Each Sportsathon, a handful of WNUR staff members share personal stories about the impact WNUR Sports has had on them. To donate and to help make more great memories like these, CLICK HERE.
Will Greer, Co-WNUR Sports Director
I’ve wanted to be a play-by-play broadcaster since I starting calling me and my brother’s driveway basketball games at six years old. As a wide-eyed freshman, WNUR Sports immediately jumped out to me as the best place to learn what goes into good broadcasting (I had no formal broadcasting experience entering college), get practical experience, and start building toward a potential job in the industry. Four years later, WNUR Sports has helped me land two summer gigs in the Cape Cod Baseball League and has given me all the tools and experiences I could ever dream of en route to hopefully landing a broadcasting job.
But beyond the practical, career-oriented benefits of WNUR Sports, I will forever associate WNUR Sports with some of my fondest college experiences, memories and friends. I’ll never forget spending five days in Athens, Georgia, following Northwestern softball’s heart-stopping run in the NCAA Tournament. Or traveling on the football team’s plane and calling a game in one of college football’s most respected venues, Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium. Or driving through the windmill-infested plains of Indiana with great friends in the wee hours of a Wednesday morning, coming back from a basketball game at Purdue, belting old-school Taylor Swift and not caring about the fact that we’re two hours from Evanston and have class in six hours – oddly specific, I know.
You get the picture by this point. This organization has meant everything and more to me over the last four years, and, if by some miracle I’m ever able to “make it” in the broadcasting industry, I’ll owe everything and more to the special student radio station that gave me endless opportunities to hone my craft.
Sam Brief, Co-WNUR Sports Director
Last year, I was at Rutgers University to call a Northwestern-Rutgers women’s basketball game, and before the game I was chatting it up with the Rutgers student broadcasters. I told them how we took the team plane to Piscataway, and how we were staying at the team hotel — a standard practice for us since we’re the flagship station for the women’s basketball team. These guys were floored. They told us how they had never been afforded those opportunities. That moment before the game reminded me of how lucky we are here at WNUR Sports to do what we do, and to do it well. This past year, I personally have been able to call games at Camp Randall Stadium, Assembly Hall, the Kohl Center and more. How many people can say that before they turn 21? Pretty much only people who are a part of WNUR Sports, and that’s special. My dream is to be a play-by-play broadcaster for baseball, basketball or football, and doing play-by-play on a Big Ten stage with WNUR Sports has been amazing for me.
Austin Miller, Sportsathon Director/Sports Director Emeritus
It is not an understatement to say that my best friends at Northwestern have come from WNUR. Without this radio station, I would not have the long-lasting, deep friendships I have.
What makes WNUR so special is not the games we broadcast. Those are great, but what makes WNUR special are the late night runs to a Waffle House in Athens, Georgia, and being forced to pick up the bill because Peja Stojakovic couldn’t hit a game-winning 12-footer in NBA 2k13 earlier that night. What makes WNUR so special is walking to TGI Friday’s in Indianapolis after another unbelievable Northwestern win and breaking out a 10 year old coupon for free appetizers and watching in disbelief as the waitress accepts it.
What we here do matters. Not only because we relate the scores of Northwestern athletics to you, but because while doing so we have the time of our lives.
WNUR is important not just because of the experience and opportunities it affords to us, but because of the memories it helps us make. When you donate to WNUR, you’re not just allowing us to prepare for life after college, you’re helping us make lifelong memories while we’re here, and that’s really what it’s all about.
Matt McHugh, Website Editor-In-Chief
Since the first WNUR meeting I have never felt more at home here at Northwestern.
I have made lifelong friends, and made some of my best college memories from experiences with WNUR sports. Whether it’s driving through Wisconsin bumping 2009’s greatest hits, or being with the baseball team as they took down Maryland in dramatic fashion, these are experiences I’ll remember forever.
It’s about sports broadcasting first and foremost, but that’s not even close to the full package. It’s hard to imagine other groups on campus that have such enjoyable weekly meetings. And that’s all credit to the fun, positive, atmosphere that has been created and upheld over the years.
We are so fortunate to have incredible opportunities to travel with NU teams, get great access to players and coaches and broadcast games over the airwaves in the Evanston-Chicago Area. If you can, please contribute so that future students can enjoy the same experiences that I have.
Henry Damour, Exec Board/Website Editor
The opportunity truly is unbelievable. As a biomedical engineering major my freshman year, I was able to walk into a room full of passionate people who wanted to do for a living what I originally wanted to do for a hobby, and have them not only coach me on how to be a better broadcaster (again, as an engineer) as well as just befriend me. It wasn’t until the summer after an emotionally draining and volatile freshman year that I looked back and realized that WNUR Sports was more than just a break from my classes that kept me sane. It was the only thing I looked forward to.
I switched my major to journalism before I landed back in Evanston my sophomore year, am a significantly happier person, and really have this organization to thank for that, as a root cause. This summer, I called baseball games for the Northwoods League. While there I got to work alongside another undergrad who came from an extremely well-respected journalism school. When we started swapping stories about our respective radio stations, he was shocked at how a school like Northwestern had such “loose requirements” for broadcasters. But it’s not about that. His “loose requirements” were my gateway into what I truly love doing. They were what gave me an opportunity to discover and pursue my passion. In the end, isn’t that a lot of what you want out of college?
Next summer, I’m calling games in the Cape Cod League. I’d be doing significantly less cool stuff and would be much more miserable in college if I hadn’t had the change of heart about my career spurred by the people and opportunities in WNUR Sports. This has, in every sense of the phrase, been a life-changing organization for me.
If you’re in any way, shape or form grateful that I’m broadcasting instead of trying to convince myself that I should be a doctor, or are simply a fan of student-run organizations that give opportunities that many would kill for to anyone who wants them here at Northwestern, I’m personally asking you to contribute to WNUR Sports this weekend during Sportsathon.
Ben Krieger, Exec Board Member/Marketing Director
What makes WNUR Sports so great is that it can be anything that you want it to be. For some, it’s the chance to pursue your dream. For others, it’s a fun way to be involved in athletics on campus. Sometimes it’s as simple as spending fun hour on Tuesday nights with other people who love sports. For me, it’s all of the above. When people ask me what I think about the station or if they should join it, I always say the same thing: “It’s the best club on campus.”
In a little over a year, I’ve made new friends, gotten hours of time on-air, and traveled to some amazing towns and venues across the midwest, all thanks to WNUR Sports. My experience at Northwestern would not even be half as special without it, and I can’t wait to continue it for years to come.
Fredrick Bugyei, Exec Board Member/Casts Director
Coming into my first year of college I was looking to join clubs that would be low pressure in an already stressful environment. I was able to find that niche within WNUR sports and the station has been a wonderful way to turn my passion of sports into awesome real life experiences. Being able to witness Northwestern history has been fun, but the most thrilling portion of being with the station has been the awesome connections with people in WNUR Sports and the student athletes that make our program special. Joining has been a great decision that has really enhanced my Northwestern experience.