COLUMN: Faraway webcast brings game home

Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     When I was a kid, I made an amazing discovery one night while sitting in my bedroom, listening to the radio.

     It was an old-school radio – not digital – with a knob you slowly turned to find radio stations.

     I turned it, heard the usual crackling of static, and then there it was. An announcer calling a National Hockey League game, featuring the St. Louis Blues.

     The St. Louis station that carried the Blues was strong enough, most nights, that it could be picked up in a suburban house in West St. Paul, Minn.

     Because I thought this was so cool, it became a habit. I would find out when the Blues were playing, and listen in, a development that made the Blues my favorite team for a short while.

     These days, of course, it isn’t such a big deal to listen to, or even see, a variety of teams. Pay the right people the right amount of money, and you can watch virtually any team in any league at any time.

     Somehow, though, I never lost that excitement of discovering the broadcast of a faraway team. On Friday night, I was able to apply that to my job.

     Midland was playing a state quarterfinal football game in Wyoming against Tripoli. Also that night, my older son was performing in “Little Shop of Horrors” in the Monticello High School Auditorium.

     I made the “family-first” call that we try to live by, and watched Levi as Mr. Mushnik instead of going to the game.

     When the play was over, I knew there wouldn’t be time to get down to Wyoming and see more than a couple of minutes of the fourth quarter.

     I also knew that with Cascade and West Delaware having playoff games the same night, the radio stations that might carry Midland would be otherwise occupied.

     So, I took a shot. I got online and found Y99.3, a station that covers Tripoli and had made the trip to Wyoming. When the game came on our home computer, more than seven minutes remained, and I was able to listen and take notes on the play-by-play.

     I should note here that Midland’s coach, Casey Hack, does an outstanding job of providing statistics and comments to area sportswriters after each game, making it easy for us to write about them. Since my priority at the Express is to attend the Monticello game each week, Casey’s help is a Godsend.

     But there is no substitute for actually being at the game and – failing that – for getting play-by-play on the radio.

     Thanks to Y99.3 announcers Mike and Patrick Ray – who were quite good – I was able to recount the two Midland fumbles that turned into two Midland scores – a touchdown and a two-point conversion – that wound up deciding the game and sending the Eagles to the UNI-Dome for the second straight year.

     It improved the article that you see on these sports pages. It also brought back the happy memory of finding a St. Louis Blues hockey game on the radio all those years ago.



Subscriber Login