When we, as broadcasters, make the choice to get into this rat race of a profession we are warned. We will work very long hours, the pay will not be great, you will miss birthdays, you will miss important events, you will work holidays and you will become more familiar with acquaintances than your own family. So why? Why in the world would we choose to do this? The answer is never simple, but at the end of the day its the dream. The dream of being the next Vin Scully, Marv Albert or Bob Costas. The hope that someday, all of those trips around northern Iowa on sub zero winter night to call a basketball game between two 5 win teams, will pay off into someday being the man or woman behind the mic at the Super Bowl. The odds are not good that we will get to that stage. But like the gambler at the table when he is down, we roll the dice anyway, because the dream, while a long shot at best, is reality.
I felt that this blog, that has gone unused for far too long, would be the ideal place to share my news and my thoughts to all of my great friends on twitter, facebook and all about the internet. This is my final week working full time in broadcasting. My family and I will be moving to Cedar Rapids and I will be taking on a new challenge, one that makes me nervous yet excited all at the same time. I am not closing the door on this great profession, its just time for a new chapter, its…just…time.
If I never call another game, never throw on the headset again, never make a lonely trip to a game. I can truly say I lived my dream. While it may not have been THE Super Bowl, it was the Super Bowl to someone. Brad Sham, voice of the Dallas Cowboys, said at STAA One Day ticket in 2013, that the game you may be doing, no matter what the records are, no matter what is on the line, is the biggest thing happening in someones life at that moment. The game and action, no matter how inconsequential it may seem in the landscape of a season, is taking over someones life, and they are living and breathing on every word that comes out of your mouth. I am so thankful for all the people who listened in to ball games, took time to email or call and say thank you, or took the time to call and email and blast me for being a “homer”, yes even those people are important and thank you for your anonymous emails. I can assure you they were placed in the Jeff Moss complaint file.
There are so many people in my life that have gotten me to where I am. First off without my parents, this would flat out be impossible. And they did something that we all need to do as parents, they let me dream. Thank you to my family. They put up with with me being gone, they did alot of things without me because I was gone. I have missed some things, and I hope to make up for time lost. I want to thank Tori Newell for taking a chance on a kid straight out of college. As time goes on, I am certain I was hired at KSOM in Atlantic because of necessity and not skill. Thank you to Bill Saluk for firing me from that job almost 2 years later. While at the time it was hard to handle, I deserved it and it made me so much better. Thank you to Tom Robinson. I am certain there were days where Tom did not want to deal with the problems of a 25 year old or the stories of a 25 year old. But he did. He taught me how to be a broadcaster and in alot of aspects he taught me how to be a man. Thank you to Craig Donnelly for taking another chance on me. Craig taught me how to build and maintain a relationship with someone. He is always working to be the best. He knows what is important in local radio, which is local news, sports, weather. Its why KLMJ is an amazing place to work. Its why KLMJ is the best place in this business to work, especially for young broadcasters.
8 years of this has left me with so many things I will never forget. I will never forget the first game I did. Color at Wartburg for men’s basketball. Wartburg hosting Grinnell. Jesse Gavin had the PBP duties. The first game I was ever paid to do was 8-man high school football in Walnut, IA. Walnut hosting Elk Horn-Kimballton. The Warriors and Danes are no more, both casualties of whole grade sharing agreements. Ill never forget the time Sioux City Heelan squeezed off two shots in 1.5 seconds to beat Harlan in the 3A semifinals. Ill also never forget Eric May’s fade away 30 footer the next year to beat Harlan in the Championship game after the Cyclones had threw together a miracle to even get the game tied against Dubuque Wahlert. Ill never forget watching Hannah Willms at Dike-New Hartford shatter record after record after record at one state track meet. Ill never forget the night James Perez beat Nevada, on one leg, on senior night, for a 3-6 Hampton-Dumont team. He didn’t have to play, there were no playoffs on the line, but his boys needed him. Ill never forget that same fall when Clarion-Goldfield made their deepest run ever in football. Ill never forget Wyatt Sann ripping the ball away from the ball carrier and running in for the go ahead touchdown against Forest City. Ill never forget Dominic Brandt intercepting the next Forest City pass and going in for another score to seal the game. Getting to call those games for my alma matter was very special. Ill never forget the Dike-New Hartford volleyball team, winning three straight state titles, they should win #4 this year, and they might just be the best team in the nation. Ill never forget calling a state title dual wrestling championship for Clarion-Goldfield this past winter. And last but not least, I will never forget anything involving West Fork basketball. Mostly because I swear there were games where they were just trying kill me. 3 trips to state in the past 4 years, a title in 2011, runner ups in 13 and 14. From Seth Tuttle to Drew Engebretson, some of the best moments I have ever had or will ever have in broadcasting.
Change is rarely easy, but often needed. And that is where I am at right now. These final days will be tough, and I know that when that first football Friday night comes and I wont be out there, that will be a big change. As I said before, I will never close the door, but its just time for a new challenge. Thank you so much to everyone who has always supported me.