Thursday, December 29, 2005

NU Alumni Dinner

WNUR Sports had a very successful internet-only video broadcast of the NAA event held at the glorious Camino Real hotel earlier this evening. Howard Tilman, Dan Platt, and Alex Freedman held down the fort at our makeshift TV set, while I wandered around with a wireless mic interviewing several NU big-wigs.

We got some free food and beverages out of the deal, as well as TWO mentions in speeches delivered by the executive director of the NAA (folled by prolonged, heartfelt applause) and NU President Henry Bienen. Nice.

Tomorrow we'll cover the players luncheon live on WNUR, as well as the fan fest on -- they say they're expecting 20,000 fans at the latter.

We've seen a lot of purple all over town--tshirts, hats, car flags, etc. NU will be represented pretty well at this game. The Bowl events have been really terrific so far and the folks here in El Paso have been quite hospitable.

See y'all tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

So that's why they call it the Sun Bowl...

Good afternoon from sunny El Paso, Texas.

Our broadcast crew has arrived safely in El Paso and are preparing for the next three days in Texas.

Dan Platt, Guy Benson and I arrived on the charter plane just a few minutes ago and were greated warmly by an authentic Mariachi band, the same one that welcomed the teams into town a few days ago.

Our charter flight consisted of many school administrators, the cheerleaders and dance time as well as the famous Northwestern University Marching Band. And let me tell you traveling with the band is quite an experience. Here are some excerts from the band's rules for plane travel. "Do kick-off rituals during our taxi. During the flight attendant's saftey orientation point in every possible direction for 'emergency exits,' and after it is over, start a slow clap. During take off and landing, sing 'Go U.' Plane surf during turbulance."

My initial reaction upon seeing these rules was simple - utter speechlessness. As the band began singing the fight song during takeoff I was not only embaressed for myself, but for them as well. I mean wow...

Anyhow, our preperations are underway for the next few days of Sun Bowl coverage. Stay tuned right here for further updates.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

El Paso Here We Come!

It's the night before we begin our journey to the Sun Bowl in El Paso Texas. Howard, Guy, and Myself spent this evening preparing all of our equipment (radio equipment) and planning out our schedule of various broadcasts. Due to the fact the dorms here at Northwestern are closed, Mr. Benson has set up camp at my humble abode here in Evanston. He is pretending he has New Jersey pride by rooting heavily for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in their bowl contest against Arizona State (oh yes, we remember the Sun Devils). Tomorrow should be a long, but exciting day. The bus leaves for the airport bright and early at 9:30 AM for a noon departure. That should put us in El Paso at some time around 2 PM local time. We'll be doing our first remote telecast for from an Alumni Gathering. We've got all kinds of great stuff planned for All Access and of course WNUR the next couple of days. Remember, pre game for the Sun Bowl begins at 11 AM central time for a 1:15 central kick off. Go Cats!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Here Comes the Sun

Well the speculation is finally over and the Northwestern Wildcats are off to the 2005 Vitalis Sun Bowl. The ‘Cats will face a very talented UCLA Bruins team in what is shaping up to be one of the more exciting match-ups of the bowl season. With lots of offense and some optional defense the Sun Bowl looks like it should be a great game.

And WNUR Sports will be there for all the action.

We’re currently working out our bowl week schedule and some exciting broadcast events are taking shape. Among them are the team luncheon, fan fiesta and of course the game itself.

Stay tuned to WNUR 89.3 fm, WNUR Sports Online and right here at the WNUR Sports Blog for final schedules and all your bowl coverage.

And if you’re going to be down in El Paso, be sure to stop by one of our remote broadcasts and say hello to the WNUR broadcast crew.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Waiting to Bowl...

We here at WNUR Sports love bowling. I remember quite a bowling match in South Bend last spring, but we don’t need to talk about the results of that.

But how about the other type of bowling…

WNUR Sports loves that bowling too.

It’s an interesting situation we’re all in right now. The ‘Cats regular season is over and now they are in the awkward position of simply waiting. They are waiting to learn where their Christmas break trip will be. And the worst part about it all now, is that there is nothing they can do. The final decision is out of their hands.

San Antonio? El Paso? Nashville? Detroit? Please, not Detroit

There are many plusses and minuses to each of the possible destinations. San Antonio features both a high prestige game and a fun city. From what I’ve heard the nightlife on the Riverwalk is an experience to be had. However, it doesn’t look very likely the ‘Cats will be headed there and the December 28th date is less than desirable.

The Sun Bowl in El Paso is well respected bowl. It’s been around for a while and will be aired on national television on CBS. However, the guide books on El Paso are fairly thin comparatively speaking. While it certainly is an exotic location, the city itself is not on the must-visit list.

Nashville features an interesting combination. The city is great with lots to do both during daylight and nighttime hours however it is technically a low ranked bowl. While a trip here would certainly be a good time, it seems a little bit of a let down. Last year as the ‘Cats hoped to stumble to a 7-5 overall record Nashville was their best possible destination. However this year’s season was much more successful and with definite possibilities of higher up bowls, having to settle for Nashville seems disappointing.

Detroit – well let’s just say hopefully not…

So it will certainly be another interesting week of bowl speculation. The message boards will be crammed, the bloggers will be posting and the pundits will be punditing. While the destination of the bowl trip is far from decided one thing is for sure. Wherever the ‘Cats end up, WNUR Sports will be there. We’ll have lots of bowl coverage from the destination city with remote broadcasts at bowl events, full game coverage and of course, blog posts.

Stay tuned to the WNUR Sports Blog for further bowl updates.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Back safe and sound...

...In Evanston, where it is just as cold as Laramie.

Thanks to all who made the Wyoming trip possible--it was a great weekend for WNUR Sports, a good weekend for the basketball team, and a lousy weekend for the football team.

Go 'Cats -- Beat the Illini!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Championship (of sorts) tonight!

So the 'Cats have a chance to start 3-0 with a win tonight over UNC Wilmington. Incredible.

Catch all the action here on WNUR 89.3 FM tonight at 9pm central.

Go 'Cats!

Who Knew???

I'll be honest, after squeaking by LEHIGH by only 2 points, Guy and I were less than thrilled about playing an NCAA team from last year that outrebounded their opponent last night by 27 and had 40 points in the paint. But thankfully, the Charlotte 49ers chose to shoot 31 percent from the field and the Wildcats took advantage with a big time 61-47 win.

It's amazing how the number "61" can be totally redefined after just 24 hours. One night, you embarass your conference against a Patriot League opponent. The next, you embarass the Atlantic 10 by beating one of their best teams. Regardless of the opponents or the final scores, two wins for this Northwestern team is a huge boost especially after you consider the Wildcats 1-2 start last year in Alaska (including a loss to New Mexico State, who finished 5-23).

After the game, Assistant coach Paul Lee chatted with us and he was beaming to say the least. In short, Lee's theme for the game was "that's what happens when you execute your gameplan." I'm no Bill Raftery, but taking and making high percentage shots, playing tough interior defense and boxing out on rebounds seems to be a pretty solid gameplan.

For our postgame meal, Guy and I ventured to the local Applebee's, where we met up with some Northwestern fans who traveled to the game from the Midwest as well as Coach and Mrs. Carmody and some Carmody relatives. Needless to say, once Coach thought we were loud and obnoxious Laramie locals, he discontinued his interest in us. But the two highlights of the meal were...

A. Guy smashing his head on a hanging light fixture while exiting the table. It was amazing how I did not lose my 9 oz. sirloin on the spot. I believe liberals everywhere laughed a little inside.

B. While Guy and I were exchanging comments about the broadcast, a quick moving Coach Carmody caught our eye. Upon turning our heads and listening to his conversation, he was quickly slapping his hands together and softly muttered a word that rhymes with "pit." Needless to say, we enjoyed a hearty laugh.

Now, we move on to face the University of North Carolina-Wilmington Seahawks, who outlasted host Wyoming in overtime. Join 89.3FM WNUR,, and as NU looks to start 3-0 in could be a memorable season. We hope all of our listeners have enjoyed our wall to wall coverage of Northwestern sports starting football in Columbus, OH, the SportsVoice in Evanston, and Men's basketball in Laramie, WY. That's it and that's all.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Carmody Quote of the Day...

During the post-game press conference, Coach was understandably critical of his team's performance for much of the game. After several less-than-glowing answers to reporters' questions, one reporter remarked, "Wow, coach....they might have to kick you out of the optimist's club!"

Carmody, without missing a beat, responded: "Oh, believe me, I was NEVER in that club."

The Laramie press corps was eating it up.

A Win is a Win...

It sure wasn't pretty, but it was a win. The Wildcats' 61-59 victory was bittersweet because they won a game that *shouldn't * have been close according to most Cats fans. But these are the 'Cats, after all, and it came down to the wire. A typically slow start resulted in a double-digit deficit in the first half, leading to heartburn for NU fans everywhere. Then at halftime coach Carmody must have had some choice words in the locker room because his team looked like a different squad in the second stanza. They scored 40 second-half points, led by (who else?) Vedran Vukusic, who poured in 25. The breaks and bounces went the Wildcats' way in the crucial final minute, and they were able to survive game one.

1-0. It's a heck of a lot better than 0-1, but this this team will need to play much much much better to beat Charlotte. Tomorrow's game will be a good test for NU.

We'll have the call on WNUR, of course!

Tune in at 6:30 CST for our pregame show--and the tip is slated for 7pm. Ray Garcia will cut his teeth in men's bball play by play, and I'll be on color. It should be a good time, so please join us tomorrow.

Kudos, by the way, to the Wildcat fans in attendance. They were pretty loud, and did a great job at recruiting some Wyoming fans to join our ranks in what they termed the "adopt-a-cat" program. They got a few 'Go U-NU!" chants going, and never lost the faith even when the team was really struggling.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

An Hour and a half until 2005-2006 season

Guy and I are courtside for the UNC-Charlotte vs. Coppin State quarterfinal showdown. The winner of this thriller will square off with the winner of the Northwestern vs. Lehigh winner. And if Northwestern is not in the semifinals of this tournament, then tomorrow's broadcast will be memorable. 8:46

A few notes for today's game:
- the expected starting lineup for the game is Thompson, Vukusic, Doyle, Hachad, and Jenkins
- expect the first guys off the bench to be Williams, Cote, Scott, and Seacat.
- this is the just the second meeting ever between Northwestern and Lehigh. Northwestern won the earlier meeting.
- After the game is over tonight, stay tuned to our postgame show as Northwestern Assistant Head Coach Paul Lee will join us to discuss the game.

Remember to listen to the SportsVoice at 8pm cst on WNUR 89.3 FM and at The Voice will conclude at 8:45pm and our pre-game show will begin sharply at 8:46pm. Like the Voice, the game will be on our WNUR airwaves and on our website. Enjoy the broadcast and let's get to 1-0.


Game One of the 2005-2006 basketball season is TONIGHT at 9pm CST--only on WNUR.

NU vs. Lehigh - Join us for the call immediately following the Sportsvoice on 89.3 FM or on

Go 'Cats!

Saturday, November 12, 2005


An explanation of this title will arrive shortly. It is great that affirmative action has returned to the WNUR Sports blog. Out of respect to our tens of readers here on the interweb, I will do my best to discontinue the updates of my digestive tract. However, let it be known that the 8 oz. Wyoming sirloin is my new nemesis.

Now, on to important business such as this doubleheader weekend on WNUR Sports. From what I understand our colleagues, Dan Platt, Howard Tilman, and Danny Ecker, believe their road trip to Columbus, OH, was a better trip. Well guys, I'm no expert, but covering a meaningless 48-7 blowout at the Horseshoe does not seem all that exciting. After all, I would imagine most committed Northwestern fans chose to enjoy the soothing sounds of Hall of Famer Dave Eanet on WGN. Most football fans do not want to hear about your football exploits during the walk-through nor a discussion of where Dan is from for the 4,567 time on our airwaves. Now, being the exclusive home of Wildcat Men's basketball over the next three days is what WNUR Sports is all about. And Danny, pick a team already. Guy says you do more flip-flopping than a certain Senator Kerry.

Now, Guy has already informed our listeners of the treacherous route we took to Laramie via Cheyenne. I have not spent much time in airport hangars, but the Cheyenne hangar was a true delight.

Upon our arrival the Comfort Inn Laramie, we were informed that the bus would be heading to the arena at 7:30, and the coordinator specifically told us the "guys would trickle down and we will head out around 7:40." We walked through the lobby at 7:32 and out to the parking lot to find "NO BUS!!!" Yes folks, the bus left without us. It was no one's fault of course, just a miscommunication (their fault). The lack of a bus meant we needed to walk the two miles to the arena in 30 degree temperatures. Suffice it to say, Guy and I both have one less ear and a C minus. When we arrived at the arena, the SID gave us a double take and was shocked to see us. It was as if we were left for dead.And Tim Doyle yelled, "you guys missed the bus?" Yes Timmy D, we missed the bus.

We went on to find out that when your dealing with Coach Carmody, being on time is being late. This is a fair request. So, Guy and I will be sleeping in the lobby. And in the event we miss the 9:15am departure, then they can...nevermind. We will give you an update tomorrow in preperation of Northwestern's season opener with Lehigh.

Until next time...DAMN SIRLOIN.

A Flight to Forget

The trip to Laramie was absolutely brutal. The flight started out just fine, featuring good times, good food* and good company. On the drive to O'Hare, our bus' AM radio wasn't working, so we casually mentioned another source for play-by-play of the NU-OSU football game: 89.3 FM! So the Northwestern Men's basketball team listened to over one quarter of gridiron action on the best student station in the country, WNUR. (Head coach Bill Carmody shook his head in disgust when Ohio State returned a blocked punt for a TD to essentially put us away--or was it when Dan and Howard mentioned Star Trek for the 11th time?)

(*The food would become a factor later.)

Here's when things got ugly: the conditions on the ground in Laramie were too windy to land. That did not, however, prevent the pilots of our small chartered plane to circle around the Laramie airport (which neither Ray nor I actually believe exists) for almost half an hour. This circling may sound fairly benign, but it was a nightmare. Extreme banking by the pilot + heavy turbulence + full stomachs + malfunctioning air conditioning= recipe for disaster.

Nobody lost their lunch, but a few of us came dangerously close.

Finally, Denny (the "charter coordinator," and owner of a humorously ornate Cowboy belt) announced that the conditions at the non-existent Laramie airport were just too dangerous, and that we were being diverted to Cheyenne, the bustling capital of Wyoming. When we finally touched down, we faced some of the strongest winds I've ever experienced, and we fought our way through the elements into the luxurious "terminal," which essentially looked like a living room out of the late 70s. A chartered bus finally arrived, and we loaded our stuff onboard and embarked on the final leg of the journey--which ended at the Altitude Chop House. At the steakhouse, we had a very nice chat with several of the players who actually seemed interested in our roles at WNUR Sports. Nice guys.

So getting here was no fun, but now that we're here, we expect the excitement to begin.

You people are just sad.

My family is down in Orlando enjoying the heaven-on-earth that is Disneyworld, and my father said that he had a little run-in with some Buckeye fans about this weekend's showdown in Columbus. So it's obvious that the contest you are covering is creating some national buzz.

However, my parents said that the biggest confrontation was between vacationing NU and Lehigh fans in a dispute over hoops supremacy. Apparently, that argument led to fisticuffs, which blew up into a massive riot--resulting in multiple arrests and the temporary closure of the Magic Kingdom. (Lehigh's contingent suffered more casualties, in case you were wondering).

But seriously, we hate to say it, but our colleagues in Columbus are behaving pitifully. Aside from gushing endlessly about playing some football on the "hallowed ground" that is the 'Shoe, is your best argument seriously a FROSTY machine? Come on.

Have fun covering your ONE game--I wonder how many WGN listeners you'll be stealing....hmmm. Meanwhile, we are about to embark on our mighty journey to the wild west to cover (exclusively) THREE basketball games. By my calculation, that's 3 times the number of games you're covering.

RIP Mr. Thomas

Oh, one more thing. Do they have an actual Wendy's "Frosty" machine in the Arena-Auditorium press room?

Send it in! Dave Thomas!

'Twas an hour before pre-game

Well, the Platt Powerbook is up and running in the OSU pressbox and what better way to pass the time then posting to ye ole blog. Last night was pretty uneventful. The hotel is quite a distance away from the happenin' town of Columbus. Howard and I took in a nice meal at a sports bar of sorts and watched a fine selelction of the night's athletics. Columbus Blue Jackets on one TV, Cleveland Cavs on another, and then some other NBA action. After dinner Howard and I headed back to the hotel. We strolled into the hotel bar (it's alright, Howard and I are both of age). While there we had a chat over our "adult beverages" with a one Chris Boyer, Associate Director of External Affairs for the NU athletic department. We had a lenghty chat about the intricacies of title IX, the struggles NU faces in packing their sporting events, etc. It was a glorious time (although i think Chris just started talking to us to bail out of the conversation he was engaged in when we walked in). I learned a lot. After that, it was just relaxing and watching the NBA and some other Television programing (you can guess what we watched, but all I'll say is "YOU WERE UPSET BECAUSE YOU NEVER GOT TO BE A BANKER!" I'm sure you'll here from Howard before the day is through. Here is to a good broadcast and a Wildcat victory!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Touchdown Tilman!

Let's put it this way. Have you ever caught a TD pass at Ohio Stadium? I have. As have Platt and Danny. After successfully testing our ISDN connection we took some time to explore the Horseshoe. Finding our way down to the field we were lucky enough to join the NU Football equipment personnel for some light football action. My TD catch came on a simple 4 yard out pattern to the sideline. Platt's took down a nice crossing route, then juked me out of respectability as he strode into the endzone. (The Juke of course is the right analog stick on your xBox controller) Danny's highlight came a little differently though as his 20-yard field goal sailed straight through the uprights. The 30-yard attempt came up about 6 inches short but still an impressive performance from the sophomore kicker.

Try that in Laramie...

Holy Buckeye!

Well, it was quite an eventful afternoon here in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Ohio State Buckeyes. As is standard with any football charter trip, there was a massive spread of food. The bag sitting on our seat was packed with two sandwiches (roast beef and turkey) a Snickers, pudding, chips, and cheese and crackers. The beverage selection consisted of Gatorade and Water. For desert, delicious ice cream bars. I did not have those as the liquid nitrogen vapors on the exterior freaked me out a bit. We then stopped at the hotel before shipping off to the horseshoe. Howard, Danny, and I had the great pleasure of sharing an elevator with Coach Walker and Mrs. Coach Walker. After a bit of trouble figuring out how to operate this piece of modern technology called an elevator we made some small talk about the weather....It was quite awkward. We then arrived at the horseshoe and began to set up our radio equipment for tomorrow's broadcast. We're broadcasting from an outdoor camera deck with an overhang, so we should be quite cold tomorrow. No WNUR trip would be complete without set-up issues and this was the big mamma of issues. I'm not going to get into specifics, but it did involve me asking the ABC sports crew for a phillips head screwdriver so we could get inside the ISDN machine. All is well, but I'll leave it at that. We're looking forward to a great broadcast tomorrow. I've got nothing funny really, but I'm here to inform, not entertain. I'll let Howard talk about the best part of our afternoon and what really puts the "nail in the coffin" in the contest between Columbus and Laramie. Tilly will give the details, but it was by far one of the coolest experiences of my 21 year old life.

Not so fast...

First of all, the tandem of Benson/Garcia dominates the Tilman/Platt/Ecker trio any day. We are more ethnically and religiously diverse, considering that the entire OSU trip is made up of people of the Jewish faith, whereas the Laramie trip features an hispanic Catholic and a white Protestant.

Secondly, you're underestimating the good people of Wyoming. They are a docile and friendly bunch, unlike the thugs and hooligans that populate Columbus, OH.

Finally, our trip will feature 4 live sporting events: 3 NU basketball games, and one Wyoming Cowboys collegiate football game on Saturday night. You guys only have one game in total. And we get an all-first-class chartered jet. You get a rented 737 than any old plebians could fly on a given day.

Touche, my friend.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

A Tale of Two Cities

So let’s review…

WNUR Sports is once again undertaking the task of two road trips in a single weekend – a task that I’m fairly confident no other college radio station can equal. Remember the last time that happened? Coincidentally enough it was the last time this blog was used as well; the now famous Softball Regionals / Women’s Lacrosse National Championship weekend. Similar to that weekend, Guy Benson and I are on opposite trips. I think it’s safe to say that last time he had the better trip witnessing a national championship and getting crabs. So let’s examine who has the advantage this time.

Company: Ironically enough, four of the five members involved in the dual trips are the same. Frank Tormey’s time at WNUR has come to an end with his graduation last fall, but sophomore Danny Ecker is eagerly stepping into his spot. Accompanying Guy is Ray Garcia who traveled to South Bend in the spring and impressed us all with his dramatic cuisine reviews. Heading with me to Columbus are Dan Platt and Danny Ecker – anyone else notice that I’m the one non-Daniel on this trip? I think the real match up here is between Ray’s food blogs, and Dan’s Seinfeld references. Knowing me, I’ll take Seinfeld any day.

Advantage: Columbus

Locale: Laramie, Wyoming vs Columbus, Ohio. Is there really any sort of match up here? Can anyone tell me one fact about Laramie? Columbus is after all a state capitol and is home to an NHL franchise. Take that Wyoming!

Advantage: Columbus

Event: Let’s see. The BCA Invitational against Ohio State football. Hello? There will be over 100,000 people at Ohio Stadium for the single game. I bet not even 100,000 people across the country know that the BCA Invitational is occurring. Don’t get me wrong – I’m sure Coppin State travels well and has quite a fight song, but somehow I get the feeling that seeing Script Ohio from the Shoe will somehow top a thrilling contest against Lehigh.

Advantage: Columbus

Intangibles: The intangibles are always so hard to define as they are here as well. That being said they clearly favor Columbus for some intangible reason.

Advantage: Columbus

Well there you have it. Columbus runs the table against Laramie and finally justice will be served as my road trip tops the one of Mr. Benson.

Next post from the Buckeye state…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Big WNUR Sports Weekend Right Around the Corner!

We'll be sending three broadcast professionals (also known as "on-air talent") to Columbus, OH this weekend to cover the NU-tOSU football game. The 'Cats are looking to ride the momentum of last week's thrilling comeback over Iowa to yet another Big Ten win.

Pre-game: 10am
Kickoff: 11am

NU: (6-3 Overall; 4-2 Big Ten)
Bowl eligible? Check.

And then two other staffers from our vast roster of "on-air talent" will travel with the men's hoops team to the great state of Wyoming to cover the BCA tournament. The 'Cats are guaranteed to play three games (Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday), but the tip off times and opponents of games 2 and 3 are TBD--check for updates. Game 1 is Sunday night at 9pm CST, right after the sportsvoice, and will air on 89.3 FM, WNUR.

We'll be blogging like crazy because--well--there's not much going on in the Laramie, WY social scene. Check back often and GO 'CATS!

WNUR Sports: Redefining "talent."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

We're Back

Well it's been almost four months since we've last blogged but the WNUR Sports Blog is now back up and ready for an exciting fall season and many football road trips. The itinerary includes trips to Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois and down to Arizona State this weekend. There are sure to be many exciting posts that hopefully involve more than just Ray Garcia's eating and bathroom habits. Speaking of Ray, he will be making the trip to Arizona along with Guy Benson and Alex Freedman. Check back for updates from sunny Tempe, Arizona. I'll be back here in Evanston looking forward to equally exotic trips to West Lafayette and East Lansing. Who would want to go to sunny Arizona anyway...

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Thank you and Congratulations...

To everyone on the WNUR Sports staff who helped make this weekend an unequivocal, resounding success. Well done, everyone!

Monday, May 23, 2005

A Historic Weekend Revisited One Last Time

Before I enter one last blog about this weekend, I would like to clear up one matter about the content of some of my blogs from this weekend...

It has come to my attention that some people were actually using the blog for updates of the NU games today against Notre Dame. Had I known this, I certainly would have cleaned up some of my blogs and not made as many references to my digestive workings as I did. So, if any readers of the blog felt that these references went a little overboard, I do apologize. My intention was not to gross people out, but rather to lighten the mood surrounding a very intense weekend of softball and lacrosse.

However, if you did like the references, then your personality is probably very similar to mine and we should get to know each other.

On a more positive note, now that I have had a chance to simmer down after an intense weekend of softball, I have come to the conclusion that has already been reached by a few of the WNUR Sports staff members: Softball is a phenomenal sport that can really grow on you. As I said, this was my first experience broadcasting softball and I can say that this was as much fun as I have had on the air all year. Unlike basketball and football, where there seems to be this line that you cannot cross during your coverage, softball lets you get as close to the game as possible and promotes a very relaxed style to the game that can reach insane levels of intensity (see NU vs. ND, Game 2). Not only am I excited about continuing my coverage of the team during the remainder of the tournament this year, but also during my next two years here when hopefully I can call games from the start of the year to the finish.

Quick note, Northwestern Women's Lacrosse team won a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP earlier today. While I heard nothing more than Guy Benson's final 20 seconds of the game, which was absolutely tremendous and gave me goosebumps, I have heard from quite a few people that Guy and Frank Tormey had a great call of the game. Now, some people may have said this out of pity, but when a colleague of mine from the Intramural department who also coaches women's lacrosse at a local high school says the broadcast was dead on, then I know it must be true. Great job, Benson and Tormey.

Finally, I would be wrong if I did not send a shout out to Greg Bobak and Mike Laskasky, who engineered all but one of this weekend's seven WNUR broadcasts. Normally, I only publicly acknowledge them when they make me uncomfortable, but today they earned their stripes and one day, I will buy them an adult drink in gratitude.

That day probably will not come for a few years as I am very cheap.

Well, this concludes my blogging duties until I am assigned to another roadtrip on WNUR's dime. The staff at Ivy Field in South Bend, IN on the Campus of Notre Dame were very gracious hosts. While Charlie Weis' haircut may be questionable and Touchdown Jesus is extremely pompous, the non-students are fine, upstanding citizens.

And before I sign off one last time, let me say this to all the loyal readers who have kept up with the insane bloggings of Howard, Dan, Greg, Frank, Guy, and myself...

My stomach, as one Glen Quagmire might say is finally, "ALRIGHT!"


Sunday, May 22, 2005


Just sit back and enjoy that headline for a moment. The Wildcats. National champs.

This lacrosse team is was one for the ages. 21-0 is very hard to accomplish, and they beat each and every team in the final four (Duke during the regular season and Dartmouth and UVA in the final four). Despite the nay-sayers and critics, the 'Cats stayed focused and won it all.

A few additional thoughts from the game: What a job by the 'Cats midfielders. They sometimes don't get enough credit, but they won so many groundballs and made the transition game look like child's play. The Koester twins were out of this world, along with the usual suspects. Coach Amonte Hiller deserves a ton of credit--this team did not exist 5 years ago, and now it's at the pinnacle of the lacrosse world. Simply astounding. The challenge for the athletic dept. is to hang on to this coach because you better believe some big-name programs will come a-knockin'.

Also, kudos to the Northwestern fans in attendance...we estimated about 1,500-2,000 or so wearing purple today (out of nearly 4700). Way to show up and make a ton of noise!

As for the broadcast, I thought it was solid. Frank is turning into a lacrosse guru after just a few games! I am also quite pleased with my call on the final few seconds. At the time, I was just yelling stuff out of pure excitement, and I'm happy to see that it turned out to be half-coherent.

The softball team's gutsy performance was icing on the already-amazing cake---what a day for NU sports. Hats off to my colleagues in South Bend for a job well done on the call out there. Hats also off to the good people at the Loewnes Steakhouse here in Annapolis. They served Frank and I some of the tastiset filets ever consumed by humans in our post-championship celebration.

We have a very, very early AM flight tomorrow, so our rational solution? Stay up all night! all-nighter! Send it in!

Northwestern Wildcats: National Champions. That will put a smile on my face for many days to come.

Twas the Night After Glory...

Say it with me people, NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!! I'm never one to pat myself on the back, Barry Horowitz style, but I did predict a 13-10 Northwestern win. Just scroll down to my last post and see for yourself.

I honestly don't know what else to say right now. I might start rambling. I met Tony Amonte after the game. He said he'd love to play in Chicago again someday, I said you guys need to start playing first. I think he admired me for having the Onions to say that to his face. I honestly can't believe I said it either.

There's really nothing else to say that you haven't already seen or heard somewhere. I can't say enough how proud I am of this team. And how proud I am to be a part of WNUR Sports. This was my final broadcast, and I couldn't think of a better scenario to go out with. Much love to all of my brethren, and keep it up for years to come.

One more time, NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!!!

Greatest Day Ever

Between a national championship for lacrosse and a regional championship for softball, things, quite simply, do not get any better than this for Northwestern sports. I've been here in the WNUR studios since 11:30 this morning and I'm still here (and will remain so for the Sportsvoice) but I'm not annoyed at all -- I am, quite simply, overjoyed at the successes of our teams. Bring on DePaul!

And whenever it is that I *do* eat tonight, I'm going to give Ray a run for his money. You watch.

There it is...Well hello Super Regionals!!!

Northwestern Women's softball is headed to the Super Regionals for the first time in the Kate Drohan era. NU will now square off with DePaul next weekend with a location still to be announced. First, the Lacrosse team wins the national championship and now the softball team heads to the Sweet 16 of softball. A great weekend for Northwestern Sports, YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

2 outs and the bases are loaded for ND

NU 4, ND 3 - Good Lord!

2 Down

Eileen Canney comes up with a huge strike out. NU is one out away from a trip to Super Regionals.


That should have read Darcy Sengewald.

Top 7

Ground out to Darcy Sengewld, followed by an infield single. The tying-run is on base for the Irish with one out. Can Eileen Canny come through in the cluth?

Chi-Town Battle?

DePaul has upset Oregon State in the Madison Regional, meaning whoever wins between NU and ND will face off with the Blue Demons next weekend in the Super Regional Round of 16. Dare I say Dan, Howard and I head to Lincoln Park for a ferocious 2 out of 3 series during Dillo Day weekend? It is Howard's decision, but hopefully the box of fresh mozzarela he will find at his door will influence his decision. Top 5 - NU 4, ND 1. What a weekend this could shape up to be!


My colleague Greg Bobak typed the historic words at 3:32pm... ":05, NATIONAL CHAMPIONS, 13-10 FINAL." The Northwestern Women's Lacrosse team has just downed Virginia to give NU its first national crown since 1941, which was Men's Fencing. I am not going to pretend and say I have been following the team religiously all season long. Howvever, any type of championship at Northwestern is something to be proud of. especially if you are a student. I am also proud to be a part of WNUR Sports, who sent Guy Benson and Frank Tormey to call the action. This is something they will always remember... Stephanie Churchwell, way back, she looks up, YOU CAN PUT IT ON THE BOARD, YESSSSSSSSS!!! NU now leads ND 2-1 in the bottom half of the 3rd. Dan Platt nearly joined the excitement at home plate after calling that bomb.

The White Sox may have lost to the Cubbies moments ago, but we still took 2 of 3 @ Wrigley and sit at 31-13. In Dusty they Sucky.

Before I sign off for the time being, a quick note: If NU wins and DePaul holds on and wins the Madison region, then the Wildcats could be on tap for a SuperRegional matchup in the Windy City. Wishful Thinking or Thinking Wishfully?

My Work is Done, Finally!!!

Well loyal WNUR Sports listerners, my work as a softball broadcaster here at Ivy Field in South Bend, Indiana has been completed. I am about one half hour removed from working with Howard Tilman on Northwestern's 4-1 win over the Fighting Irish. Currently, we are in the Top of the 1st of game 2 between NU and ND. ND leads the 'Cats 1-0. I must say, while this weekend brought my first ever work on softball, I greatly enjoyed the experience. Calling games with Northwestern's softball season on the line brought out some Purple pride in myself. Howard and Dan have moved back outside directly behind home plate to call this decisive game while sit next them, using Dan's very expensive Mac computer. I hope he didn't see me sneeze on the keyboard...Anyway, I shall return later with updates on my day here at Ivy Field.

...And for those readers who have been waiting with baited breath, I am not only dominating the battle with the Big Bacon Classic, but not even the backup of the Jack Daniels New York Strip can help him. Send it in, ROLAIDS!!!

Insert Noah's Ark joke here

Well, we just suffered through a 27 minute rain delay. I hope the listeners of the softball game enjoyed some national lacrosse championship for rain delay theatre on WNUR. Well, as I predicted, the rains came and they came hard in the bottom of the 5th inning. Myself, our friend from the daily and Tugboat settled under the overhang for some cover and it actually worked. Once the rarin stopped and sun came out and the tarp came off. We cleaned off our tables and the softball team went back to work. Eileen Canney got out of the bottom of the 5th with a fly out and the cats now bat in the top of the 6th with a 3 run lead thanks to the big sticks of Amegin and and McCorkle.

Right now I'm enjoying the radio stylings of Mr. Tormey and Mr. Benson on the Lax championship while watching the top of the 6th here at Ivy Field. Hopefully the rains will stay away and the Cats can force a 2nd game and hopefully advance from the region.

Talk to everyone later

Bombs away!!

All I have to say is....ONIONS!!! Back to Back Home Runs from Kristen Amegin and Sheila McCorkle followed by a pitching change and a Kelly Odell single. Still no outs here in the top of the 4th and the clouds still looming. A rain delay will be coming shortly. My guess....10 minutes tops.


Do not mess with the NU coaching staff

Sitting down this close to the plate provides an interesting perspective. Kelly Odell struck out looking on a high strike which then caused the coaches to yell from the dugout at the umpire..."SHE'S FIVE FEET TALL!!" and then Caryl Drohan gave the ump a piece of her mind.

Way to go Cats! Darcy Sengewald just picked up an RBI single scoring McCorkle in the top of the 2nd!

The broadcast team has moved upstairs because of threat of rain, but myself Tenorio, and tugboat Meffley are braving it out downstairs.

To the bottom of the 2nd we go, still no rain (my blind melon reference of the day)

It wouldn't be NU Softball....

Well, here in South Bend the clouds are beginning to loom! The forecast calls for isolated thunderstorms throughout the day, although the actual probability of rain is 30%. However, in order to accomodate some of the Notre Dame staff up in the little press box here at Ivy Field, we have been moved down to the table below the press box that is literally 10 yards behind homeplate and about 2 feet behind the netting that is the backstop. However, one problem with this amazing vantage point, we are "in harms way" as the wind is picking up and the clouds begin to cover. For now, we are just hanging out as the press table sits from left to right, Tenorio (Daily), myself, Softball SID Doug Meffley, and the broadcast team for game 1, Howard Tilman and Ray Garcia. It is an NU party down here about 20 minutes before the start of today's game between Notre Dame and Northwestern, but I have a feeling we'll be getting soaked before too long.

Afterall, it wouldn't be NU Softball without rain and scheduling mishaps. I plan to update the blog throughout the game, although not to the sickening proportions that Mr Tilman did. Good luck Cats!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

It was supposed to be a thing of beauty

Well I admit it. This blog has goten out of hand. I'll try to steer it back to some direction of normalcy. Despite his comment that I am "flawless," Mike Laskasky is not on a road trip and thus not on the blog. We won't be seeing any posts from him in the near future. Similarly, since only administrators can invite members to join the blog I've got to point my figure at Greg Bobak. He has now lost his admin privileges. I run a tight ship here at the WNUR Sports blog. Tough, but fair has always been my motto. Or in this case, just tough.

Hey Dad? Wanna catch?

Well, as I sit and watch SNL here in our South Bend hotel and am thinking back to my day at Ivy Field. Ray really covered everything pretty well, but there was one fun experience that he left out. Before Northwestern took the field to take on Louisville, The Cardinals were in a tight one (Bobak, don't say a word) with Albany. Somehow, our fellow student media members Paul Tenorio of the daily and Andrew Linnehan managed to get a hold of two gloves from the NU softball team. I belive the lefty mit belonged to Jamie Dotson and the righty mit belonged to Kristen Salamon. Andrew and Paul were playing some catch on the big grass patch behind the left field bleechers and Ray went over to join them. Eventually, Paul went to watch the rest of the game, while Howard and I (who were going to be on the call of NU vs. the eventual winner) continued to play catch with Ray and Linnehan. Eventually what this broke down to was a mix between catch and football. Linnehan would run patterns (football style) and we would try to hit him in stride. It was actually kind of interesting and I feel we amused to the Wildcats who were just chilling out waiting for the Louisville-Albany game to end. Before we went over to watch the end of the game, I dawned Jamie's mit and Howard took the other glove and we just played a standard game of catch. I have to say, being in college, getting a chance to just throw the ball around never gets old. We wondered over to the right field bleechers just in time to watch Louisville hit a game tying 2-run blast, followed by a walk off solo bomb.

The moral of the story, no matter how old you are, or what your occupation is, playing catch is always a great experience. In case anyone was curious, Howard has a very accurate arm, where I have the distance, but I look like Wild Thing Vaughn before the glasses.

By the way, I do have a 3-0 lead, but the Friday's Jack Daniel's NY Strip has the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th (that one is for Mr. Garcia) SEND IT IN!!! TOILET HUMOR!!!!

My Day at Ivy Field

Well Folks, it was quite the day at Ivy Field for some riveting Northwestern Softball here at Regionals. After calling a disappointing 3-2 loss to Notre Dame during the noon game alongside Dan Platt, Howard, Dan and I ventured with our colleagues from NNN and The Daily Andrew Linnehan and Paul Tenorio to a local Wendy's for some lunch. As usual, I used absolutely no judgment and ordered the Big Bacon Classic. More on that later. Upon returning to Ivy Field, I felt it necessary to track my whereabouts while Dan and Howard prepared and eventually called Northwestern vs. Louisville. Now, my day at Ivy Field, post-4:00pm...

4:04pm - Eileen Canney and Courtnay Foster sit in the seats up the third base line plotting the next game. I bet they were criticizing the Louisville pitcher's choice of socks. Because I was.

4:08pm - SUNY Albany parents ridicule the umpire because of his strike zone. Typical.

4:18pm - Howard and I decide to take a walk around the facility. We are sticky in all the wrong places.

4:36pm - I exchange pleasantries with Linnehan and Tenorio while they play catch. I show that I still have an arm, contrary to popular belief.

5:15pm - In the bottom of the 7th, after trailing by two runs, Louisville ties the game with a two-run shot. The next batter followed with a game-winning bomb. I think Louisville has some momentum going into the elimination game with the Wildcats.

5:30pm - The scoreboard operator sees me in the press tent with Dan's laptop and asks if it is my turn to blog. Thanks for not accusing me of stealing sir. Anyway, I change my blogging plans out of embarassment. This has gone too far.

5:41pm - NU rightfielder Sheila McCorkle is announced as "Sheila McRay." No Respect!

5:45pm - 1st pitch, Northwestern vs. Louisville... Ball 1 to Churchwell

5:47pm - A conference on the mound with the Louisville pitcher, coach and the umpire. It might have been about Dan Platt's orange shirt.

5:50pm - Courtnay Foster toes the rubber for the 'Cats. We will not go down without a fight.

5:59pm - Kristen Amegin breaks up the UL no-hitter with a base hit in the top of the 2nd. You can cancel the post-game show folks.

6:13pm - The first parent-led cheer of "NU, NU, GO 'CATS!!!"I pulled up my dress socks and spit on the bleachers I was so psyched. The Notre Dame usher took some exception to this.

6:21pm - The purest definition of Ozzie-Ball according to Northwestern: a single, a walk and two UL errors brings us a 2-0 NU lead in the 3rd. ONIONS!!!

6:24pm - Garland "Dimaggio" Cooper laces another RBI double. 3-0 'Cats.

6:45pm - I head to the press box to check on my colleagues Dan Platt and Howard Tilman. Dan is bouncing around the press box trying to find the perfect view while Howard sits stoicly at the table like the "Godfather."

6:49pm - Foster makes her first mistake in 13 innings of work. 3-1 NU. That bomb nearly took out the ambulance in left-center.

7:03pm - Another Cooper RBI hit. CBS' Gus Johnson may have called it like this: "Now the pitch to Cooper, line drive base hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!

7:08pm - Louisville drops a Dotson fly ball in center. Muchas Gracias. NU leads 6-1. Coach Pitino cannot help this team.

7:12pm - While sitting at the SID's table behind home plate, a Notre Dame player invites her coach to come see a 7:55 showing of "Monster-in-Law." Glad to see the Irish are more focused on Jane Fonda and not Courtnay Foster. This could cost them.

7:20pm - Looking at Touchdown Jesus in the sunlight makes for quite the moment. Though, I would much rather see a giant painting of Charlie Weis...except without the $2.50 haircut, and the large spare tire.

7:23pm - Katie Logan is hotter than the pollo chipotle Frank Tormey ate in Tucson over spring break. This is baseball speak for being on a hitting tear. Tack on another run via a Churchwell double and NU leads 8-1.

7:35pm - The homerun hitting terror from UL struck again with a 250 ft. blast, this time almost taking out a BMW. A six-run lead seems safe, right?

7:43pm - Our Lacrosse guy Frank Tormey checks in from Baltimore, MD, at a Phillies-Orioles game at the beautiful Camden Yards. What I would give for a Boog's Beef Sandwich in Baltimore. It is supple and delicious, regardless of what my stomach says.

7:44pm - From the WNUR studio, engineer Greg Bobak checks in and tells our play-by-play man Dan Platt to go to Hades after Dan complained about the time change when he was in Hawaii. Dan is come friend, eh?

*Quick update, after nearly 4 hours, Ray is holding a slim lead over the Big Bacon Classic, but the Classic is a late night performer.

7:58pm - BALLGAME!!! Northwestern 8, Louisville 2.

Tune into WNUR Sports and tomorrow afternoon for what hopefully will be a pair of Northwestern wins over the fighting Charlie Weis'. Two wins and hello Regionals.

...Oh well hello to you, Mr. Classic.

Twas the Night Before Glory...

Quite a busy day for the blog, huh? I didn't realize we were letting everyone on staff have their say on this thing. Although, I do appreciate hearing from Mr. Mike Laskasky. Go Sox!

Speaking of baseball, Guy and myself were able to partake in interleague glory at Camden Yards tonight. The O's led the Phillies 4-0 in the 6th when we decided to head back to Annapolis. I must say, Camden Yards lives up to all the hype. It is the best ballpark I've ever seen. Howard Tilman might not appreciate this, but Philly fans are quite obnoxious. I've heard stories, but witnessing the actions of about 20,000 Phillies fans tonight in Baltimore was quite entertaining.

Now we're just chillin in the hotel room, preparing for our NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP broadcast. I got a chance to watch most of the Duke-Virginia semifinal game Friday night, and I was quite impressed with Virginia. They're not the defending champs for nothing. Duke beat the Cavs twice during the season, but this team has shown the heart of a champion during this tournament. They've downed the second and third seeds on their trip to the title match.

My take on the Virginia-Duke game was that there was very little defense being played. Both sides were able to get the ball deep in their opponents' zone with little resistance. Many observers in the press box considered that game the real national championship game, showing little respect for our undefeated Wildcats. Well, I like Northwestern's chances on Sunday. They are more athletic than the Cavaliers, and they have Courtney Koester. After the game on Friday, Dartmouth coach Amy Patton called Koester the best in the nation at winning a draw.

So, you know I wouldn't dare pick against my own school in a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP game. My prediction: Northwestern 13, Virginia 10. Go Cats!

P.S. Don't be surprised if this one goes overtime...

A Voice from the Past...

It's's's that M-I-K-E. You may remember me from such award-losing shows as the Sportsvoice on WNUR FM Evanston-Chicago. Yes, I've taken a little bit of a hiatus from radio broadcasting, but don't worry I'm back here in Evanston engineering NU Softball. I've been dabbling in television broadcasting for the Northwestern News Network. It's severely reduced my on-air time with WNUR but there's no need to worry, I'll be reintroduced into the wild (world of 89.3) by fall I'm sure. As I'm engineering these games today I'm noticing some trends that were not exactly prevalent or kosher whilst I was an on-air "talent". Because there's not much else to do here in the OACR, I'll list them below...

1. Bill Raftery is quoted on every single broadcast and it's irrelevant whether it makes sense.

2. Ray Garcia is basing his color analysis on his own IM Softball umpiring experiences.

3. Dan Platt is not referencing Kate Drohan nearly enough for me to be comfortable listening.

4. Howard Tilman is flawless.

In closing, I would like to remind everyone that just because you don't hear my velvety voice, it doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to listen to WNUR's coverage of NU softball and lacrosse all weekend long.

Love Always,
Mike Laskasky

The Home Crowd

Back here in Evans' Town, where Mike Laskasky and myself are engineering today's exciting softball action -- and boy howdy, are we holding down the fort.

After the loss to the Official Nemesis (that's Notre Dame for you non-Malcontent readers) we journeyed to the faraway and mysterious Bar Louie for some fantastic Philly cheesesteak sliders; unlike Mr. Garcia, we will not update you on the progress of these sliders through our respective digestive tracts.

We're supposedly about 45 minutes away from first pitch of the elimination game -- so it's back to the studios for us. Take it sleazy!

3-2 Final

Garland Cooper popped out to center to end the game. Notre Dame celebrates like they won a gold medal.

More to come.

Infield Single

Mobley infield single. Odell scores. 3-2. Garland Cooper up/

Two Outs

Churchwell pops out to first. Erin Mobley up, 2 outs.


Logan bloop single to left. McCorkle scores. 3-1. Bases still loaded. Stephanie Churchwell up.

Bases Juiced

Hinck infield single. Bases loaded, one out. Katie Logan up.

Two on

Odell worked a walk. Two runners on. Megan Hinck pinch hitting for Sengwald.

Start it off

McCorkle bunt single with one out. Odell up.

Bottom of the Seventh

So it all comes down to this. Courtnay Foster worked herself out of trouble in the top of the seventh striking out Middleton and snagging a line drive right back at her off the bat of Cioli.

If NU is going to come back, the bottom half of their order will have to get it done with Dotson, McCorkle and Odell due up.

Bottom 7
ND 3
NU 0

10 in a row

Heather Booth has now retired 10 Wildcats in a row. She ended Garland Cooper's streak of 8 straight times up reaching base.

If NU is to win this game, they'll have to come back in the bottom of the seventh. They've done that a few time before though...

Enter Courtnay Foster

After Canney allowed four hard hit balls in a row, Coach Kate Drohan has made the call to the bullpen bring Courtnay Foster into the circle.

Her first pitch - THE BLOW BY!!!

Two Innings to Go

Sengwald, Logan and Churchwell went down in order in the bottom of the fifth. Booth has now retired 9 of 10 NU batters. 'Cats send Mobley (just re-entered) Cooper and Amegin to the plate in the bottom of the sixth. May be their best chance to rally.

Megan Cioli just hit a homerun out to center field. Only Notre Dame's third hit of the game, but they lead NU 3-0. That is the same score NU led Notre Dame by in their contest earlier this year when the Irish came back to win 4-3...

A Positive Perhaps?

Even though the 'Cats were retired in order in the bottom of the fourth, Dotson, McCorkle and Odell each hit the ball solidly. Dotson with her fly out to the fence, and Odell sent a long foul ball way out down the line in right, before lining the ball solidly right at the right fielder. It appears as though the 'Cats are starting to get Booth timed.

Gunned down again

Notre Dame just took a 2-0 lead on a Mallorie Lenn double to left field. However the relay throw from Churchwell to Dotson was in time to gun down Katie Laing trying to score from first. This was Dotson's second put out of the game at home.

Leading off the bottom of the 4th, Dotson sent one to the wall in center where Megan Cioli caught it juft in front of the fence.

Top 4
ND 2
NU 0

What a Streak

Garland Cooper has now reached base in eight consecutive plate appearences and in 11 of her last 12. Wow.

End of the Rally

Kristen Amegin went down swinging to end the NU rally.

After three full innings,
ND 1
NU 0

Game Experience

These fans know their softball. Cooper trots down to first with a walk.

Two on, two out for Kristen Amegin.

Outside Corner

Stephanie Churchwell was just wrung up for the second time today. This time she watched pitch go by on the outside corner and she was not happy about the call.

Katie Logan is on second with a single and a stolen base. Jessica Miller just went down on strikes as well. Two outs for Garland Cooper. Fans are expecting a walk to Cooper.

First Reference

It took until the third inning, but Bill Raftery finally made his first appearence in the broadcast as Dan Platt quipped, "the blow by!" following a Canney strike out.


In the top of the 2nd, right fielder Erin Mobley dove for a fly ball onto the hard outfield dirt. She was down for a little bit remained in the game. In the top of the third, Jessica Miller came in to replace her. The word in the stnds is that Mobley has some scrapes on her face and will most likely re-enter.

Top 3rd
ND 1
NU 0


In the top of the 2nd, right fielder Erin Mobley dove for a fly ball onto the hard outfield dirt. She was down for a little bit remained in the game. In the top of the third, Jessica Miller came in to replace her. The word in the stnds is that Mobley has some scrapes on her face and will most likely re-enter.

Top 3rd
ND 1
NU 0

Battle of the Change-up

This game is shaping up to be a battle of the change-up. Heather Booth for Notre Dame made many Louisville batters look silly yesterday with her change-up. She continues to rely on that pitch today. Eileen Canney has a change-up of her own and just sent Liz Hartman to the bench with a wicked pitch.

Headed into the bottom of the second, still 1-0 Notre Dame.

Go 'Cats, Go bats!

Mr. Amegin just fired up the NU crowd with a rousing, "Go 'Cats! Go Bats!"

On the board first

Notre Dame squeeked a run across in the top of the first on a wild pitch.

Notre Dame 1, NU coming to bat.


On a week grounder to short with a runner on third, Stephanie Churchwell fired home to Jamie Dotson who had the plate blocked. OUT AT HOME. Great play 'Cats.

First Pitch

First pitch from Eileen Canney... STIRKE ONE!

Great Seats

I'm sitting in the midst of the rowdy Northwestern fan section. After each player is introduced a loud cheer goes up. I'm right next to the fathers of Kristen Amegin, Garland Cooper and Jamie Dotson. I wonder if they bat 3-4-5 on the parents softball team.


Northwestern is the home team in this contest, but the scoreboard out here at Ivy Field does not have removable team names. Thus Northwestern will be in the Irish slot on the board. Could be a little confusing.

A Sign?

A few minutes ago the decision was made that the teams could not choose the music to play over the loudspeaker. The impartial music selection that just began? Starting pitcher Eileen Canney's theme song, Come on Eileen.

A sign perhaps?

In Game Updates

With Dan and Ray on the call today, I'm going to be spending the game in the stands with live in-game blog updates. In the first piece of news of the day, Coach Kate Drohan has made a lineup switch for today's game moving Kristen Amegin up from the number 5 spot in the order to the 4 positions and moving Jamie Dotson to 5.

Pre-game show on air in 10 minutes.

What a day...

Today was a good day. Northwestern softball won, Northwestern lacrosse won, and the Yankees won. Good times.

Just watching our lacrosse team play again reminded me of how good they are. Dartmouth was totally over-matched, and NU was able to weather the elements to play a sound defensive game. Virginia will pose a difficult challenge for the 'Cats on Sunday because they are very, very fast. They also score goals in droves--so Ms. Koester will have to come up huge on the draws yet again to stem any momentum the Cavs build. Duke was unable to do that at critical junctures during tonight's final four game and paid for it bigtime.

More than pretty much any other sport, Women's Lacrosse depends on controlling the ball. If you've got possession, the opposing team has a major uphill battle due to the non-contact nature of the sport. The options for taking the ball away are far more limited than even men's lacrosse.

On a programming note, I was so stoked that we had the technology to toss our coverage from South Bend, IN to Annapolis, MD seamlessly. That is something to be proud of, I think. Great job, everyone. I thought our lax broadcast went pretty well--my only regret is how high up we are in the pressbox because it is virtually impossible to see uniform numbers. That complicated matters a bit, but it got easier as the game progressed. Frank and I had a lot of fun on the call, and I think it sounded pretty good overall.

Frank and I capped off the excellent day with an excellent meal at the Ram's Head, which we both agreed was a great name for a bar. Among the delicious items ordered? You guessed it: crab. This time of the dip variety. Crab dip--good stuff. And we even got back to the hotel in time to catch the beginning of Uncle Conan.

So tomorrow's an off-day for us, so we'll take our enviable automobile over to Baltimore to see the O's battle the Phills in interleague action. That, and I'll write a dramatic game open for Sunday's championship game. I feel so blessed to have the chance to watch the Wildcats go for Northwestern's first national title in 64 years. It is very, very exciting. National championship. Wow.

Don't forget to tune in on Sunday for the expanded pregame show (featuring coach Amonte-Hiller and a live interview with NU AD Mark Murphy, and of course the game starting at 1:30 CST.

I'm out.

Friday, May 20, 2005

National Championship Ahoy!

I never thought I'd see the day.

It's the goal of every college sports fan to have his school win a national championship while a student. Watching USC bring home the crown in Football this fall and UNC send it in with the Men's Basketball title, I've always wondered, "what would it be like to go there right now?"

Well I may be able to find out. As Dan, Ray and I sat by the laptop in our South Bend hotel room listening to the second half of Women's Lacrosse thrashing of Dartmouth, I couldn't help but simply think, wow. Northwestern will play for the National Championship. Yes it is in Women's Lacrosse, but I don't think it matters. As Kelly Amonte Hiller leads her undefeated squad to the title game on Sunday, I think we all need to stop and appreciate what's going on.

It's the National Championship.

Of all the schools with Women's Lacrosse programs, Northwestern is in the final two.

It's the National Championship.

Traditional Lacrosse dynasties Princeton, Dartmouth, Duke and Georgetown have all been eliminated. Northwestern is still playing.

It's the National Championship.

In only its fourth year of varsity status this time around, Northwestern has not lost a game.

It's the National Championship.

Kelly Amonte Hiller has a chance to bring a trophy back to Evanston for the first time in 64 years.

Did I mention it's the National Championship?

Sunday this squad has a once in a lifetime opportunity. Sunday this team has a chance to win a National Championship, and it is a big deal. I'll finally have the chance to know what its like to have a team win the National Championship while a student and I'm planning on remembering it.

The 1st Time is Always Special

Well, I must say, I was a little nervous about my first on-air broadcast for softball, especially being at Regionals, but on the whole, I thought Howard Tilman and I had a very solid broadcast. And there is no better icing on the cake of a solid broadcast than a Northwestern winnner! The Wildcats advanced to the winner's bracket of the Notre Dame Regional and will square off with the Fighting Irish at high noon tomorrow afternoon. In late April, Notre Dame knocked off NU 4-3 during a late game collapse. Hopefully, this time around, Touchdown Jesus will be "up-in-arms" because Northwestern has lodged a foot in his...nevermind.
FYI: White Sox 5, Cubs 1 - Northsiders really do not have any "testicular verility."
Now, onto more important information, such as how Howard, Dan Platt, and I spent our evening in the socially jumping city of South Bend, Hick-iana. Let me warn you right now, the fun we had this evening was so grotesquely incredible that you should put your kids to bed right now. After departing from Ivy Field and slipping into something more comfortable, we ventured to Smokey Bones' Barbecue and Grill, where we indulged on mozzarella sticks and barbecued deliciousness. After our meal, we had a tough choice ahead of us: Adult fun or mind-boggling excitement?
We chose something mind-boggling and ventured to the South Bend Strikes and Spares Bowling Alley where I once again proved why I am a national championship bowler and embarassed Howard and Dan. Though Howard brought us a Tiger Woods-like fist pump after a big strike when he thought he was going to beat Dan in game 2. But just like Pick'Em, Howard went down yet again. Before we departed, the three amigos headed for the arcade where Howard and Dan each donned a virtual reality helmet for a shooting game and then took control of a samurai sword and embarassed themselves.
Finally, before retiring to our incredibly comfortable quarters, we had a little taste of Evanston here in South Bend as we traveled through the Steak'N'Shake drive-thru and enjoyed some delicious shakes. It may not be crab dip, but it sure as hell was tasty.
The Mavericks have the Suns on the ropes in Game 6, and in a shocker, I am still in control of the brisket sandwich I had earlier. I learned my lesson the hard way...dammit, overtime in Dallas. Steve Nash is incredible.
...And here comes the Brisket.

Holding down the fort

Just wanted to give everyone an update from the Evanston lakefront studios here at WNUR -- every person that has been in and out of the station this afternoon has asked after the lacrosse team's progress. We're all behind the team as they head to the national championship game, just as we're all behind better dietary habits for Ray Garcia.

Fashionably Late

Well, I am so excited to be posting on this blog after I have seen my commrades Ray, Howard, Frank, and Guy post so far this weekend. I had to go to work on Thursday and had something to take care of on campus Friday morning, so I could not embark for South Bend until Friday at about noon. However, there is nothing like a nice long drive by yourself to put things in perspective. I have read the blogs from this weekend and all I've seen from everyone has been pot shots at the people in the opposite location. Tormey taking shots at the South Bend crew and then the South Bend crew shooting back. I don't understand it! We're all on the same team here at WNUR and we are part of something really special. WNUR Sports with two crews in two locations, for two NCAA post season tournaments. How cool is that? Name me another student station that has the ONIONS or the technology to do that? (I'm looking at you Ohio State)

Ok, now to today. After two hours of some quality music (the new Ben Folds album is quality and the indie/emo stylings of Chin up Chin up kept me entertained) I arrived at Ivy Field on the campus of Notre Dame to witness the end of Notre Dame's comeback victory over Louisville. After that game ended, Ray and Howard went on air for game one of Northwestern's quest to the College World Series against The University AT Albany (NY). After the Great Danes went up 1-0 after Stephanie Churchwell lost a ball in the sun, Northwestern proceeded to wake up and the bats came alive. Garland Cooper reached base every time she came to the plate (including two unintentional intentional walks) and Katie Logan hit a HUGE TRIPLE which put smiles on everyone's face including Courtnay Foster who took the win for the Cats. She kept the Danes off balance with sharp fastball and wicked changeups. Long story short, Northwestern 6 Albany 1. The Cats will take on Notre Dame at noon tomorrow in what should be an amazing contest.

As far as the broadcast goes, Ray and Howard did an amazing job. The only issue I had with them was when in their attempt to stretch the pre-game show, the conversation game to Reggie Miller's last game in the NBA. Ray, who is an avid Bulls fan, tried to say in front of me, (a New Yorker) that Reggie had tortured HIS team over the years, to which I made the famous Reggie choke sign to Spike Lee. Right now we are listening to Frank and Guy call the Lax game from Maryland and watching Frank Costanza have flashbacks to his time as an army chef in Korea. I'm new to this Blogging thing as I still live in the early 90's, so I apologize if the humor level is a little low. A heard a rumor that myself and Ray Garcia might be on the call of the game tomorrow, and if that is the case, be prepared for many ONIONS! SEND IT IN!! OOO SUPPLE!! and if it is myself and Howard, be prepared for many NO SOUP FOR YOU, AND YOU WANT TO BE MY LATEX SALESMAN? BUT I DON'T WANT TO BE A PIRATE!!

I haven't sampled the South Bend cuisine, but i'm sure there will be no crabcakes. I hope Frank is enjoying his first encounter with Crabs. Talk to everyone tomorrow!

A Final Four-cast

Well in about six and a half hours, the Wildcats take on the Big Green for a spot in the National Championship of women's lacrosse. How exciting is that? Time to break down the Final Four... where's Greg Gumbel when you need him?

First, for the weather report. After a glorious Thursday evening, the skies have opened above Annapolis. It is currently raining cats and dogs... I think I just saw a Great Dane come down. There's a 50 percent chance the rain is still here for our game tonight. Luckily, lacrosse players can handle a little rain. On to the game...

The Wildcats have pretty much exerted their dominance all season, but Dartmouth will be no pushover. They won the Ivy League title, besting a Princeton team that challenged the Cats last Sunday. Goalie Devon Wills is a three-year starter, but she'll have her hands full with Northwestern's offensive attack.

For me, this game will likely come down to the first five minutes of each half. The Wildcats love to come out of the gates firing at the start of games. They've scored first in 16 of their 19 games, averaging 4.75 goals before their opponent gets on the board. If the Cats can get the Big Green in a hole, they should be able to keep them there. If not, it will be crucial to establish momentum early in the second half.

One thing's for certain, if this game is close with ten minutes to play it will be the most nerve-wracking ten minutes ever for Guy and myself, as well as all those listening, but not for the women on the field. Even though they've never been here before, you get the sense this team is ready for anything.

My prediction: Northwestern 11 - Dartmouth 7, Go Cats!

P.S. Crabcakes are amazing!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Now, the "Fun" Stuff

I am very pleased to see that the world of internet blogging has instituted Affirmative Action and allowed a minority onto the blog. I will do my best to make my people proud, unlike their president.

Anyhow, our singing colleagues in Annapolis, Frank Tormey and Guy Benson, seem to think that their accomodations are far better than those here in South Bend, Hick-iana. Well, judging by the back of the bathroom door that lists the nightly price of $359 for the Spring Hill Suites, I would say we get the edge. Frank and Guy can have their crab cakes and "friendly" strolls along the Marlyand docks, we have a wall that divides the hotel room in two. I am sure they cannot contain their jealousy.

Now, night life and fun seem to be a great part of going on these broadcast road trips. And Howard and I did not disappoint. We may have not left the room to find good viewing, but the intensity we found on the Zenith Concierge Television would have blown your mind. (And by "intense" TV, I do not mean that.) Competition was riding high all night. After our boys at CSI made a heroic save, we were in search of more drama. You may think we were engulfed in the NBA Playoffs, but no. The only items that could consume our attention were "Iron Chef America" and CNBC's "Head's Up Texas Hold'Em Tournament. That Phil Hellmuth is a monster.

Before I let you all go, just a quick note about this weekend's action. Northwestern may be the top seed here in this Notre Dame Regional, but they are going to have their hands full with their three challengers. The Great Danes of Albany may be an unknown America East school, but if you have a pitcher with a .74 ERA, you can do some things. Louisville is riding a wave of post-season success after the football team won the Liberty Bowl in December and Rick Pitino's boys went to the Final Four. And Notre Dame, well, not only did they beat NU in late April, they have the full support of Charlie Weis. I would be scared of anyone with a haircut like that.

Go U Northwestern Softball and Lacrosse!!! To get this blog in Spanish, utilize the SAP button on your computer.

P.S. The 12-ounce sirloin from Outback has replaced Northwestern finals as my new arch-nemesis. Yikes! My apologies to the housekeeping staff. SEND IT IN, STOMACH PROBLEMS!!!

South Bend ain't too shabby either

It appears as though our colleagues in Annapolis have gotten off to a head start in the blogging updates. Well, they did arrive earlier then we did. Somehow their flight was not affected by the weather at all, yet our bus ride was delayed by it. With thunderstorms passing through South Bend earlier today, practice at Ivy Field was canceled. Instead the team practiced in Evanston and did not depart until about 2:30 pm.

Speaking of 2:30 pm let's take the time to talk about, well time. Indiana currently is one of only two states that does not change its time for daylight savings. (Arizona is the other one which was where NU was at NCAA Regionals last year. Coincidence?) With the lack of daylight savings time, Eastern Standard Time becomes the same as Central Daylight Time. Did you guys catch that out in Annapolis? Ray and I learned that Frank and Guy took a nice romantic walk along the docks out in Maryland. Sure hope they had fun...

On another note, today was Kristen Amegin's 21st birthday. She celebrated by wearing a princess crown on the bus ride as well as at the Outback Steakhouse where the team performed a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday To You. We'd like to wish her a happy birthday as well and thank her parents for the delicious cookies she shared with everyone.

Now about our hotel... We may not have the executive lounge as is the case in Annapolis, but I'm certainly not complaining. Our accommodations are suite style, meaning the room is divided into the bedroom section and the living room/office section where we currently are at work blogging and watching the CSI season finale. Take that Loews Hotel!

Taking a look at the tournament breakdown, the first aspect of note is the new format this year. Instead of eight 8-team regions, the NCAA switched to 16 4-team regions. Each region is a double elimination tournament with the winner advancing on to Super-Regionals. The 'Cats earned the 9th overall seed in field of 64 and are the favorite to come out their region. Albany, Louisville and host Notre Dame compromise the other four teams scheduled to play. The 'Cats fell to Notre Dame earlier this season in a close 4-3 game, and have not played the others.

Now back to CSI...

More notes from Navytown

I'll add a few additional thoughts on our journey to the East coast (I almost feel like I'm home sweet home).

Since we didn't know we'd be coming to Maryland until the 'Cats beat Princeton on Sunday, we had to hold off on booking flights. By the time we did so, there were slim pickin's as far as seat availablilty goes. Therefore Frank and I were separated by two rows, each relishing a highly-coveted middle seat on a full flight. The gentleman sitting to my right asked me for my pretzels, which I gladly handed over, and the younger guy on the isle was laughing out loud at NBC's "Joey." At least one person in America likes that show.

After landing at BWI and renting our luxurious vehicle (pronounced vee-hick-el due to the TX plates), we made our way to beautiful Annapolis, home of the Naval Academy. By the way, National Car Rentals had an amazing variety of ONE Chevy Cavalier from which we could "choose." Oh, well. At least the car radio identifies that band and song names on DC101.

Upon entering Annpolis, we spotted a few cadets, prompting Frank to sing the chorus of "In the Navy" by the Village People (which kind of scared me, to be honest). His singing was not over, however. The hotel we're staying at is a Loews relation to the movie theater chain with the obnoxious jingle, but Frank decided to remind me of how that jingle goes anyway.

As we ascended to the 5th floor penthouse--not really--we ran into a few of the Virginia players, who were discussing the hotel breakfast buffet in preparation for their final four matchup with Duke tomorrow night. We wished them good luck, and they asked where we were from. They were stunned--dare I say wildly impressed--that we were Northwestern radio broadcasters. One of the players said...and I quote: "Wow." They got off on the 4th floor, and as the elevator door closed, Frank pointed out that were are "kind of a big deal."

One thing that am really looking forward to is checking out the enviable Commodore Lounge here on the 5th floor. (Everything at this hotel has an seafarer theme for some reason.) I stole a quick glance into the exclusive lounge, which is replete with a Granfather clock, big screen TV, and complimentary USA Todays and sodas. I am eager to hear if our colleagues in Indiana are enjoying similar luxury. I somehow doubt it.

Oh yeah, the women's lacrosse team will be competing in Final Four action in almost 23 the meantime, I want some delicious Maryland crabcakes.

Howdy From Annapolis

I say howdy because our rental car has Texas plates. Let me tell you, not everything is bigger in Texas. The flight from O'Hare to BWI was rather uneventful, saved only by a Conan O'Brien segment on NBC In-Flight. "It's something we do every day...weeping?" Somewhere Greg Bobak nods in approval.

Guy and myself will be on the air at approximately 4:45 central time tomorrow, right after softball action. That is, of course, if our equipment still works. We were waiting for it at baggage claim at BWI. It was taking a while, so we thought they might have brought it out separately since it had a fragile tag on it. Just then, the sounds of our case banging down the carousel let us know everything was going to be all right.

Rode up the elevator here at the hotel with some Virginia players. They looked psyched, as if I know what that means. We'll have more game info later, and I guarantee it will be better then the stuff you get out of South Bend.

And we're off...

Well WNUR Sports double header weekend is underway. Guy Benson and Frank Tormey are off to Annapolis this afternoon and Ray Garcia and I are headed to South Bend to be joined by Dan Platt tomorrow.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow from 2:15 - 7 pm for one super sized block of WNUR Sports. We'll start things off with NCAA Regional Softball action, NU vs Albany and then kick things over to the Women's Lacrosse final four with NU taking on Dartmouth.

Game previews to come later today.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Getting Ready for Annapolis...

Frank Tormey and I will have the amazing opportunity to accompany the #1 women's lacrosse team to Annapolis, MD for the NCAA final four. Their first opponent will be the Dartmouth Big Green (is that not one of the dumbest nicknames in college sports?) on Friday, then either Duke or Virginia in the finals--provided that they overcome the Big Green.

Come to think of it, Dartmouth should be forced to surrender one goal at the beginning of every contest as pennance for their idiotic nickname. I'm getting this all out of my system so I don't spin out of control on the air during Friday's game.

Anyway, we'll have live action of every minute of final four Wildcat action on 89.3 FM, as well as on

As part of our bonus coverage Frank and I will blog throughout our trip to Maryland so that the miniscule readership of this blog will be kept abreast on all of our innane activities. You should expect Frank's posts to be far more amusing than mine....they don't call him Chuckles McTormes for nothing.

So stay tuned...

Monday, May 16, 2005

Double Header Weekend

This weekend WNUR Sports will be in two locations as once as we bring you both the Softball NCAA Regionals from South Bend, Indiana, as well as the Women's Lacrosse NCAA Semi-Finals from Annapolis, Maryland.

It's going to be an action packed as well as a historic weekend of Northwestern Athletics. Stay tuned to WNUR for all the action.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

At least it's not raining

...but GOSH DARN is it early.

I bet Joe Buck doesn't put up with this.

[see if you can guess which part of this got edited!]

Boy Was I Wrong

So on Thursday I wrote that 9 am was an early wake-up. Ouch. Today's wake-up call came at the glorious hour of 6 am. As Greg's post indicates it's not raining though and we should have some softball action today.

Friday, May 13, 2005


After 3 1/2 hours of rain delay, the entire second round of the Big Ten Tournament has officially been postponed until tomorrow morning. As such, Northwestern's semifinal contest against third-seeded Iowa has been rescheduled to 8:00 AM CDT tomorrow, May 14, on WNUR, with our pregame show set to start at 7:45.

Should Northwestern defeat Iowa in this contest and advance to the Big Ten championship game, WNUR will also carry the title matchup, which is tentatively scheduled for a 12:00 PM start.

Unfortunately, rain is yet again in the forecast for tomorrow, so we may have to endure further delays -- please stay tuned to this space as well as for scheduling updates.

As always, WNUR will broadcast every pitch of every Northwestern game live -- it's just a question of when those pitches will actually happen.

Howard and I will be with you every step of the way, even those steps that involve carrying about 800 pounds of radio equipment through a rainstorm.

Rain Delay Theatre

We are currently under rain delay here in Ann Arbor, but fear not, softball fans, as NU/Iowa is now estimated to start at approximately 7:00 PM CDT. This is an approximate time and may differ by over 15 minutes in either direction, so please bear with us as we endeavor to get back on the air.

In rain delay news, Ann Arbor was deluged by an intense thunderstorm which deposited pea-sized hail throughout the area and dropped over an inch of rain. In the mean time, everyone retreated into the Oosterbaan Fieldhouse to engage in games of football, frisbee, and wiffleball. Unfortunately, the WNUR wiffleball team was defeated 3-0 in a three inning game by a combined NNN/Daily Northwestern squad -- but this does *not* count in the standings for the Jay Tant Memorial Trophy.

Stay tuned here and to WNUR over the air for further updates on this situation -- we will be bringing every pitch live, whenever they may occur.

Storm Fronts, Part Deux

As it stands, it appears as though the Northwestern/Iowa semifinal matchup will go ahead -- the nightmarish storm system is not supposed to arrive until later this evening. WNUR has been informed of a tentative starting time of 4:30 PM CDT, meaning that our pregame show will commence at approximately 4:15. Stay tuned to this space and for continued scheduling updates -- we will cover the game to its completion, whenever that may occur.

Storm Fronts

It appears as though Ann Arbor is about to be pounded by heavy rainstorm involving, lighting, hail and even a tornado possibility. Stay tuned for further scheduling updates.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Wildcats Advance

The Northwestern Wildcats advance to the semi-finals of the Big Ten Tournament beating Purdue, Thursday by a score of 2-0.

Kristin Amegin led the way for the Wildcats as she had both RBI’s in the game. She got things started for the ‘Cats with a solo homerun in the bottom of the second inning, then provided the insurance run on a two out single to left in the fifth.

The two runs were more than enough for Courtnay Foster who tossed the complete game shutout allowing only four hits, striking out seven and giving up just one walk.

Purdue was unable to mount much of a threat throughout the entire game as no Boilermaker advanced past second base. Purdue now has not scored a run in 24 consecutive innings against Northwestern.

Offensively, Stephanie Churchwell continued setting the plate at the top of the lineup going 2-3 on the day. Sheila McCorkle as well turned in a 2-3 performance, as did Amegin.

Amegin’s solo-shot gives her the NU single season homerun record at 13. Her RBI in the fifth came with two outs and two runners on. Churchwell reached base on a leadoff single, advanced to second on a sacrifice and third on a passed ball. She was then thrown out at home trying to score on a Garland Cooper grounder to third. Jamie Dotson then walked to advance Cooper to second, following which came Amegin’s hit. Dotson was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play to end the inning.

Earlier in the day several Wildcats received post-season honors. At the top of the list was Garland Cooper taking home the Big Ten Player of the Year award. Head Coach Kate Drohan also was named Big Ten Co-Coach of the Year with Michigan’s Carol Hutchins. Cooper, Stephanie Churchwell, Erin Mobley and Courtnay Foster were named First Team All-Big Ten selections. Jamie Dotson and Eileen Canney receiver second team accolades.

The ‘Cats will be back in action Friday as they take on the winner of the Iowa-Penn St game. Northwestern won all its games against those opponents beating Iowa 11-1 and 2-0 and taking down Penn St 3-0 and 2-1.

Friday’s game is scheduled to begin at 4 pm CDT.

The right foot

Apparently our presence on the bus didn't act as a hex on the team. Who knew?

Today's contest (a 2-0 NU victory over Purdue) proved one thing: pitching wins tournaments. Purdue hasn't scored a run against Northwestern in about 3500 straight innings and they never seriously threatened today, managing only four hits against Courtnay Foster.

Sure, the Wildcats could have done more on offense, but a W is a W, as they say, and after opening the last two Big Ten Tournaments with 18- and 11-inning contests, it must have been nice just to get one out of the way.

Earlier in the day, Howard and I sat at the Olive Garden, watching the team eat from what amounted to the kids' table across the room (long story). As I commented yesterday, the atmosphere was incredibly relaxed, and this carried through to the game. There's no better combination than to be relaxed during a game while simultaneously taking it seriously -- well, no combination since some genius came up with a shot and a beer, anyway.

Tomorrow it's either Iowa or Penn State, against whom NU achieved an impressive 4-0 record this season. Iowa lives for this tournament, but on the flip side Northwestern is pretty good, so we ought to see a fine game. Assuming, of course, that the mighty winds do not come and blow down our construction trailer/broadcast facility, or that the rains do not cancel any or all of the four games on the schedule.

You wonder how teams can play this schedule with midterms and the like, until you realize that everyone but NU is out of school already and is enjoying their summer vacation. That's fine, though, 'cause we get them back in the fall by playing football games in front of an empty stadium. Suck on that, Michigan.

As your loyal correspondents prepare to take our evening meal, we assure you that we'll be back tomorrow -- or whenever the game may be held -- with the tournament semifinals, live on WNUR.

Even if we have to do it from the kids' table.

Until then, I am outie 5000; take it sleazy.

Superstition ain't the way

So apparently the recent Daily Northwestern softball article dealt with the superstitions followed by the softball team, which is all well and good. After all, there's no sport more devoted to superstition than baseball/softball, since the games are so regimented and rules-oriented.

The players like to keep the same seats on the bus, which I suppose makes sense -- with the performance they turned in this season, something was obviously going right. But the article goes on to paraphrase the head coach: "Drohan said the WNUR play-by-play announcers who ride with the team make keeping the normal order more difficult."

Well that's true. We did cause quite a ruckus -- first, we were accused of stealing Caryl Drohan's keys; second, we were questioned for conversing in "hushed tones;" third, we ripped the hell out of The Long Kiss Goodnight, which at least one player had to like or we wouldn't have watched it.

But that was all in good fun. You'd think from this article that we had an army of sixteen broadcasters along -- well, softball fans, there's only two of us.

I promise that no superstitions are being violated. If they are, we'll rent a car. Honest.

After all, as Stevie Wonder said, when you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer.

Early Wake-Up

Ugghh, 9 am is in early wake up. But if its for the Big Ten Tournament, I'll do it.

Why waking up at 9 for a 5 o clock (local time) game is necessary, well I'm really not sure.

Greg and I spent the morning browsing the nearby Sears only to learn what great secret was hidden within - a full mall! Then the window shopping began. Brookstone, American Eagle, Borders, you name it we shopped its window.

In more related matters, we've noticed many other teams staying at our same hotel. They are the Iowa softball team, as well as Hawaii and Stanford who are in town for the NCAA Women's Water Polo Championship. We'll keep track of other teams we notice.

That's about it for now. The game's only four hours away and we're certainly starting to get excited.

Travel Day Stampede!

If there’s something better than riding a bus through Michigan watching Geena Davis turn in one of the greatest acting performances in history, I’d like to know what it is.

Well, besides that. Obviously that’s better.

I’m quite impressed by the attitude around this softball team. Sure, as working media we regularly cover the team, but it’s only in the postseason that we join them on the bus – and it’s amazing how relaxed the team appears heading into a do-or-die tournament.

Our presence also gives them a scapegoat – I certainly don’t know who’s joking and who isn’t.

Since this is a blog, I feel compelled to whine about my personal life. After consuming several “alternative” beverages on Tuesday night, I spent the 3 AM hour in the quarters of a colleague desperately seeking advice on the pursuit of a certain – what do you mean, talk about softball?

It’s surprising how familiar this all seems. For the second year in a row, I’m in Ann Arbor for the Big Ten Tournament and watching playoff basketball on TNT in the hotel room. For the second year in a row, we’re expecting thunderstorms during all three days of the tournament and wiffleball games in the UM fieldhouse. For the second year in a row I’m submitting senseless, rambling internet columns.

Why don’t we do this for football? Oh, right: this trip is actually interesting.

I have to say, the shrimp and pasta alfredo at Chili’s is magnificent. Not as good as that you’d get at a seafood restaurant, of course, but you can’t win ‘em all.

Choice: Family Guy, The Daily Show, or the Late Show with David Letterman? Harder than it sounds.

Anyway, I’ve run out of topics. We’ll be back tomorrow pending the outcome of the Purdue game.

Rain delay, ahoy!

Ann Arbor Arrival

Well, we’re here in glorious Ann Arbor, Michigan for the Big Ten Tournament. After sitting through a 4 and a half hour bus ride, which included a screening of The Long Kiss Goodnight, we’ve checked into our hotel for the next few days.

There seems to be a little Déjà vu occurring for the team, as this is their second consecutive weekend in Ann Arbor. We ate dinner at the same exact Chiles they did last week. Some jokes were made that no one could have the same meal as last time considering the results.

The feeling is very odd being in Ann Arbor after coming so close to hosting the tournament in Evanston. Obviously with one win over Michigan last weekend things would have been different. However, this hasn’t seemed to affect the team in any way, as everyone remains in high spirits. (And how couldn’t you be in high spirits after watching Samuel L. Jackson’s performance in Kiss Goodnight.)

Let’s take some time to review the format of the tournament. The days of double-elimination are no more for the Big Ten as the conference made the switch to single-elimination last year. This has had multiple effects. The tournament expanded from six teams to eight to accommodate this change and the scheduling has changed significantly. The 1-8 and 2-7 games are the only games played on Thursday. Friday morning, the first round continues with the 3-6 and 4-5 contests. Then the winners face off that afternoon. This gives the top two seeds, Northwestern and Michigan, the advantage of only having to play one game on Friday – if they get there.

The single elimination switch has also placed added pressure on each game. Teams can no longer have an off day and come back to win the tournament. Everyone must play at their best all the time, creating some great softball as well as major upsets. In last year’s tournament, 8-seeded Michigan State took down top ranked Michigan in the first round, and then continued to ride the success of star pitcher Jessica Beech all the way to the championship. In single elimination all it takes is for one pitcher to get hot and carry her team from then on. With Northwestern’s pocket aces of Courtnay Foster and Eileen Canney, look for this scenario to be a plus for the ‘Cats.

Looming over the entire tournament is the number one team in the nation Michigan Wolverines. They are the favorite to take home the championship and proved it’s not going to be easy for anyone to unseat them last weekend taking down NU in back-to-back games. However, the ‘Cats are itching to get another shot at the Wolverines feeling confident that they can finish the comeback they started last Sunday.