possible to not only limit the spread of this thing but help combat it on every front, including medical care and making sure that the people who have this disease are treated properly. I think that’s really important to distinguish.”

Credit: Kyle Hess/Swarm
Credit: Kyle Hess/Swarm

“I certainly feel for the guys themselves. For me, calling games, as much as I love it, it’s part of a job and a work, but the guys who play this game, the passion they have for it, that is what I can empathize with. I have that same passion about calling games in general, but knowing that those guys aren’t able to play right now – I know they can go grab a stick and a ball and throw a ball up against the wall, but everybody knows that’s not the same as being out there and hitting and scoring goals and hearing the fans and everything else.”

“As much as calling the games, I miss watching the guys play. Lacrosse is such an amazing sport. It’s such a fast-paced, action-paced sport, and getting the privilege to watch the best players in the world do it at the highest level is something that I’m always appreciative of. The more and more I’m around the game, the more and more I love it. It not being there certainly is tough and frustrating.”

Read the full interview here.

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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