Marquette, MI – November 19, 2019 – This past weekend, I had one of the most memorable trips of my broadcasting career, however young it may be. I traveled down to Mount Pleasant with the Ishpeming Hematites football team for their Regional Final against the Beal City Aggies.
This was the first time in my life that I had gone on an overnight trip with a sports team as the broadcaster. Before the trip, I was excited, to be sure, but also a little nervous. After all, I didn’t know how anything worked on a trip like this. Would I have my own hotel room? Would the meals be paid for? Would I forget something important?
As it turns out, my apprehensions were totally unfounded. Yes, I did have my own room in Mount Pleasant. Yes, all the meals were paid for. No, I didn’t forget anything important. I did, however, commit one glaring oversight: I didn’t bring gloves. It wasn’t that I had forgotten them, I just stupidly elected not to bring any.
The night that we arrived, the team bus went straight to the field so the team could practice. Bob Nadeau, my color commentator, and I thought that it would be a short practice, just enough to get rid of the dreaded “bus legs”, and then we’d go back to the hotel. Boy, were we off. The practice started at around 3:15 or so, the sun just beginning to approach the horizon and the temperature around 30 degrees. Two-and-a-half hours later, they were done. We were freezing.
The next day, Bob and I were dismayed to learn that the press box at the stadium did not have heat. Again, remember that I had left my gloves back in Marquette. By the end of the game, I couldn’t feel my fingertips, and during my interview with Ishpeming head coach George Niemi, I was actually shivering. I have never been that eager to get back onto a bus.
All in all, even though the Hematites lost, the trip was a great one. I have stories to tell, memories to last a lifetime, and one of my favorite sayings ringing in my ears: “If you’re gonna be stupid, you’d better be tough.”