I told myself I wasn’t going to do this.
Today marks my second year as a full-time employee of 580 WIBW. Last year, I typed words reflecting back on my first year. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t do that for this year, but blame Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant.
As many know, the legendary Laker called it a career (an incredible one at that) last night against the Utah Jazz by scoring 60 points and leading the Lakers to a comeback victory. Plenty of people don’t care about the NBA in this area, but I still find myself glued to the television to watch a standard Dallas Maverick game. Anyways, the Lakers put together a tribute video of the “Black Mamba,” showing various teammates, coaches and prestigious players.
When I jumped on my bed last night, I couldn’t stop thinking of the video. I kept naming those in the short clip and enjoyed their memories of the great Kobe. They all congratulated him, thanked the man for his companionship and so much more.
And that’s why I’m writing today.
I never stop realizing how blessed I truly am. So many times, I shake my head, asking, “Why me? How did I get so lucky?” General manager Larry Riggins and Keith Montgomery didn’t have to bring me here and pay me for what I love to do. Sports director Jake Lebahn could have looked elsewhere and stopped my somewhat crazy vision. But none of them did.
I can’t thank them enough. They all assembled an incredible ‘A’ team as well. And this team is trying to break records, just like the Golden State Warriors last night getting to 73 victories in a single-season.
Not everyday do you get the chance to work with a friend from college. I get the opportunity each day with Alex Gold. Our website man Dave Navarro and graphic extraordinaire Carol Gallmeyer give me tools to make ideas go from the brain to the screen. Football color analyst Greg Akagi takes stats, does color commentary and brings up things I never see. Sideline reporter Alex Dingman might be the funniest sideline man I’ve worked with. And then there’s basketball color analyst Larry Latimer, a man who bought me a seat cushion in my first year working with him. Oh, and he followed that up with what I call a “play-by-play pen” for this year.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg here at work. When I venture outside of the station, I see so many exceptional people in the community. Parents are supportive (and yet, challenging things I say, which helps a ton). Coaches have to deal with me, but choose to make me a better person. And the athletes…well, I cherish every moment and second with them. Heck, I cherish every second with everyone in this community.
As for the broadcasts? Well, I already sort of wrote about that. And, you probably don’t want to read more of this sappy post. But what’s not included in that year-in-review, is the Hayden Lady Wildcats taking second at the Class 4A-II state basketball tournament. Also not shown, is the perfect 26-0 season for the Silver Lake Lady Eagles, who rolled to a Class 3A state title.
I appreciate everyone so very much. I love you all. I hope my second year was better than my first for everyone.
Here’s hoping for another 20. Shoot, how about just another one?
In the words of the great Kobe Bryant last night, “Strathman out.”