Ant's Blog: Seeing One of my Heroes Again - 01/21/13
This past weekend the Longhorns played Kansas in front of a national television audience on CBS. For many of you that don't know there are more people that make up the game than just the players, coaches and referees. There are the announcers who provide the play by play and commentary for the game we watch on television or listen to on the radio. The announcers for this Saturday were the great Kevin Harlan and lead CBS college basketball analyst Clark Kellogg.
Let me take you back to my early years in life. Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska I was raised a Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs and Missouri Tigers fan. 20-25 years ago, sports fans including myself grew up listening to your team on the radio and watching them on TV. Regardless of your team, you know broadcasters like Bob Uecker, Mel Allen, Ernie Harwell, Curt Gowdy, Jim McKay, Denny Matthews, Bob Costas, Al Michaels, and I can go on and on. But for me the voice of my Chiefs and Tigers was Kevin Harlan. I wanted to be Kevin Harlan. I wanted to be like Kevin Harlan and I wanted to do what he did when I grew up.
On several, I met my hero back at a Mizzou/Nebraska basketball game 20 plus years ago. And thereafter began a friendship. I wrote him a letter thanking him for taking the time to say hi and give me advice to help me do what he does. In fact after that meeting, on several different occasions Kevin sent me and my dad Chiefs tickets and Tigers tickets. We would go and see the game and Mr. Harlan. But as I got older, the bigger name Mr. Harlan became. We lost contact and he would eventually leave the Chiefs and Tigers to go to FOX and TNT and now he is a household name and one of the lead play-by-play announcers in the country.
I saw him at the Texas/KU game Saturday and he is still the same nice genuine human being. Mr. Harlan is humble and I reminded him all he used to do for me when I was younger. He was so thankful and he told me he was proud of me and said, "I'm sure your dad is very proud of you." I almost lost it and started to cry like I am now writing this blog. It meant a lot coming from him and of course my dad is proud because that all I have ever wanted out of life is to make my parents, family, and friends proud of me.
Unfortunately, I didn't become a play by play broadcaster, but I got to do the next best thing, and that's just work in sports period. I was always driven by Mr. Harlan and his work, but an open mind let me explore all opportunities in sports broadcasting. On a side note I would like to mention Clark Kellogg. We were told by Kellogg's producers at CBS that he would not talk after the KU/UT game. The producers weren't very accommodating for us. Instead, I went up to Mr. Kellogg myself and asked if he had two minutes after the game to do a quick interview with me and Adam Winkler. Kellogg was as nice as could be and gladly said he will do his best. He is a true class act and gentleman. After the game, Adam and I got to interview Mr. Kellogg and he gave us all the time in the world. Thank you to Kevin Harlan and Clark Kellogg for making it a fun weekend. Safe travels guys and continue to give us memorable calls.
By KEYE TV Sports Producer Anthony Geronimo