Rabble.TV Spotlight: The Left Bench

As we introduced last week, Rabble offers a platform for anyone to call live professional sports games. Users can be commentators for the NBA, NCAA, NFL, MLB—basically any sport you’d like. Take, for example, The Left Bench, a sports blog with nearly 60 broadcasts on Rabble, run by a group of students who have used the free service to become legitimate broadcasters.

University of Maryland students Michael Stern, Kofie Yeboah and Justin Meyer founded The Left Bench in 2013 and are joined on the site’s leadership board by Jake Britton and Maggie Gottlieb. They have 26 other people who work for and contribute to their website, where they cover pro and college football and basketball, the MLB and the NHL, as well as high school basketball and football and recruiting. Their first Rabble broadcast dates back to the (then-) undefeated Kentucky Wildcats taking on West Virginia last March.

Stern, Yeboah and Meyer were on that first broadcast. In those three hours, the trio goes through a lot of giggles. Yeboah says that’s because calling a live game is a totally unique experience.

“There is nothing like calling games live,” Yeboah says. “It’s one thing to watch a highlight and react, but it’s another thing entirely to be a part of the highlight. Some of the most memorable moments in NBA history are accompanied by great calls. I remember when Robert Horry hit that three in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. Epic moments like that are fun to be a part of and it’s fun to take a shot at it with RabbleTV.”

And since joining Rabble in March, the Left Bench has already upped their production level; they called Game 1 of NBA Finals from a professional studio in Chicago. Yeboah says being in that studio is his favorite moment of the Left Bench’s time with Rabble.

Lamar Johnson also works for the Left Bench as a columnist and broadcaster. Johnson’s worked on the NBA Finals games, NBA Summer League games and the NFL Hall of Fame Game, his most memorable moment so far.

“My favorite broadcast moment actually didn’t come during a NBA broadcast,” Johnson says. “I was doing a broadcast of the NFL Hall of Fame Game with Jake Brodsky. There were about five or six different broadcasts of the game, but ours was the top-rated and we were getting a steady stream of comments, but the best moment was probably when people were mentioning us on Twitter about things we were talking about on the stream. It still blows my mind.”

“The broadcast was always worth it once I saw the comments,” Yeboah says. “It’s surreal to realize that people listen in to me the same way I always have the broadcast teams on TV and even more surreal to realize that they enjoy them.”

The next time the Left Bench will air on Rabble is September 14 for Monday Night Football. You can catch every episode of the Left Bench and every other broadcast Rabble has hosted in the site’s archives. Until then, hit up some of those old episodes—listening to the NBA Finals without watching the video is strangely compelling.