Recently I was looking over our twitter account @nohustlesports and started clicking on the 145 people that currently follow us. One man stuck out to me. Andrew Imber. Andrew is a PA announcer in the NHL for the Florida Panthers, and if that wasn’t cool enough for us to ask for an interview, this man competed on Season 9 of American Ninja Warrior and is hoping to be invited back this season.
We wanted to interview Andrew because what he does in sports, many times we forget about all of the cogs that make a professional sports team run. As a former grounds keeper for a top tier college softball team I know the feeling. Andrew has been everything and more we at NoHustleSports have asked for and here is the interview with the Man, the Myth, the Legend, Andrew Imber- Professional PA guy and certified ninja.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I’m Andrew Imber, 30 years old, and born and raised in South Florida.
2. What is your current job?
I’m fortunate enough to be living the dream as public address announcer for the Florida Panthers. I’m in my fourth season, and I’ve called over 150 NHL games.
3. How did you get into PA announcing?
It honestly started when I was just a kid. When my friends and I would play sports video games, I would always be announcing the action. NHLPA 93 might have been the start. But, in terms of it getting serious, it happened in college. I attended Florida Atlantic University, and had a sports talk radio show on the school’s radio station for my whole time as a student. I also tried out play by play and public address for some of the school sports, and settled into doing both at the same time for the club hockey team. Less than a decade after starting it from scratch at FAU, I was in the hot seat at BB&T.
4. Do you have any pregame rituals?
Ha. We hockey folk are a superstitious people. I’ve had a PB&J sandwich before nearly every single game during my entire career. I have also started to wear novelty socks, and I keep the same pair on until we lose.
5. What has been the hardest name to say?
I think we had a consensus that it was Jyrki Jokipakka. Jesse Puljujarvi is up there. There are some accents on names that my keyboard can’t handle.
6. Tell us about other passions and hobbies.
I’ve been a fitness nut for a number of years now. I started going to the gym casually, before it became a major passion of mine. I got certified as a NASM trainer, and then got really into American Ninja Warrior. In my second year of submitting a tape, I was chosen to compete on season 9 of the show. I’m hopeful to make it back on again this year.
I’m also a major fan of rock and rap/hip hop music, and I played bass in a band in high school.
7. What was the hardest part of American Ninja Warrior?
The mental aspect. Don’t get me wrong, ANW is extremely physically challenging, and there is still a lot of stuff I’m not skilled enough to do. But, just about every obstacle has a major mind game aspect. Once you do something once, all of a sudden you can do it nearly every time, and it’s really because your mind has finally gotten over it. It’s a dangerous sport, and some of those falls can do extreme damage. So, you really have to trust yourself both mentally and physically to have any chance.
8. What advice would you give the average person that wanted to tryout for the show?
Just get started. There are so many stories of people coming from completely out of shape, and then doing incredible things on the show. They say the perfect time to plant a shade tree was 20 years ago, but the next best time is right now. Don’t worry about any lost time, and just get after it now. If it’s something you enjoy, it’ll get you excited about exercise, and may help you change your body and health.
9. What is something that you have always wanted to do?
I have a couple of not-so well known goals. I’d really like to become a voice actor, and do lots of voices for animated films and cartoons. I’ve also loved the show Battlebots since I was a kid, and now that it’s back on TV again, I’d love to build a combat robot and compete. I’m just not smart enough for that one!
10. Do you ever get to travel with the team?
The only time I did was during a preseason trip to West Point a couple of years ago. But, generally, PA announcers just do home games.
We would like to thank the Florida Panthers for allowing us to interview Andrew, and of course a big thank you to Andrew for actually responding and letting us tell the world about how cool he is!