Longtime broadcaster finds a new sport

Steve Lewandowski
Steve Lewandowski

After beginning his 30th season as a polo announcer in February, Del Mar resident Steve Lewandowski had to step away from the booth after the novel coronavirus outbreak postponed all sporting events for the foreseeable future.

“I still had the desire to announce,” Lewandowski said in an interview. “What can I announce in my highly cut-off quarantine world?”

Instead of polo, auctions and other events he lends his voice to, the longtime broadcaster attempted to turn newspaper delivery into a spectator sport, providing play-by-play in a video of himself in the predawn hours waiting for his copies of the San Diego Union-Tribune and Wall Street Journal.

Lewandowski mentions in the video, which has been viewed about 400 times, how he’s never gotten a good look at his newspaper delivery person. Couriers are typically unseen, unheard, leaving no trace except for the newspaper itself.

“I have caught fleeting glimpses of him in the past after the paper has already hit,” Lewandowski says in the video.

Waiting at the end of his driveway at 4:20 a.m. on a Thursday, Lewandowski’s task evokes a taboo comparable to a child trying to sneak a look at Santa delivering presents, but he proceeds without reservation.

Will the driver be traveling northbound or southbound along his street? How will the speed of the driver’s vehicle affect the accuracy of the throw? It’s also garbage day. Will the garbage bins alter the trajectory of the toss?

Those are some of the pressing questions Lewandowski uses to set the stage.

Since all sports leagues postponed their seasons, fans have been filling the coronavirus-induced void by watching replays of classic games, playing videogames and finding other makeshift solutions to hold them over.

“Sports is such a good refuge from our everyday concerns,” Lewandowski said.

The status of a polo match in September that Lewandowski is supposed to call is still in question. He’s called matches for the San Diego Polo Club and other clubs around the country. He’s also had on-air stints with ESPN and Fox Sports West

Referring to sports in general, Lewandowski added, “It’s important for people to have that outlet, that valve to bleed off some steam and some pressure. We don’t have that right now.”

He also mentioned the stories that have been circulating about the works Shakespeare supposedly completed while in quarantine because of the infectious diseases of his time.

“He enhanced western civilization,” Lewandowski said. Reflecting on his video, he continued, “I have no illusion that I’m anywhere close to that, but at least I got to practice my craft and got to put a smile on a couple hundred faces, so I thought that was worth it.”

Lewandowski also said he’s using his time sheltering in place to work on a small insurance business he runs.

When the world returns to normal, he said he’s “looking forward to seeing large groups of friends on a social basis, and really looking forward to the return of polo.”

To view the video, visit youtube.com/watch?v=ysrOpE-9ONQ.