Answering The Call: Jason Horowitz is living his dream as Raiders play-by-play announcer
By Rachel Gossen | Digital Managing Editor
Like a young player dreaming of his phone ringing on draft night, it was a call Jason Horowitz was waiting for nearly his whole life.
This is the Las Vegas Raiders. We're considering you for the role of our play-by-play radio announcer. Are you interested?
"I never actually thought I'd get the job," Horowitz admits now. "And then a week later, I got a text message [reading], 'Hey, you're our guy.'
"Aside from the fact that I didn't know how to respond to that text message — Do I smiley-face it? Do I [use the] like emoji? I was sitting at dinner with my wife, Karen, and just kind of screamed a little bit."
For a talkative kid who grew up in Michigan listening to the likes of Detroit announcers George Blaha and Ernie Harwell, it was the job: being the voice of a team.
"My brother tells stories all the time of how he would leave us playing video games in the family room because I wouldn't stop talking," Horowitz says, as a smile spreads.
"I would broadcast our video games and annoy the crap out him, and then he would leave. So, as far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a play-by-play announcer."
When he met Karen, his wife of now 14 years, in college at Syracuse, it was clear to her there was something special about this charismatic, driven guy with a passion for sports.
"You can just hear how much he loves doing what he's doing," she says. "I don't think there's anything else that he could be doing. … When you hear him, he is creating a story for people.
"And I don't know that Jason knows how to use Excel very well, so I don't think he could ever have a desk job."
Years of aspiring led Horowitz to choose Syracuse University's broadcast journalism program as where he would continue to pursue his dream job.
He just didn't know those last two words would become literal during his senior year.
In the early 2000s, at the height of America's reality TV show era, ESPN jumped aboard the trend with "Dream Job," a competition show designed to find the next anchor of SportsCenter.
Like the smash reality success "American Idol," auditions were hosted in cities around the country, and after absorbing every second of the first season, Horowitz knew he had to take a chance on himself. So he drove down to Washington D.C., from upstate New York, crashing on a friend's floor, and stood in a line wrapped around what is now the Capital One Arena just to have a shot in the audition room.