By Kyle Huber
Over the decades, many new faces have been a part of LSU football. Players, coaches, fans, students, have come and gone through the years.
However, there has been one constant in Tiger Stadium, and that is P.A. announcer Dan Borne.
Borne, who is in his 29th season as the voice of Death Valley, first began his broadcasting career doing play-by-play baseball for Nicholls State from 1964-68, while he attended the university.
Sid Crocker, who worked at a local TV station, was the P.A. Announcer when Borne made his first trip to Tiger Stadium’s press box. Borne says that Crocker told him, “Take a good look, you might be doing this one day.”
When Sid retired after the 1985 season, Dan wrote LSU a letter telling them he would like to be considered for the position.
After hearing nothing for months, then LSU Sports Information Director Jamie Kimbrough invited Borne to meet with him and several colleagues.
“When I arrived, they were very courteous and said, ‘Ok, you can have the job,’ ” Borne said. “I answered, ‘Thanks, but why?’ Jamie said, ‘Because nobody else asked.’ ”
The P.A. announcer gig is not a one-man show, Borne explained. During the games, Borne has two spotters that help him with the game.
Borne has experimented with different spotters throughout the years, and prefers female spotters to males.
“Women spot, but men coach,” he said. “The guys instead of giving me the number of the person who made the run, catch, or tackle, will generally say we should have run ‘52 slant right,’ and of course I don’t want to know that.
“It’s hard to get guys to focus on the game because they think they can coach better than the coach, and the women only care about the numbers.”
So to get all the information correct, Borne listens for his spotters to give him the numbers of the key players on the play, information from press box announcer Jimmy Manasseh, and gleans the stadium’s three video boards to double-check he’s correct.
Over the years, Borne has coined several phrases that have become staples in Tiger Stadium.
Once the coin toss result is announced, Borne announces the weather forecast for the game, with his signature line “Chance of Rain …” in which the crowd responds as one, “NEVER!”
Borne would come to games as a young boy with his aunt and sit in the south end zone.
“From the time I can remember, my aunt would always kid about the fact that it never rained in Tiger Stadium,” Borne said.
The older he got the more he used to hear people say this.
He is not sure of the origin of the saying, but Borne has not always used the now famous phrase.
“I used to give the weather cast pretty straight up, and one day, just unplanned, I just said ‘Chance of rain…never,’ and it just kind of caught on,” he said. “Now people expect it and shout it back.”
Borne continues to be a key aspect of the atmosphere at Tiger Stadium, and ignites the LSU fans throughout the games.
“I just think how blessed I’ve been over the years and how grateful I am to LSU for keeping me around,” he said. “I’ll always appreciate that!”
As long as Borne continues to be the P.A. announcer, it will truly never rain in Tiger Stadium.