By: Ryan Kelly | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
November 14, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- In times of hardship, we often like to comfort ourselves with the familiar.
That song you like to hear. That sweater you love to wear. That food you can't get enough of. Things that make you feel everything is going to be okay.
It's no secret that Florida State football has gone through some rough times over the last few seasons, enough for people to long for the familiar.
That old coach. Those old uniforms. And, for those sitting inside Doak Campbell Stadium on a given Saturday, maybe some familiar voices.
Or sounds like the intro to that old favorite song.
FSU public address announcer Woody Hayes is celebrating a decade on the job, but the in-stadium of Seminole Saturday's wasn't always the familiar, himself having to replace longtime PA voice, the late Nick Menacof in 2010, but not before a ringing endorsement.
"About halfway through my audition during the spring game 10 years ago, he put his arm around me and he said, 'This mic was for you,' and it was just such a moment, the chills came over me," Hayes said.
The Voice of the Marching Chiefs is a title the always sunny Dave Westberry earned immediately after his time ended marching with the Chiefs, meaning he's been performing or announcing the band that never lost a halftime for over four decades.
Just don't ask him how many times he's said the line, "World Renowned Marching Chiefs."
"I have no idea," Westberry admitted. "I know this is year number 39 and I can probably go back and count all the home games because I haven't missed one, but you throw in a couple of bowl games where we've done pregame.
"I'd love to go back and do the math," he said.
But, Westberry is far more than pregame and halftime, working alongside Hayes as an eagle-eyed spotter, making sure the right names and numbers find their way to the speakers over Bobby Bowden Field.
The duo are often joined by a representative from marketing in their room perched atop the ninth floor. But despite their locale, make no mistake; they're not unbiased observers. After all, they're the only guys allowed to wear garnet in the press box and, when our camera was allowed in, during a closer than expected contest against ULM, a change in mojo was in order from Westberry.
"I am always superstitions in the box, if something's not going right, the rule is change something so it's just one of those things; defense struggles, you stand up, go to the other end of the box and call from down there," he said. "Offense struggles, you do something different."
Through all the superstition, spotting and Seminole football, the two have made quite the team.
And no matter the rigors of the job, they still know they're living the dream.
"I just can't even believe that they pay me to have this much fun and support the team that I grew up loving as a child," Hayes said.
So, if you find yourself in need of some Chicken Soup for the Seminole Soul, this Saturday at Doak Campbell, just listen for those old familiar friends.
Country music fans may know Hayes form his day job, as a morning radio host on 103.1 The Wolf, while Westberry works for the state.