100% Cotten

Aug. 25, 2009

We have turned the corner now and are inside the two week mark with regard to the Deacs' season opener against the Baylor Bears at BB&T Field. I keep loitering around the radio booth at the stadium just to "get the feel," and I can honestly say I'm as excited about the start of this season as I have been in quite a while. I have no particular reason why, really. Perhaps the older I get I'm starting to appreciate more the opportunity I have. Life takes odd turns, and none of us is promised tomorrow. So it's full speed ahead here in the present.

As kickoff approaches, I wanted to let you folks know of some changes we're making in an effort to keep the broadcasts fresh. We've made some additions in personnel on our crew which can only make us better, and these changes will also allow us to tweak the broadcasts in a way that I think you will like.

The biggest change is the addition of broadcast veteran Dave Goren to our play-by-play team. First and foremost, I like Dave. He's a class individual and has a terrific family. And he's a pro. He's been a part of our crew for several years now during the pregame show at home games, but we have moved him to a more prominent role as our sideline reporter to provide a unique perspective from field level. This will be a terrific addition to our coverage - one we've wanted to make for a number of years if the right person came along. Dave is the right person.

In addition to what you might anticipate from a sideline reporter, Dave will also have access to Coach Grobe as he heads to the locker room following the end of the first half and at the end of the game and will bring you Coach Grobe's instant reaction before he ever leaves the field. We'll continue our substantive postgame interview with Coach Grobe in the locker room, but this added access is something we think you deserve. And Coach Grobe has told us he's happy to do it.

The other major change deals with how we will approach our pregame coverage. We'll still broadcast a full hour prior to kickoff, and we'll still do that at a location outside the stadium. But Coach Urbanik and I will now host that portion of the broadcast out there with you as you tailgate, and we'll be joined each home game on location by a "guest analyst" to help us break down the game and give special insight from a former player's point of view. We're looking forward to this twist in our pregame show, and I'm personally anxious to be outside the stadium that close to kickoff and experience the energy that you folks generate prior to the start of the game. We're not quite ready to announce our roster of guest analysts as we're still working with their schedules. Right now we're looking at using about three former players and rotating them through the home schedule. Stay tuned for those details!

I also want to take this opportunity to let you know that our relationship with FM Talk 101.1 WZTK has been extended for three more years. I want to thank station manager Bill Whitley and his staff for working with us to get this done. Their huge FM signal has served us well from the Triad down east as far as the coast at times, and I know all of our fans down that way have enjoyed the coverage WZTK has provided. This new deal, along with our longtime relationship with flagship station WBRF in Galax, Virginia, gives us clear FM coverage from points west of Hickory all the way down the I-40 corridor to the east covering hundreds of miles and millions of people. Please let them know when you can how much you appreciate them!

Thanks for letting me use this space to update you on some things I thought you'd be interested in. Welcome Dave Goren. Coach Urbanik and I look forward to meeting many of you prior to kickoff with a few of your favorite former Deacons. Thanks for letting us into your homes, cars and computers. And as always, we'll see you on the radio!

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