Saturday, January 12, 2008

Football Photo Essay


















































































Now the "excitement" of the week long taking down of the Mersman 107 smoke stack coming down is over...back to other more mundane things.
When I headed off to college at the ripe old age of 26, after 4 years of Air Force duty, including a couple of stops in Vietnam as an Air Force cop, and several years of managing and toning my fighting skills running a 18 through 20-something nightclub in Celina, I wanted to major in Natural Resources, but with few jobs available, especially for a white straight male, I ended up in Environmental Health, which I was to make my career for 20 some years, but not without being sidetracked into the glamours world of radio and TV broadcasting.

After college Patricia and I moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, her home state, but some 180 miles north of her home town of Oconomowoc....she worked in the hospital and for an investment company...while I worked as a bartender and in the winter at the local ski slopes running the lifts.....in my spare time I took up what one of my college English professor told me..."You have a perfect voice for broadcasting.....you should give it a try"....I enrolled in Trans American Broadcasting School in Wausau, because I still had a year or two left in my GI Bill Education benefits...so why not? For the next 5 years after graduation, I toiled in small markets like Merrill, WI, Kokomo, IN, and Dodge City, Kansas, before heading back to Ohio.....where I would work in radio as a program director, until the local health department finally had an opening in Environmental Health....which I took in 1983.

From 1978 until 2004 I was to work full time(78-83) and part-time(83-04) in the broadcast world, as a Program Director, News Anchor and Director, Sports Anchor and Play-by-Play guy....it is a cut throat business, but it does have it's upsides. One of those was as a Sports Anchor and News Director at a local cable outlet in my old birth hometown of Van Wert, Ohio.

This work gave me a chance to interview everybody and anybody from the sports world, pro and college, plus follow the local high school teams to the state championships....usually when covering the pro or college games I would sit in the press box(football and baseball) or on press row(basketball)....at times though I would grab a still or video camera and head down to the side lines....with 60,000 screaming football fans and players that dwarfed me, and I'm not a runt, running at break neck speed it was quite a show.....the photos at the top of this post are some of those.
(Photos....I always have found sideline and fan shots more interesting than "action", heck you find those anywhere and I have plenty of those in my files.....from the top: (1) "The Dog Pound" in Old Cleveland Municipal Stadium....sitting there in the 1987 playoff game between the Browns and Colts....you got a sense of "The Criminal Element" in pro football...not the players...the FANS! (2) At Ohio State when the Buckeyes beat the Hoosiers to secure the 1993 Big Ten Championship, yep the right side photo is me in the rain....and I could have been high and dry in the press box(3) Hall of Fame WR Steve Largent and Seattle QB Dave Krieg in 1986 at Cincinnati(4) The Bears after their Super Bowl season played at Riverfront in Septemeber 86....I remember the temperature was about 110 on the AstroTurf...photos include Walter Peyton on the bench, The "Refrigerator" Perry, what a ton!, and Jimmy McManhon and Steve Mac...Macmichaels went on to become a "bad guy" in the former WWF Wrestling(5) Boomer Essiasin and Chris Collinsworth of the Bengals....both went on to broadcasting careers....Collinsworth is a real jerk, and not much of an announcer(IMO)(6) Me, on the sidelines at Riverfront before a game,sometime in the mid 80s.....and(7) my sheepskin from Trans American Broadcasting...hard to believe it will be 30 years this February that I started my broadcasting "career" at that little school located in the Wisconsin Northwoods}

4 comments:

Buck said...

Lotsa guys would kill for the opportunity to hang out on the sidelines and rub elbows with the players. I'll bet that was fun!

GUYK said...

That sounds interesting and fun..

I never met any real celebs..did build a custom fishing rod for Ronde Barber of the Bucs a few years back

pat houseworth said...

GuyK....Not sure I consider those guys celebs....but during the 1980 election while the News Director at KGNO in Dodge City I did get to interview Ronald Reagan one-on-one at the station....Now that's a Celeb! Also GH Bush and Ted Kennedy...that(Ted) was a tough interview, I despised the bastard and had to hold my seething, but I got through it.

Buck....after years of doing that, it's hard to go to a game and sit a mile from the field, guess that's why after leaving broadcasting and coaching, I took up umpiring...no it's not the pros, but keeps me close to the game and field.

~Fathairybastard~ said...

That was cool reading. I bet that was a lot of fun. And damn, you got to interview Reagan? I bet that was a lot of fun, and there was a lot of interesting stuff goin' on there behind the scenes.