I Am Now A McNeese Letterman
Last week, Gordon Fontenot and I were surprised by the Mcneese athletic department when they awarded us with honorary letters. This is the same letter the athletes are given, but we didn't have to tackle anyone, or hit a free throw, or strike out a batter. Gordon has been the "music man" at basketball and baseball for 25 years. He also does some public address announcing when I am not available.
When the Cowboys begin the 2016 season on Saturday evening, it will mark my 30th anniversary as one of the voices of McNeese. My first game was on the radio for the opener of the 1986 season. The Pokes beat Prairie View A&M 57-24 that evening. Tony Citizen picked up 304 yards rushing in that game, a single game record that still stands today.
I became the PA guy in 1988 and have worked around 1800 games on the air and on the public address mic. I have had the pleasure of working football playoff games, NCAA tournament appearances for basketball, baseball, and softball. And even a few volleyball games. There are so many specials games and players to even begin to mention here. Football playoff games are always special. The basketball team making the Big Dance in Dallas many years ago was exciting. I have had the pleasure to call a few NCAA baseball tournament games. Anytime I got to see the Baggett twins on the court, home or away, was special. And this past year's softball team was one of the most exciting teams I have ever seen.
This job has allowed me to travel all over the country to great places like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, (when the wind chill was -20!) and Miami. And some not quite as great places like Cedar Falls, LA, Wheeling, WV, Las Cruces, NM, and Thibodaux! Along the way, I have met some wonderful people and made some life long friends.
And for every day of all 30 years, I have had the privilege of working with the outstanding sports information department at McNeese. Louis Bonnette hired me to do the PA job on the last game of the 1988 season. I now work with his son Matthew and his staff Pam Lafosse and Hunter Bower, plus a dozen or so interns over the years. These are the people that make us broadcasters and PA guys' job easier to do.
After 30 years, it's still fun to talk to McNeese fans whether it's on the radio or in the stadium, coliseum, or ballpark. And I still have some goals. Louis worked for MSU for 47 years. I think I can beat that! And I want to be the first media person inducted into the McNeese hall of fame. In the meantime, I will cherish this letter. I will tell folks I lettered in talking! I will talk to y'all on Saturday evening at Cowboy Stadium!