A Special Night at "The Dave"
November 8, 2015
I knew my blazing 12.4 forty time would come in handy eventually.
As I prepared to join Rick Cragg (my partner in the press box the past two decades) for our final regular season home broadcast last Friday afternoon, we had no idea about all of the wonderful surprises that had been planned.
First there was a pre-game meal with our wives at Sonnys. They presented us with Tornado football jerseys with numbers that represented the years we had toiled behind the mike.
Funny thing about football jerseys: they fit a lot better when you put them on in 1977. Shrinkage, I guess :)
Lets just say that I have a new appreciation for you ladies who choose to endure the indiginties of Spanx.
When Rick and I arrived at David Hurse Stadium, the school had a banner furled across the press box facade in our honor.
It was truly humbling..and cool! We were then escorted to the fifty for the coin toss as honorary Captains and presented with another set of comemorative jerseys. Following the coin toss, we were told to move to the south end zone where we would lead the team onto the field.
This is the part where the fun gave way to trepidation. There was a risk that a festive occasion could turn ugly.
"I am not so sure it's a good idea for us to lead the team onto the field" Rick opined. "After all we ain't the young bucks we used to be. We could be trampled in a stampede!"
"Point well taken" I chuckled. "But as long as I am faster than you, I should be fine!"
As it turned out, the rush from the tunnel went off without incident and no one had to look for a giant spatula to scrape either one of us from the turf.
And to add a cherry to the sundae, the Tornadoes completed an amazing comeback regular season with a 27-7 victory over a talented Crescent City team.
Just a special night and I truly thank everyone who had a part in planning it. And for all who have been faithful listeners to my 30 year Friday night routine, I will be forever grateful.
As a result of Bradford's efforts, my broadcast career will stay alive for at least another week. The Tornadoes travel to Dunnellon Friday for a first round State Playoff game. But I clearly realize that my play-by-play days are nearly over.
I may be able to out-run Rick. Father Time is another story.
It has been a fun ride and while my radio tenure is almost history, my love for the Tornadoes will endure.
Just look for me in the stands next season. I will be the guy in the Tornado jersey..unless I can figure out a way to peel it off before then.