A story was published years ago about former Montana Grizzlies voice Mick Holien. It talked about how Mick was selling a bunch of memorabilia he collected over his 31 seasons as the Voice of the Griz.
The story got me to thinking about my favorite memories from my sports broadcasting career. My two favorites aren’t even about on-the-air stuff.
Road trips with the Anaheim Piranhas
Traveling with the Arena Football team was the most fun I had in radio. Sharing meals with Sam Hernandez, Jai Hill, Skinny Culver, media relations guy Kurt Van Fossen and others. Golfing with Kurt on a crummy course outside Des Moines. A Saturday night out with Ian Howfield. Poolside in Phoenix with Coach Mike Hohensee. An especially awesome pregame meal in Des Moines. Ordering three entrees at a greasy spoon in Milwaukee and eating them all. Disney World with Kurt and trainer David Chaffin. Church Street in Orlando. The weird gothic bar in Houston. Another team staff member getting dropped at the side of the road by a woman he’d picked up. Bryan Reeves getting me a second meal from the galley on the flight home from Houston. Too many more to list.
Camaraderie with my ESPN Radio crew
Pre-show prep and commercial breaks were always a blast. Often times, it was the most entertaining stuff we did each night, on or off the air. Cutting up with our producer Jason McBride, board op Brian Fitzgerald, update anchors Damon Bruce (miscast as an update anchor. He turned out to be a better host than me!) and the late Neil Jackson. A total blast.
H.S. state basketball titles
Three straight Kansas state basketball titles with the McPherson Bullpups. ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman was on one of those teams. Dude’s vertical was worse than mine but he sure could score.
My first TV college football broadcast
Eastern Washington at Sacramento State, 2003. Off the top of my head, Daniel Fells and Marco Cavka from that game both played in the NFL. So did a lineman from Sac State whose name is escaping me.
Being in the zone
It didn’t happen often for me but it happened at least once — McPherson College men’s basketball at Southwestern College. I remember seeing match-ups so well that, throughout the night, I was anticipating what moves Mac coach Roger Trimmell was going to make before he made them because I saw they needed to be made.
In hindsight, the enjoyment of sports broadcasting comes as much from the people we meet as from the events that we cover.
I would love to read some of your favorite memories from your career. Please share them below. I look forward to reading them!