Those of you who were listening to last couple of hours of our Wheaton-Franklin broadcast probably were puzzled by the occasional references to our Stevens Point studios. That was born out of necessity, but worked like a charm.
At the high school stadium which Franklin used to host its game on Saturday, there were not enough phone lines, so three lines were installed for the radio broadcasts. By the time my brother Ryan and I got to Stevens Point, Wis., where we were getting ready to cover the UW-Whitewater/UW-Stevens Point basketball doubleheader, it was clear these new phone lines were not going to get the job done, as Gordon Mann had been cut off a half-dozen times and the Franklin broadcast had been knocked off multiple times as well.
Luckily, experience has taught me that a new phone line is a disaster waiting to happen, so we traveled prepared. I had a small converter that allowed me to record a cellphone conversation, one we used on Selection Sunday and that is also our ATN Podcast backup. With a couple of patch cables, which (yes) I did bring, we had it wired into the laptop. And thankfully, UW-Stevens Point’s network was available and robust.
So thanks to UW-Stevens Point Sports Information Director Mitch Capelle, who had an NCAA.com broadcast studio in his office for two hours on Saturday afternoon.
It’s not the most jerry-rigged broadcast I’ve been a part of, but I did kind of feel like I was back in 2001. And at least the last half of the game stayed online.
Now, as for Gordon, standing outside in the snow talking into a cellphone (no room in the press box), I can only hope he’s thawed out.
I normally wouldn’t post such an ‘inside baseball’ story, but there were some questions about it so I thought I’d share.