Sportsathon Testimonial: Nick Scoliard
WNUR’s Nick Scoliard explains how WNUR Sports has positively affected his Northwestern experience as part of WNUR’s Sportsathon. If you would like to contribute, click here, select “WNUR” under “Give to Other Northwestern Areas,” and thank you for your help.
At the beginning of last year, joining WNUR Sports was a small blip on my radar. I had gone to the activities fair at Norris, signed up for stuff that interested me and left. I didn’t know if I would be committed or not, but I signed up, went to the first meeting for the pizza, and wanted to see what it was all about. Flash forward a year later, and here I am, on the exec board, producing the Sportsvoice, and I’m one of the few sophomores in WNUR Sports today.
I signed up for WNUR Sports because I loved sports. That was it. I loved talking, discussing, analyzing and debating sports. I was an engineer, and I knew I was going to major in computer science, so I had no interest in learning how broadcast. I knew I would never pursue it professionally, but I just wanted to talk about sports…and of course get free Giordano’s pizza. What I learned was that WNUR Sports was not a place where you learned to be a professional writer or broadcaster. It was just to broadcast, plain and simple. I didn’t have to wait and learn how to talk on the radio. I started right away doing pregame shows, cutting highlights, going to practice, and a few times hosting the SportsVoice. My first couple times I was terrible – I’ve always had a problem speaking, and it showed big time. I stuttered constantly, kept using “we”, and I didn’t have a great voice. Though I have still never done a real live broadcast, I have enjoyed and learned from other on-air segments I have done. I now am able to talk much better on air, I don’t use “we”, and my voice has gotten better. WNUR Sports has been a place where I could fine-tune these skills while still doing what I wanted. I was never pressured to take an assignment, and what I did fit around my schedule. When the spring arrived, I became the producer for the SportsVoice. Though I had to host once as a fill-in with about one hours’ notice, my time at the boards with Ben Goren has been extremely fun and educational. I had a place to talk and discuss sports weekly, and my favorite part of the week is discussing the pick ‘em questions as the hosts squirmed. WNUR Sports gave me an avenue for broadcasting, one that I couldn’t find anywhere else. How many other people can say they broadcast their college’s games, especially Division I football and basketball? I’m one of those few, and I couldn’t be happier.
But before you go and hit the donate button (actually hit the donate button then come back and finish this column), there is so much more to WNUR Sports. Last year, I started writing columns for the football team, called Xs and Os. At the time, I loved writing them- taking film and discussing the packages that the team had run well or badly in the last game. It was heavily influenced by my favorite writer, Chris Brown (not that one) at Smart Football. I got to write about my favorite part of football, the actual plays and routes and coverages, and tied it into Northwestern. At the start of this season I switched to a preview column because it required a lot less work looking for photos and photo shopping them. I now write those preview columns every week, and even though I may procrastinate them until 3 am the day before they go up, I have a lot of fun writing them. WNUR Sports gave me an avenue to write columns that would take me a while to do at other places around Northwestern. Finally, in the spring, I was able to interview Kelly Amonte Hiller, the lacrosse coach, every week. Interviewing the most successful coach in Northwestern athletic history was amazing, and it got me entrenched in sports others than football and basketball. My time at WNUR Sports has allowed me to pursue things on and off air, and I have loved every minute of it.
But by far the best part of WNUR Sports are the people in it. At first, being the shy freshman that I was, I never really cared about the people in WNUR Sports. I thought of it more as a club that I could do things for, but didn’t care about making connections. As the year continued, I became more entrenched in the club, and I started to make friends and actually get to know the people in WNUR Sports. We all came together, and despite our busy schedules of classes, midterms, jobs, and other clubs, we work week in and week out on making a professional product of broadcasting and online content. I couldn’t be more happy working at WNUR Sports, and I couldn’t be more proud of the material we put out on the airwaves and the interwebs. So for more freshman to have the same experience that I have had, please donate. Your donation not only makes our product even better, but it brings in even more students that are just looking to talk and debate about sports.