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."