Sportsathon Testimonial: Tralon Williams

WNUR Sports SportsVoice producer Tralon Williams (@TralonWilliams) explains the role that WNUR fills in his life and why Sportsathon matters to him.

Photo by Tim Zachas (@tgerardzachas)

There was never any question what I was going to do with my life. I was going to be one of the best football players in the state of Michigan, play for the Wolverines just like my favorite players Jake Long and Lamar Woodley did, and then I was going to go to the NFL. It was a very clear plan, but I never realized how difficult that journey would be.

So I worked hard, I went to camps and I learned the game of football inside-out. I even managed to start at 4 different positions on the offensive and defensive lines in high school. But my senior year came and my parents, my coach and I all decided it was going to be in my best interests not to pursue playing football at the college level. That coupled with a 49-48 loss on the road to my high schools hated rival in what was my last high school game devastated me.

December 1, 2010, just 26 days after that football game, I was at bowling practice when I got the email that would change my life forever. I had been accepted to Northwestern University. I was going to a Big Ten School and one of the top schools in the country to study a subject I really enjoy, statistics. I was going to be right next to one of the greatest cities in the world, but I wouldn’t be playing the game I had fallen in love with throughout my childhood.

Then I saw a post on the Class of 2015 Facebook page by former WNUR sports director Seth Bernstein. I had never even thought about sports broadcasting much less gotten experience in it, but I figured it was going to be worth a shot.

What an experience it wound up being. Within a week of getting on campus, I watched the SportsVoice in studio, watched my first Northwestern football game (a 42-21 win against Eastern Illinois) and I hosted my first SportsVoice (where I defeated current Sports Director Zach Kisfalusi.) It was a magical week that had me hooked.

Since that first week I have met several people who I consider my best friends, I have traveled to the school I grew up in love with in the University of Michigan for a woman’s basketball game. I have had a group of people to bond with over the stress and anxiety that frequently is Northwestern sports.  And I was even given the privilege to be a producer of the SportsVoice, which to me is a highlight of my week, every week.

Sportsathon is so important because not only is it a great opportunity to give everyone on staff the opportunity to be on air, it allows this group to remain in existence for people like me: people who had collegiate sports aspirations but were unable to live them out. To me, not being able to play football in college was the greatest thing to happen to me because it gave me the ability to be a part of WNUR Sports.

Sportsathon 2012 will allow the station to continue to evolve, to continue to provide some of the best coverage of Northwestern athletics, offer many journalists their first real world experience and offer the guys like me to stay close to sports and live out their dreams. I will likely not pursue a career in sports broadcasting. Unlike Mr. Sannes, I am very interested in the actuarial science field and will likely pursue that. Regardless, WNUR has already provided me with some great moments in my college career. Sportsathon 2012 will work toward ensuring the next three years are just as memorable.

Join us or tune in this Friday at 7:00 PM CST as we kick off Sportsathon 2012 with the very first SportsVoice held at the Norris Center. We’ll be on the air for 26 hours just having a good ole time, for 26 straight hours. You are why we do what we do, and we couldn’t do what we do without you.

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