In no particular order, here are my ten most memorable moments in my life that involve sports or me being at sporting events. This was inspired by my radio co-host JR Reed who wrote a list of his own. You can see his list and many other great posts at http://www.sexandthesingledad.com.
I don’t remember the exact date, but it was right around when the Staples Center first opened for the Lakers, Clippers and Kings. My uncle being in town on leave from Saudi Arabia is a hockey fan and invited me to a game at Staples between the Kings and Coyotes. Just being in Downtown LA was a new experience, but being inside Staples Center was phenomenal. The seats were around mid-ice in the middle level of Staples Center. The game went to overtime in which the Coyotes beat the Kings, but it was the first hockey game I witnessed in person and I got hooked.
Yes the strike of 2004-05 did rub me the wrong way about the sport of Hockey and their TV contract with Versus and NBC is puzzling to this day, but the game is still what brought me back. The players, atmosphere and that wonderful trophy. The second time I attended a game was at Honda Center the home of the Anaheim Ducks. Thanks to JR, I was brought in as a member of the media (KLBC). Pre-game meal, great view and access to the “Great One” yeah, Wayne Gretzky. A day I will never forget.
Being Sick at a Lakers Game
April 19, 1999. I was home sick from school. Really, I was, but when Dad comes home from work early and says he has tickets to the Lakers game that day, I say I’m okay to go. The seats were located a few rows above one of the tunnels looking diagonally at one of the baskets. This was at the Great Western Forum mind you. The Lakers were playing the Vancouver Grizzlies. Yeah, a crappy opponent, but what was I to say no to going to a Lakers game. The Grizzlies were actually beating the Lakers early, but thanks to a little 12 year old sick boy yelling, “Defense” the Lakers started a nice comeback thanks to Shaq’s 35 points. Tyronn Lue and Ruben Patterson combining for 26 points the Lakers did beat the Grizzlies. I felt that I should have received some credit for that win, but I let the players have it that day.
My Team Wins
If you don’t know by now I am a huge San Francisco 49ers fan. Not old enough to see Joe Montana in Niner red, but rather in Chiefs red. January 29, 1995 was Super Bowl 29 with my Niners against the San Diego Chargers. My aunt who lives near San Diego asked me if I wanted to take a bet on who would win. I took her on that bet and the game got serious. Of course the Niners won thanks to Steve Young’s six touchdown passes and San Diego no showing on offense. Final 49-26. Fittingly they score their nickname. Not only did my team win, I won five bucks in the process. I stopped rubbing it in about five years later, but I guess I broke that streak today. San Diego, Chokin’ Chargers!
I had already spent a semester at Long Beach City College learning about different careers I could be doing in Radio or Television. I wanted to get some hands on experience and not find out about it in a book. Hello KLBC. The college had a freaking radio station. I stepped in as the lone sports guy at the station in January 2007 and left in May 2010 with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. I met some great people and will take advantage of my experiences there to better myself in the very near future in radio. That first day on the air I was a nervous wreck, but it was definitely one of the best days ever.
My oldest brother decided to buy season tickets in 2002 for the Anaheim Angels (that was their name). The season started off as bad as it could. The team went 6-14 in April its worst start ever. We both thought, crap just our luck. We buy season tickets and they’ll finish with the worst record in baseball. To the contrary. They started May with a bang. Comeback victories and great pitching propelled the Angels to winning 99 games, a franchise record at the time. Playoff tickets were a tad too expensive, but we didn’t miss a game on television. They went on to win the first World Series in franchise history. Unfortunately as I’ve joked since, the Angels haven’t been to a World Series since purchasing season tickets. Some day I will Halos. Some day I will.
April 14, 2009
The debut of the wesandjr blog. Since then there have been playoff breakdowns, columns and previews of almost every sport. It all couldn’t have happened without your continued support and for that I do thank you all. Bigger things are planned as I speak. Stay tuned.
History at KLBC
Thanks to these four people, Ken Borgers, John Doss, Nathan Fineman and JR Reed, history was made on March 20, 2008. It was the first time an athletic game of any kind was broadcasted at Long Beach City College. That game was baseball at Joe Hurst Memorial Field as the Long Beach Vikings hosted the Desert Roadrunners, a non-conference game. The Vikings won the game 7-3 in what was a dream come true for myself being the play-by-play voice of Viking Atletics. Me and JR teamed up to do Baseball and Football broadcasts in 2008. I was by myself for the 2009 season in baseball and softball. Every second of those broadcasts was truly special.
Summer of 2008
Thanks in large part to those historical broadcasts at Long Beach City College, me an JR were brought on to broadcast for the Long Beach Armada. 2008 was a special summer as my dream of doing play-by-play for a professional baseball team seemed so much closer. The Armada made it to the postseason, but were knocked out in the first series against the Orange County Flyers. However, former Major Leaguer Steve Yeager being the manager of the Armada was all I needed as he shared some funny and memorable stories on the road with me and JR. We also saw the Armada win four in a row via the walk-off celebration. Once in a lifetime summer.
Chick and Vin
I don’t remember when I first heard or saw them on radio/television, but when I did, the light bulb went off. They make it look so easy and fun to be a broadcaster. Seeing Chick in person at the Forum was great. As he signed my oldest brother’s sign which said this:
“Cure for the Lakers: Elden Campbell’s Game and a serving of Chick’ N Stu on Prime Ticket!”
Chick chuckled signed it and handed it to Stu so he could sign it. Seeing him up there with his headphones was the coolest thing ever. I’ve never seen Vin in person, but I’m sure it would be the same. His stories during the games are the best. You will learn something new every time you watch a Dodgers game. I guarantee it. Two icons that I’m truly grateful I’ve had the opportunity of hearing and seeing.
October 3, 2009
This was the day as a family we celebrated the 100th birthday of our Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Great Uncle and Friend. My Great Uncle Joe Komjathy was and always will be a huge part of my life. I saw so many great sport moments with him since I returned to the states after my Dad retired from the Marines Corps in 1994. Monday Night Football was a tradition me and my Dad started with Uncle Joe when we returned. We didn’t just watch Football either. We would watch Baseball, Basketball, Golf, you name it we saw it. Joe cared not only about you, but what you were doing as well. To this day what he said to me before I graduated from High School, when I had no clue as to what I wanted to do, I will never forget.
“No matter what you do, you will be good at it.” – Great Uncle Joe Komjathy