Friday, November 25, 2011

GHS Football, 2011

Most of your WGCH Radio Team for 2011: Chris "Kato" Kaelin, Sean "Killer" Kilkelly, Nick "Fantana" Angotto, Rob "Captain Greenwich" Adams, Chris "Janitor Wingman" Erway, and Ryan "Deemer" DeMaria.  Photographed by Carrie, November 24, 2011.
Two-thousand and eleven is the year that I'd like to forget in broadcasting Greenwich High School football on WGCH.

At least it started out that way.

And came to a crashing end yesterday.

The Cardinals were a team of lesser expectations. They were coming off a 5-5 year in 2010, and while many expected them to be in the mix this year, not many saw them as an FCIAC finalist.

Yet it was there for the taking yesterday at Staples in Westport. Oh Lord, it was there. The Cardinals led 27-17 with eleven minutes to play. Then things went astray. The dream of the 13th conference title, and a trip to the state playoffs, died as the Wreckers rallied to win, 31-27.

That's sort of why we're writing this tonight.

I can't go into everything that happened this year. It just wouldn't be appropriate or professional. People and things had to be phased out in favor of others. Feelings got hurt. And I obsessed over it all.

Along the way, we encountered a snow storm like we've rarely seen during the season. Games got rescheduled and messed with our schedules. Guys who couldn't make games due to work, or other commitments. Without the help of Paul Silverfarb, I likely would have called Greenwich and Westhill following the snow storm on my own.

Oh, and then there was the email from a listener that asked for me to quit. The one that swore that it couldn't be the first one I've received (it was). The thing is, if you don't like me - fine. But give me specifics. Are we too glib? Read too many ads? Blame me for the technical issues? Don't like my voice or my cadence?

Hey, you're entitled to your opinion. Problem was: that email only made my resolve stronger to keep doing this for many more years.

And so it was that, come yesterday, the team assembled at Staples. Nick Angotto (our new studio operations guru) surprised us by showing up...something I never expected. I won't live down my reaction to that. Ever. We gathered for breakfast, Nick went to the studio, and we rocked out one great broadcast. Knowing that the future is never certain, I couldn't be prouder of the note this group went out on.

I think that's why, after all was done and Greenwich had lost, I was pretty sad as I finished on the air. Because in the end, I had a ball, and didn't want it to end. I was pleased, and wished we had more games to do. I wished I had more spots for the many people who want to work with us.

Scott Gentile did a great job in the studio (and on-site for a game). He got married, affording Nick Angotto the chance he wanted. Bob Small was our backup board-op and constant engineer. He always made sure we sounded as good as we could. Sean Kilkelly was the same guy I've worked with since 1999. Chris Erway kept me laughing and kept me solid, yelling over me when Shane Nastahowski climbed the ladder for the Cards' first TD. Something about it made me laugh.

Chris Kaelin was a rock, as always, speaking in his native "Kato" language, yet all the while calling for the booth space, and hunting for info. Ryan DeMaria, the new guy, brought tremendous knowledge and patience, while showing a great skill for keeping stats on his trusty computer.

Am I missing anyone? Well I think we all owe a certain something to the players, coaches, and families. To the people who always support us, wherever we might be. That includes our girlfriends, wives and kids. I know Carrie counseled me through many a brainstorming moment.

I've said it so many times. It's a labor of love. We aren't getting rich. We struggle in many ways to get on the air.

But these are the guys who I chose. They're the ones I want helping me for hockey (well, paging Mr. John Spang also). God forbid we ever get basketball back on. Or baseball.

Come next September, they're the ones I want to help me call Greenwich football in 2012.

No comments: