100% Cotten: Fast Forward
"Voice of the Deacons" Stan Cotten

May 24, 2011

This article was originally published in the May 21 edition of Gold Rush.

By Stan Cotten

I remember vividly my parents' response to my constant wishing when I was younger that something I was looking forward to would hurry up and arrive. Here were some classics on my part:

"If June doesn't hurry up and get here so school will be over I'm going to die!"

"I'm not sure I can last until we go to the beach. How long is it until we go?"

"I can't wait until I can drive. Bumming rides everywhere is getting old!"

"Life will be so much better my senior year!"

I'm sure most of you have used these timeless wishes. And, no doubt, you have your own. And I also don't doubt that your parents' reaction was a lot like the reaction I got:

"Son, you're wishing your life away."

I know now they were right. It's a good line, good enough to use on my girls - which I have more than once.

But with the Wake Forest campus slowed to a crawl because of the end of the semester, I already find myself "wishing my life away," hoping that fall and football will soon arrive. And then not long after, the basketballs will begin bouncing, and the Deacs can begin anew. Both teams need to get "back on the horse" so to speak after getting bucked this past season. With the end of the school year comes a fresh start. I think we're all wishing for that.

I'm counting on the baseballers to light that fuse. At press time, the season isn't yet complete, and the Deacs are showing good signs of getting back into the ACC Tournament, which would be a big step for Coach Tom Walter and his Deacons on the road back from the program's few seasons of winter. There's no doubt this young team is improving, and I'm as hopeful as you that it gets the chance at tournament play. You can't put a value on that opportunity that tournaments present: win and keep playing.

Good luck Deacs!

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Thanks, Woody!

I want to take an opportunity now to publicly extend best wishes to Woody Durham, the longtime "Voice of the Tar Heels" who recently retired after four decades of broadcasting football and basketball games for North Carolina. He has been a friend for years and actually wrote a note to Ben Sutton at ISP on my behalf many moons ago when I was trying to land the position I currently have. He has given me great support over the years, and I owe much to him.

I have known his two sons, Wes and Taylor, talented broadcasters in their own right, since the 1980s and was with all of them at Woody's house and then at the Smith Center the day of his official retirement. It was a proud family day, and I was honored that they let me share it with them.

He was part of the fabric of the ACC and saw and described so many of the league's great moments. We all looked to him, and he will be missed.

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