Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Now Behind the Microphone....

How was that for a bombshell on the first day of camp? Nothing like having to change a bunch of plane tickets for football and basketball huh? But hey, I don't have to watch Russ come in my office and drink his Muscle Milk neither, so there are some plusses.

All kidding aside, Russ was superb at his job, and we all knew he wasn't gonna stick around long. I believe he will be the youngest play-by-play voice in the FBS at age 28, so talk about the fast track...Russ is on it. I have a feeling we will still hear from him once in a while. He was a good egg.

And speaking of good eggs, how about Jerry Miller back in the saddle? I was so geeked to find an audio cassette in the files here with "Globe of Death" on it...I'm hoping most folks got to hear it on the website. I'm not sure if this will work, but here is the audio link of it...

When I contact Jerry for some quotes, what he sent me was WAY too much to use in a press release, but it was really well thought out and kinda touching, so with his permission, here is the crux of his comments.

"As for my reaction to what happened today…

I knew there was a possibility that Russ might not be back this year, but I figured it was so close to the start of the new season that I’d be seeing him pulling back into town any day now. I knew that if Russ did get another job there was a possibility I might be considered, but I had pretty much put it out of my mind, and it was a total surprise when Jeff approached me about it. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Russ for the short time he was here. He’s a young man with a great deal of potential, and I was impressed that he came to me personally and asked me to give him any helpful pointers any time I thought he could tweak something here or there. Russ is one of the new breed of sports announcers that uses a laptop computer the way most of us use our cell phones, and I’m not that kind of guy and don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point he was. I also want to add that it’s an honor to be back in the same seat that Jim Fox held for so many years. I don’t think true ISU fans will ever get over missing him. As for me, there’s never been a job in my life I loved as much as announcing ISU sports, whether it’s been men’s football and basketball, or women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball or softball.

Speaking of women’s basketball, I’ve been announcing women’s hoops at ISU now for 8 years, and I have to admit that I wasn’t really a fan when I first started. But that first year covering the team coached by Ardie McInelly won me over, big time! To have the opportunity to watch a team win 21 straight games, and be a part of that was truly a treat. I thoroughly enjoyed working with Coach Newlee and the quality teams he put together, and I’m confident that Coach Sobelewski will continue the tradition of building quality women’s teams at ISU. I’m also pleased that ISU has selected Mark Liptak to take over the mic courtside. Mark had done ISU women’s basketball for several years (five, I think) before they moved to KISU and I had the chance to sit courtside. Since the games will still be on KISU, I’ll get to work with Mark and still be able to follow the program closely..

Historical thoughts about being back in the saddle…

As I think back about the 12 years I spent announcing ISU football and men’s basketball, there are some memories that stand out as if they just happened yesterday. I’ll never forget watching the infamous “globe of death” play take shape right in front of my eyes in Holt Arena in a seemingly hopeless situation against Boise State. But I should’ve known better, because I also had the call on a bright sunny afternoon in Bronco Stadium in Boise as the Broncos had just scored a touchdown off a kickoff return to go ahead of ISU with not more than a few seconds left. Then they kicked off to us, and I’ll be darned if Frank Selto of ISU didn’t take that ball and run it all the way back for what turned out to be the game-winning score! Even though I missed the Mike Machurek years, I had the distinct pleasure of calling games with notable ISU quarterbacks like Paul Peterson, Vern Harris and Jason Whitmer. I saw Alfredo Anderson play both running back and quarterback. But maybe my greatest memories came from being able to call every single game that Merrill Hoge played in a Bengal Uniform. I’ll never forget that game at UTEP his freshmen season, when with just seconds left to play, he took at handoff at the two-yard-line and launched into the air for what would have been a winning TD for ISU, but instead, he got clobbered in mid-air by two Miner defenders and coughed up the ball. UTEP recovered the ball at the one and ran the clock out for the win. For some players, that kind of event could have held them back mentally for a long time. But Merrill used it as a stepping stone to become one of the all-time greats that ISU has ever seen. I saw all of those things. And having worked with guys like former sports information director Glenn Alford and analysts like Dave Molitor, Jim Beck and Mark Cousins have also left me with great memories. I’m very much looking forward to being able to work with Brad Bugger, who has been the one consistent about ISU broadcasts for years now. How could I not be excited about the potential of being a part of it again?"

Pretty neat, huh? I thought so. So welcome aboard Jerry, and also to Mark Liptak, who moves from the studio to the women's games, and will do great things there.

Other Nice BlogPost
The Big Sky Conference's Official Blog has a great post on Russ Eisenstein by the way. Jon Kasper is doing a nice job of rounding up a lot of good conference links, and his blog is highly recommended.

Journal Notes
Dan Thompson was out at practice, and he reported on John Zamberlin's first day as linebackers coach. Dan also has a blogpost on some of the new guys and some of the missing guys, and I'm gonna try to work around a doctor's appointment and a haircut to get all the new guys full info, but Dan missed several new guys, and Jared Barthlome was at practice but not dressed out ... not sure why as of yet. Oh, the snapper is Chris Kirkegaard, or as I call him, Joe Nelthorpe, Jr. Kirkegaard was brought in on Thursday of last week, and here he is....starting snapper with high probability.

At least that's one worry off Zamberlin's plate.
The Idaho Press Tribune is reporting that All-Everything receiver Chris Childs of Boise State will be suspended for the Idaho State game, and that there will probably be more suspensions for that game coming.

Things that Make My Blood Boil
Little rant here....I love college football. I came to Idaho State because I wanted to work in Division I college football. I love college football because the rules make you have to play...it's not the NFL. I don't care for a 40-second clock, and I hate how the NFL restarts the clock on out-of-bounds plays. Well, the NCAA football rules committee, who apparently forgot that the tried this two years ago and failed miserably, have again altered some of the clock rules. Why? College football's timing is awesome....you can comeback...you can have great endings...seriously, is there a fan who feels like there is too much action, and we need to cut down plays? What about records....if you are cutting plays out of a game, you are cutting out yards and points...are people and fans fine with this? Nope....this is about television...pure and simple, which is why it's really dumb that the chair is from a Division III school.....because I'm sure they are on TV all the time....Seriously...the fans should revolt.

¡La mirada, yo puedo escribir a máquina en español!
Aparentemente, si usted está dentro de la gama de KWEI en Boise, y usted habla español, usted ahora puede escuchar abridor de la temporada de Estado de Idaho en la lengua nativa. Muy fresco.

A Note from Katie Zigars...
Katie picked up an update on the Ricardis. Lois took sixth place in the women's 5k at the 22nd Annual Bozeman Run with a time of 20:30. Her brother John (who still runs for ISU...Lois finished last year), was second in the 10k at 34:00.

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