Sportsathon Testimonial: Michael Anders
WNUR Sports Director of Marketing and Public Relations Michael Anders (@MikeAnders819) offers his story of how WNUR has helped him throughout his time at Northwestern.
I’ve been a part of WNUR Sports since my freshman year and what an amazing journey it’s been. Over the past four years, I have learned so much more than just about broadcasting. I have learned how to prepare for a performance. I have learned how to channel my nervousness into intense focus. I have learned a ton about sports in general, including sports I had never watched before like softball and women’s lacrosse. I have learned how to run an audio board and how to edit audio files. I’ve also learned how to design flyers and execute a marketing campaign.
But these are just the tangible things. I’ve also learned how to be a leader. I’ve learned how to support people when assistance is needed. More important than all the things I’ve learned, though, are the relationships. Some of the best friends I have on campus I’ve met through WNUR Sports. People who care about sports just as much as I do, who I can celebrate the victories with, and yell and scream and throw things with in defeat (which happens quite a lot at this school). I don’t know if I will be a sports broadcaster as a career. I do know that I have met people at the station that are awesome, and who I will stay friends with for a long time.
Northwestern sports are so interesting to me because they represent everything I am used to. Growing up in the DC area, I have been a fan of the Redskins, Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards (to a lesser extent) for a very long time. Northwestern teams are just like my favorite pro teams in that they fight hard, have some stars but lots of role players, and keep it close in every game they play. While the defeats may seem to be frequent, man are the victories sweet. My freshman year, rushing the field after the Cats beat Wisconsin and rushing the court after beating Purdue were two of my favorite sports moments ever.
While being a fan at these special moments is fantastic, being behind the mic for them is unbelievable. Getting to do play by play for Northwestern basketball’s victory last year over Michigan State was probably my favorite moment of the four years I’ve been at this school. Seeing the joy on my classmates’ faces and the pride in our small school beating one of the best teams in the nation is something I will never forget. These are the types of experiences I could only get with WNUR Sports and I’m so thankful I had the opportunity.
This past Saturday, I had another moment with WNUR Sports that rivaled the Michigan State game. It was the third quarter of the football game vs. Nebraska. As I was about to call the next play, I heard the door to the radio booth open behind me. I turned around and I was shocked to see the man himself, Mike Wilbon (in his Venric Mark jersey), walking straight towards me. I had to compose myself and not allow my excitement to overwhelm me since I was still in the middle of a broadcast. As someone who has loved sports my whole life, and growing up in DC reading nothing but the Washington Post Sports section, Mike Wilbon has been a hero of mine. He put on the headset and was basically my color commentator as we simultaneously called the game and conducted an interview. Wilbon was so enthusiastic to join WNUR Sports that he stayed for almost twenty minutes with us, much longer than his in-game interview with ABC. (Interview can be listened to at http://wnursports.com/2012/10/21/listen-in-game-interview-with-michael-wilbon/)
This moment with Wilbon pretty well encapsulates my time with WNUR Sports. Great people, interesting surprises, but more than anything else lots of fun. I hope I can have more of these experiences during my final year here (maybe even a bowl win or an NCAA tournament game *fingers crossed*). If you are reading this, I urge you to donate to Sportsathon so future Wildcats can have the same amazing experience with WNUR Sports that I have been lucky enough to have in my four years at NU.