Having now declared what a big mouth I am, you shouldn't be too surprised to learn that one of my hobbies for over sixteen years has been broadcasting high school sports for a local radio station. When I was invited to join the broadcast as the color commentator in 1992, the fit was very comfortable for me. Back in the day, I was a pretty decent athlete playing for the school we covered, I had an intimate knowledge of football and basketball, and I liked to talk...it was like the proverbial duck taking to water. After a few seasons, I made the switch to the play-by-play seat. Much more difficult and more like actual work...but by mid-season I had nailed that down too.
I call broadcasting a hobby because it has never been my primary job. Sure I get paid to do what I do...but truth be told...I'd probably do it for free. The one drawback is the time away from my family when I travel.
When you do a radio program, it's hard to gauge just how many people are listening...that is until you mess up and say something stupid. Oh yes...been down that road a number of times. There are many stories in that bag that I might share in future post over on Tony C Today. This just isn't the right venue.
From my very first signing-off as the lead broadcaster, my 'signature' was to end a show with Good night Mavis. Most local people knew Mavis was the long-time radio station office manager who had been with the station since the weaning of none other than the now nationally famous Charlie Chase. A charming lady who had a knack for making even the worst day somehow better.
Last year though, I felt a need to change. I thanked God in prayer for the talent He had given me and asked for His guidance on how to use said talent for His purpose. Having absolutely no idea what I would say as the year's first Friday night broadcast came to an end, the moment arrived...
...and that will do it for us. Fans, the weekend is here, and I invite you to take your family to a church of your choice for worship this Sunday. I guarantee it will be the best time you spend together all week. Good night and God bless.
My partner gave me a glance of approval... and rightfully so considering he's my pastor. But no words were spoken. It felt good, and God had given me the words without a single stutter or hesitation on delivery. So that became my standard Friday-night sign off. Nothing about the phrase was conveyed to me the entire year of football and basketball coverage. I was somewhat surprised given the state of absolute lunacy when it comes to high school events and religious references. Although I knew the radio station had no problem with my church referenced ending, the right/wrong person raising a ruckus could create pressure on sponsors...and money talks.
When we signed off following the second football game of this year, our Technical Director told me across my headset that several people had commented to him about my new ending plug for church, and one guy had actually conveyed it was such a blessing to hear that he kept listening until the very end of each broadcast. I wasn't sure people were still listening at the end of a show after a year of hearing nothing about it...but apparently that wasn't the case.
High school sports are huge where I live...but so is church for a lot of people. I hope that God gives me the privilege to use a talent and hobby in a way that touches and ministers...and He gets all the glory.