Somewhere on a 2-lane road between Pawtucket, RI and Ottawa, Ontario.
Greetings from row three of a 55-passenger bus headed north to Canada. It's approximately 4:00am and the Pawtucket Red Sox are roughly 4 hours into an 8-hour bus ride to Ottawa where tonight at 7:05pm we'll begin our final long road trip of the regular season. Hopefully the salty residue from another bag of unhealthy snacks won't ruin the keyboard on my typewriter.
The DVD selection for the players, coaches, trainers, and broadcasters who aren't sound asleep (former Detroit Tigers first baseman Carlos Pena is snoring in the row behind me) is "Mr. and Mrs. Smith," but as much as I enjoy Angelina Jolie's work, I'm forgoing the flick to begin studying the Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook. We're weeks away from the football season!
This bus is where I've spend much of my summer after leaving the climate-controlled comfort of Fox 19 in Cincinnati to become the radio voice of the Boston Red Sox top minor league farm club. Travel aside, it's been a blast.
I'm pursuing my dream of becoming a major league baseball play-by-play announcer and hoping to continue a remarkable tradition in Pawtucket. In each of the last three years, the PawSox radio announcer has landed a big league job.
More importantly, the move allowed me to once again live in the same city as my wife Peg Rusconi, a news reporter at WBZ-TV in Boston (you may remember her from her days at WKRC-TV in Cincinnati). Our first child, Samuel Theodore, was born on May 3rd. I've attached a photo of the handsome devil.
My hope when I took the job in Pawtucket was to continue broadcasting Bearcat football and basketball, and I was thrilled when UC and WLW elected to give me that opportunity. I'll be commuting from Boston so there will be considerable travel involved, but after a summer of 8-hour bus rides, I think I can handle it. If you see me at the airport this fall or winter, please say hello.
I've been extremely fortunate over the past 10 years to be behind the mic on either radio or TV for some of the greatest moments in Bearcat history and in the process have become a diehard UC fan.
I'm also lucky to work with two of the best color analysts in the business in Jim Kelly Jr. and Chuck Machock. By the way, Chuck's streak of not getting ejected is now up to 99 games. With the seatbelt I purchased for him, I'm confident we'll extend it for years to come!
The future is bright at UC with great coaches in place in Mark Dantonio and Mick Cronin, and I look forward to the day I get to shout at the end of a broadcast that "the Bearcats are Big East Champions."
It's not a matter of "if" but "when."