August 25, 2016

Mitchell on Being Mic’d: ‘I think you’ll see a wide variety of feelings’

Johany Jutras/

Bo Levi Mitchell laughs a little before he answers, finding some humour in the obvious nature of the question, perhaps.

“Oh, that’s gonna happen,” he says, when asked if the microphone he’ll be wearing on Sunday night could possibly pick up a moment where he’s chirping at one of the Hamilton Ticats.

The Calgary quarterback will be wearing a wire on Sunday night, as will his counterpart with the Ticats, Zach Collaros. So, too, will the head coaches; Stampeders’ field boss Dave Dickenson and Hamilton head coach Kent Austin.

In a first for a regular season CFL game, television fans will be getting a sense of what’s going on when tensions and passions run high in what’s being called the “Live Mic Broadcast.” We’ll be listening in on the things those four gentlemen have to say as well as what might be picked up by those who are in close proximity at any given time.

“I think you’ll see a wide variety of feelings,” Mitchell says as he ponders just what that might mean.

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What it will mean for Mitchell – and Collaros – is that the home viewers will get to hear a lot of what they have to say as each play is unfolding as well as their reactions to whatever may happen on the field. Good and bad. Whether the knowledge that he is wired for sound will weigh on his mind, Mitchell can’t say. Though he doubts he’ll be self-conscious.

“I’m not sure, yet,” he says, tentatively. “I don’t think I’ll think about it too much. I’m kinda too locked into the game and too locked into what’s going on.”

Mitchell is very much in favour of this innovation even if he is not totally sure what to expect on Sunday night. When he was first approached for his feelings about it a few weeks back, he originally thought the idea was just to mic him up and record him for post-game editing purposes. When he was told it would be for the purposes of a live broadcast, Mitchell was still receptive.

“When they told me it was live I was like ‘damn, that’s pretty cool. That’s gonna be a different experience for everybody.’ So, my initial reaction was that they were taking the right step, that’s for sure.

“It’s cool. It’s innovative.”

The game won’t quite be live, broadcast on a 10-second delay to ensure no proprietary strategies – or profane language – leak out. Still, Mitchell believes a minding of p’s and q’s is in order and he may even resort to reminding players around him that he is a walking, running and throwing microphone stand.

“This being live, you do kinda have to manage what you say. I’m never one to go out there and let my feelings get the best of me and say something I shouldn’t say. I kinda worry about some people around me…” he trails off with a laugh.

As for the chirping you may hear? Mitchell isn’t one to shy away, he says, especially if he believes an opponent is deserving. For instance, if they’ve just been beaten for a big play and they are still talking.

“I get chirped at a lot,” he says. “There’s always guys trying to get in a quarterback’s head. I don’t think they’ve figured out the combination yet. It’s gonna take them awhile so they keep chirping me. Every now and then I’ll say something to the ones I think need something said to.”

“I get chirped at a lot. There’s always guys trying to get in a quarterback’s head. I don’t think they’ve figured out the combination yet.”

Bo Levi Mitchell

Johany Jutras/

All eyes — and ears — will be on Bo Levi Mitchell as he gets wired up (Johany Jutras/

CFL fans know Bo Levi Mitchell to be pretty fearless. His play on the field has been speaking for itself but now we’ll hear how that actually comes across, in a verbal way, when the Live Mic Broadcast begins on Sunday night. What will fans learn about him?

“I’m gonna be passionate,” Mitchell says, setting the scene. “I’m gonna be hyped up when we make great plays. I’m gonna be angry when we don’t make the plays I think we should make, including myself.”

Even if he starts out somewhat subdued, Mitchell says, wait for things to possibly ramp up a bit in the second half, especially if it’s a close game.

“It’s always good to keep a level head when you’re playing a game, especially early on,” he says. “I think you’ll see the feelings come out a little more when it hits the third quarter, fourth quarter.”

We’ll be sure to listen in.