It was another incredible week of Super Bowl coverage for us here at AM1570 WNST.net. Both “The Morning Reaction” with Drew Forrester and Luke Jones as well as “The Reality Check” with Glenn Clark emanated from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis every day. “Nasty” Nestor Aparicio was also part of the daily fun.
In case you missed anything we did, here is a list of the guest segments available for your consumption right now in the BuyAToyota.com Audio Vault here at WNST.net.
-Adam Sandler (Actor)
-Matt Birk (Baltimore Ravens C)
-Chuck Pagano (Indianapolis Colts Head Coach, former Ravens DC)
-Curt Schilling (Former Baltimore Orioles/Boston Red Sox/Arizona Diamondbacks/Philadelphia Phillies Pitcher)
-Shannon Sharpe (Former Baltimore Ravens/Denver Broncos Hall of Fame TE, CBS)
-AJ Green (Cincinnati Bengals WR)
-Ingrid & Sarah Harbaugh (Wives of John & Jim Harbaugh)
-Jim Schwartz (Detroit Lions Head Coach)
-Mike Smith (Atlanta Falcons Head Coach)
-Marcus Allen (Hall of Fame RB)
-Larry The Cable Guy (Comedian)
-Priest Holmes (Former Baltimore Ravens/Kansas City Chiefs RB)
-Vanilla Ice (Musician/Actor)
-Will Forte (Actor/Comedian/Saturday Night Live alum)
-Lynn Swann (Former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame WR)
-Greg Ballard (Mayor of Indy)
-Dustin Keller (New York Jets TE)
-Jason Taylor (Former Miami Dolphins DE)
-Frank Caliendo (Comedian)
-Jay Mohr (Actor/Comedian)
-David Feherty (Golf Channel)
-Mike Haynes (Former New England Patriots Hall of Fame CB)
-Brian Billick (Former Baltimore Ravens coach FOX/NFL Network)
-Herm Edwards (Former New York Jets/Kansas City Chiefs coach, ESPN)
-Dick Vermeil (Former Super Bowl winning St. Louis Rams coach)
-Marv Levy (Buffalo Bills Hall of Fame coach)
-Joe Theismann (Former Washington Redskins QB, NFL Network)
I had handled it much better than I ever did in the past.
Unlike the last three seasons, I wasn’t on hand to see the Baltimore Ravens’ season come to an end last Sunday in the AFC Championship Game. Instead of making the trip to Foxborough, I stayed in studio at 1550 Hart Rd. in Towson for “The Nasty Purple Pregame Show” and “The Nasty Purple Postgame Show.” I watched the game only with my producer Ryan Chell and I IMMEDIATELY hit the airwaves after Billy Cundiff’s kick sailed wide-not allowing me much time to stew over the dramatic end.
After fighting with a caller who labeled quarterback Joe Flacco as “a bum” following the crushing loss to the New England Patriots, I genuinely felt as though I had moved on. It only took about 30 minutes. No eight hour drive home with other miserable Ravens fans for me, just a 25 minute drive home to Monkton where playing with my dog quickly made me feel better about a tough loss.
On Sunday afternoon the WNST crew (Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio, Luke Jones and myself) touched down in Indianapolis for week-long coverage of Super Bowl XLVI festivities at Radio Row. We do it every year, no matter when/where the Ravens’ season comes to a close. Immediately upon landing at Indianapolis International Airport, we were greeted by vendors selling Eli Manning and Tom Brady t-shirts. Everywhere we turned in Indy for the first 12 hours was remarkably similar.
New York Giants stuff here. New England Patriots stuff there. Live NFL Network video of Bill Belichick getting off the plane. Quotes filling up my GMail inbox from Tom Brady and Jerod Mayo as transcribed by the National Football League staff here on site. A replay of Super Bowl XLII following Australian Open coverage on ESPN2.
It all hit me like a ton of bricks. This was SO close to being the Ravens. Perhaps a Cundiff kick, perhaps a Lee Evans catch, perhaps a John Harbaugh timeout, perhaps Joe Flacco not throwing an interception to Brandon Spikes.
We could have gotten off the plane in Indy and been greeted by Ray Lewis t-shirts instead of seeing Alex Flanagan try to get Lewis to change his mind about retirement on the sideline during NBC’s coverage of the Pro Bowl in Hawaii. We could have been covering the first media gathering of the week for the AFC champs instead of sitting in the hot tub at the J.W. Marriott or celebrating Forrester’s birthday at Buca di Beppo. (Both of these things were nice…but we’d rather not be there.)
It wasn’t as painful to arrive for Super Bowl coverage the last couple of years as there was really no argument that the Ravens may have been the best team in the AFC. Two years ago they were clobbered by the Colts here at LucasOil Stadium. Last year there was the feeling they let one go against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, but at least the loss didn’t come with a Super Bowl trip on the line.
This time there was a REAL feeling that we should be spending Media Day tomorrow chatting up Terrell Suggs instead of trying to track down Matt Birk for five minutes later in the week when he comes to promote the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
It wasn’t the only wound re-opened however.
As you can read about in Monday’s Indianapolis Star, there’s already a bit of a “friendly” back and forth going on between us and some of the folks in “The Friendly Heart of the Midwest.” While most of our comments have been made in jest, there is no doubt that seeing horseshoes everywhere I look and staring at a sign for the “Jim Irsay Collection” at the Indiana State Museum across the street have left a bad taste in my mouth.
The team my father fell in love with is now the reason why a city hundreds of miles from Charm City is experiencing a financial boon. The likes of Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore and Art Donovan left sweat and blood on the field at Memorial Stadium, the value of which has allowed governor Mitch Daniels to make millions of dollars-which will in no way benefit the city of Baltimore.
We don’t REALLY want the Colts back in Baltimore as I joked with the Indy Star reporter. We want an entire civic injustice reversed. We know it’s impossible.
The wounds are fully re-opened here. We’ll make it through (covering a Super Bowl in Indianapolis is STILL better than having to cover the Baltimore Orioles), but there will be a number of times this week where I’ll look over and say “damn.”
This is part 2 of the 4-part interview that I did with Robert Limgallon about three weeks ago. Most of today’s content centered on WNST Radio and the industry in general. Wednesday will feature questions about the Ravens, Orioles and the local sports scene. On Thursday, the interview wraps up with questions and answers about the lawsuit that was filed against WNST in the spring of 2011.
I hope you enjoy Part 2.
RL — Thankfully I’m not up early enough to hear the start of your show each morning but I know from the replays at night that you start every show by playing “Raised on the radio”. How did that start?
DF — You know, I’m not exactly sure when I started playing it. It was sometime shortly after I started doing the show on my own in November of 2006.
RL — You like the song that much or is it symbolic for something?
DF — I really was “raised on the radio”. First, though, it’s a great song. I feel like it’s a good way to start the show…it has some bounce and energy to it. And I was definitely raised on the radio by my mom and dad. They both loved music. My mom and I used to listen to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 on WCAO and we debated which songs finished where. The radio was always on in my house growing up. Over the last few years I’ve had Rob Fahey in studio to play some music and do the live version of the song and that’s been a lot of fun.
RL — What about sports radio growing up? Did you listen?
DF — Oh, man, the radio was almost all we had in the 1970′s. When a game was on TV, it was a special occasion. I got the radio bug mostly by listening to the Orioles in the summer and the Capitals in the winter. I was absolutely hooked on listening to Capitals hockey on WTOP. I fell asleep to Ron Weber’s voice in my ear many a night. In fact, the reason why I’m sitting here doing this interview with you today is all because of Ron Weber. You have him to thank.
RL — How so?
DF — In 1978, I was playing youth hockey for the Benfield Flames. We were playing a game at the Bowie Ice Rink and someone mentioned that Ron Weber’s son was playing in the age group below mine. I didn’t see him that day, but I sent a letter to him at the Capitals office asking him for an interview for school and he agreed. I met him at Bowie a couple of weeks later and he was gracious enough to give me an hour. I asked a bunch of completely dumb questions and I’m sure I was nervous as hell, but he was such a gentleman about it. So when you reached out to me and asked if you could do this, I thought back to that day with Ron Weber at Bowie. He did it for me, I’m doing it for you. Although this took almost a year for us to put this together.
RL — I assume you grew up a Chuck Thompson fan?
DF — Of course, didn’t everybody? I remember going over to a neighbor’s house, the Ravadge family, and the mom, Libby, had the Orioles on every single night. We’d sit in her kitchen and play cards and I’d bum iced tea off of her and listen to the baseball game on the radio.
RL — Is that when you thought about a career in radio, listening to Chuck Thompson and Ron Weber?
DF — I never thought about being a talk show host, if that’s what you mean. Actually, I used to listen to Larry King a lot, which is weird for a 14 year old, I suppose, but I kept my radio on all night and he came on overnights on WTOP. I grew up wanting to be Ron Weber, frankly. My goal when I was a teenager was to be the play-by-play voice of the Capitals. That was my dream gig.
RL — What happened to that?
DF — The Blast happened to that, basically. I got a job. I started working in the soccer business. And I was working with the radio team of Art Sinclair and Charley Eckman, so while I wasn’t actually doing the commentating, I was part of the show, which was enough for me at age 19. (Please see next page)
The ESPY Awards are an annual event put on by ESPN that you’ve never watched from start to finish despite the fact that the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” promotes them for about 6 months.
And since you likely won’t be watching next July, I’ll prevent the suspense. Jerome Simpson’s TD catch for the Cincinnati Bengals against the Arizona Cardinals Saturday wins SOMETHING.
As our own Brian Billick said on FOX, “you don’t get style points in the NFL but that oughtta be worth eight.”
Oh, and don’t look now but Cincy is playing great football just before they welcome the Ravens to Paul Brown Stadium next Sunday with the fate of the AFC North hanging in the balance. I don’t want to talk about that right now though. Perhaps never.
As someone who roots for a baseball team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 1997, I know a thing or two about what it must have felt like for fans in the Music City to watch their team clinch a Wild Card spot in the final moments of their win over the San Diego Chargers Saturday night…
The Bolts were finally eliminated from the playoffs, which you would assume will lead to Norv Turner’s firing. They may or may not have already interviewed Bill Cowher for Turner’s job, and Jon Gruden may or may not be next.
In the meantime, if you’re going to lose at least do it with amazing hair like SD DE Antonio Garay…
It was the final win of a record-setting career for the Broncos quarterback, it was just really unfortunate it happened in this venue instead of in a BCS bowl, as America would have enjoyed watching them play a team that actually gave a s**t…
The win came as rumors swirled that Penn State was interested in hiring BSU coach Chris Petersen. In a related story, I am interested in being hired by Saturday Night Live.
Petersen obviously is not interested in replacing Joe Paterno in State College. And if you were living as large as this dude is, why would you take ANY job?
In the Carolina Panthers’ win over the Bucs Saturday, Newton broke National Football League records for rookie passing yards (Peyton Manning) and quarterback rushing touchdowns (Steve Grogan). He did it in pretty spectacular fashion…
Things couldn’t be worse for the Bucs. Head coach Raheem Morris apparently “sent home” DE Brian Price after getting a 15 yard personal foul call and the team’s freefall continued on toward what looks more and more likely to be Morris’ ultimate firing.
I kinda feel bad for them. Perhaps I should offer some of my mom (the great Karen Clark)’s holiday stuffed shells…
Matt Barkley returning to Southern California is confusing because we know he would have been a potential Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but we also know what could be ahead. Heisman Trophy, Pac 12 & BCS Championship hopes and bevies of hot chicks.
I mean, the guy can play Jason Mraz on the guitar. He must be dodging panties every day he walks around Los Angeles. Tough life there…
With the Pats trailing the Miami Dolphins 17-0 at halftime Saturday, Facebook and Twitter were alive in Charm City with hopes of the Ravens still having a shot at the #1 seed in the AFC.
I however looked at my executive producer Ryan Chell and said “when Tom Brady decides to start playing I think they’ll be fine.”
They were. The Pats charged back from the halftime deficit to beat the Fins and are now a win away from clinching the #1 seed in the AFC. Apparently none of that is enough for owner Robert Kraft to get a high five…
Also, this looks like a good holiday film/way to make sure you don’t struggle in the red zone…
Of note for Miami, Reggie Bush remarkably ran for 100+ yards AGAIN in the defeat and we learned this weekend his mom does not want him to get back together with Kim Kardashian. That’s fine, I think Catalina Otalvaro would be a better catch anyway…
Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco’s appearance on “Monday Night Live” with teammate Brendon Ayanbadejo, Glenn Clark, Nestor Aparicio and Luke Jones has been of great interest around the country. The interview has appeared at ESPN, NFL Network, NFL.com, SI, NBC Sports, CBS Sports, Comcast SportsNet and countless other places around the internet and other forms of multi-media.
Heck, even a certain FM sports talk station in Charm City referenced the interview on-air and online, although they wouldn’t mention where it came from.
The opinions of Flacco’s comments have varied from analyst to analyst, fan to fan and even from WNST contributor to WNST contributor.
So here is the transcription of some of Flacco’s more interesting answers from Monday’s show at Hightopps Backstage Grille in Timonium. You can hear the segment in question here.
(Thanks to our friends at SportsRadioInterviews.com…)
On fans reacting and sometimes overacting to wins and losses:
“Yeah it’s pretty hilarious. I mean everyone reacts week to week and I mean most people really have no idea what really went on in the game and how everybody played and what was supposed to be happening. I can look at an NFL game and say ‘hey this is what I thought should have happened’ but I can be way off base because I don’t know what they game planned for the week and things like that. It’s funny to see all these things. I mean look at Tim Tebow. I like Tim, but you have a tendency to want to, I don’t want to see Tim do bad, but look what happens after he wins a football game. If you watched Sportscenter today it was Tim Tebow then something else, Tim Tebow then something else, and Tim Tebow then something else. When we beat the Steelers were we on TV? No. I couldn’t even find a Baltimore Ravens highlight. I think that’s kinda the way it is around Baltimore. We don’t always get our respect but you gotta deal with it and go out there every week and just win football games.”
On the idea that there are hurdles that he needs to get past to gain peoples respect:
“It’s pretty funny. It really means nothing at the end of the day. We beat the Steelers. Just because Ben wasn’t playing doesn’t mean anything. All those games are just as important. To be honest with you, in the regular season since I’ve been here we’re .500 against those guys and if you were to ask people they would probably say we have just one win against them. It’s funny to hear that kind of thing. It just kinda goes with the territory. You just have to continue to take it, deal with it, and not really worry about it. As far as winning the big one we’ve won a lot of big games around here. The other thing is quarterbacks are not the only guy on the team to win football games. When we do win football games I don’t seem to think that a lot of people say ‘hey Joe Flacco won that football game.’ When we lose the football game that might be the case but obviously that’s not all reality. As a quarterback it’s your job to go in there and realize that and be the guy that goes out there and plays the same way every week and puts your team in position to win football games. That’s what I’ve been doing I think and that’s why we’re 10-3.”
Whether or not he pays attention to other QB’s around the league and what they are doing:
“I don’t necessarily pay attention and every week look at that and see that. I guess every now and then you do and just see kinda what they’re doing but I don’t watch the TV shows a lot. Like I said every now and then you see it and you hear it. You just do. You can’t help yourself a little bit.”
Whether or not he heard the criticism before the season started about him being the reason the Ravens didn’t have a better season:
“Last year we were a 12-4 football team. I mean we didn’t win the division because Pittsburgh had a tiebreaker and we won a playoff game. Yeah it’s not what everybody wants to hear and we didn’t win the Super Bowl but it was a pretty good year by our football team and I had a pretty good football season myself. You go home and all you want to do is not be criticized and it does seem like that. And hey my standpoint is I just think we’re disrespected as an organization when it comes to the media. We’re not a very big market, the bottom line is we don’t need a lot of help because we have a great fan-base every week and we win football games. We’re not a losing football team that needs to be out there in the media and be talked up like we are all-world. We are. We go out there and play and win football games. People usually look for a reason to put us down and where does that go to? It goes to the quarterback because we have a good defense. Teams want to see us run the ball and they want to see our defense win games. When we don’t do that and don’t win a football game where does the blame fall? Onto the quarterback. What are you gonna do? You’re the quarterback. You’re one of 32 guys that has the position that you have and it’s really not even that much because not everybody plays every week. Hey that’s why most of these guys, including myself get paid the way we do because we’re the guys that have to deal with it at the end of the day. When we don’t win they’re going to put it on us and that’s the bottom line.”
Whether or not he feels like his role in the offense has continued to evolve:
“The biggest thing for me is just the fact that when you come in as a rookie you don’t know a lot of guys, you’re a little bit uncomfortable, and you’re put in the starting spot and you’re just trying to play well. As you’re around a team, as you’re around guys you become more and more comfortable in your own skin and you become more and more comfortable to voice your opinion. Now we have a lot of young guys on the team so you have to do that. Before we were a pretty veteran offense and a pretty veteran team and a lot of those guys have developed those skills ten plus years in the NFL. It’s not my job to come in here and tell them to change something or something like that but it is my job to kinda get these young guys up to speed and mold them into the kind of player that I want them to be and they want to be. I think I’m able to be more comfortable in my own skin and voice my opinion a little bit more.”
Drew Forrester, Nestor Aparicio had a late celebratory dinner with our fantastic attorney Sunday night at Fogo De Chao. As I walked in, I said to Drew “is Tebow going to do it again?” He responded “nah…it’s like 10-0 at the end of the game.”
I responded “um…actually it’s 10-7.”
Within moments we were all doing this…
So that I’ve covered myself here, a LOT of credit for the Denver Broncos’ win over the Chicago Bears has to be given to the fact that Marion Barber absolutely fell apart late and Matt Prater’s UNREAL game-tying boot. In fact, Prater’s boot was so incredible it deserves another look…
Just stop already. Just stop. Frank Reich might want to go ahead and make the congratulatory call to Tebow, because you KNOW “The Mile High Messiah” is going to eventually break his record for the greatest comeback in National Football League history.
As far as the Bears go, it’s over for them. You have to have a quarterback. It would be over in Charm City if Tyrod Taylor had to play.
That is…of course…ENOUGH about the Bears. Tim Tebow played Sunday. We’ll be talking about it until next Sunday.
Perhaps I was wrong. Maybe you DON’T have to have a quarterback. Maybe T.J. Yates is enough…
With Andre Johnson sidelined, Kevin Walter was the hero. I’m so confused by everything happening here. I know the other teams barely tried, but aren’t the Texans supposed to screw this up so that these t-shirts are never printed???
A large crowd welcomed the AFC South champs back to Reliant Stadium Saturday night. No word on whether or not they had all sent Peyton Manning Thank You cards or not.
Even if I had to make a trip to Landover and that AWFUL dump known as FedEx Field, it was worth it for Army/Navy.
My highlight this year? The press box (which Dan Snyder and company placed in the WORST possible location otherwise) was directly behind the brigade of Midshipmen, allowing me to hear every word of “The Goat is Old and Gnarly.”
If you’re not an Annapolis regular, you might not be familiar. Here’s a 4 year old singing it…
The Mids were 27-21 winners thanks to 4th quarter heroics from kicker Jon Teague. The game (as always) was “more than football”. Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama attended, watching one half of the game on each side. At halftime, he was walked from side to side through a tunnel formed by members of each branch. The word “goosebumps” fits.
Down 23-7 at the half and watching their Wild Card hopes crumble, the Falcons became energized and clinched a win with this 75 yard TD to Julio Jones…
After finishing the win over the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons had quite the scare when coach Mike Smith felt chest pains and was taken off the team flight and instead to a Charlotte hospital. When reached for comment, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger described Smith as a “pansy.”
The Bolts are pretty healthy and playing really well just in time for a date with the Ravens on Sunday Night Football. Phillip Rivers is playing well. Vincent Jackson is playing well. Ryan Matthews is playing well. Antonio Gates is playing well. They kept their slim playoff hopes alive while ruining any hopes the Buffalo Bills had Sunday.
WNST will be in San Diego next weekend, partnering with Los Angeles Ravens fan club The West Wing. That means Perry Hall High School alum Daniela Pane will be in the house…
It’s a shame she has to compete with me every year for the “most popular alum” award. Otherwise she’d probably have it nailed down.
Before the season began-what, maybe 10% of college football fans could name the Baylor Bears quarterback? Just before Christmas, RG3 has not only won the sports’ highest honor, he’s also started a craze in footwear…
Superman socks. Actually quite awesome. Everyone else is so much cooler than me.
There were a handful of goofs who thought the Oakland Raiders could give the Packers a run for their money. Here are some highlights-or at least the best I could find on YouTube…
If Greg Jennings really does have a torn ACL, the Packers are hurting. But this is a team that has Aaron Rodgers, Jermichael Finley, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, James Jones, ah you get the point. They’re going undefeated and they’re probably going to win the Super Bowl.
I’m simply calling this my “Top 10 Most Memorable.” Not my “Top Ten Most Memorable Games” or my “Top Ten Most Memorable Moments”, just my “Top 10 Most Memorable” in the history of the Baltimore Ravens/Pittsburgh Steelers Rivalry…
The game didn’t really end up meaning anything for either team, as the Ravens clinched the division earlier in the day with a Cincinnati Bengals loss. That said, the atmosphere remained electric for the Sunday Night Football matchup as Brian Billick stuck with his starters. RB Jamal Lewis fell short of breaking Eric Dickerson’s single season rushing record (live shots of Dickerson from ESPN during the broadcast actually added to the excitement), but he DID surpass the 2,000 yard mark and the Ravens claimed victory of their AFC North foe.
Despite an up and down 2001 season, there was still a feeling that once the Baltimore Ravens reached the playoffs, they’d somehow figure out a way to defend their Super Bowl XXXV crown. Kordell Stewart and Amos Zereoue did little against the Ravens defense, but three Elvis Grbac picks ensured the Ravens’ title hopes would be dashed at Heinz Field.
After a surprising quick start to the 2008 season with first year head coach John Harbaugh and rookie quarterback Joe Flacco, the Ravens entered their Monday Night Football showdown in the Steel City undefeated. They took a quick lead in the game, but some mistakes allowed the Steelers back into the game. The game would ultimately be won by the Steelers in overtime, but Ravens fans who made the trip felt good about the hopes for the coach and QB moving forward in the series.
Many of you probably know me from reading my blogs here on WNST.net. Some of you may have followed my writing when I was keeping up with “Charm City Sports Talk” or when I did some stuff for Fox 1370 and Sports With Coleman. Or perhaps the only thing you know about a Peter associated with WNST is that Pete the Professor kid that Drew rambles on and on about on random mornings when he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.
But there is a lot more to the story of my young life, and starting tomorrow (September 24th) you’ll begin to learn a little bit more about me each and every weekend. I’m very excited and proud to announce the start of a new Saturday morning show on WNST 1570 AM and WNST.net. Every Saturday from 10-noon, WNST newcomer Jed Gamber and I will be discussing all things sports with you on “The Jed and Pete Show” (we figured we’d use our names in the title of the show until you become more familiar with us…then maybe we’ll come up with a fancy title).
I’ll introduce Jed Gamber tomorrow morning, but I’ll just say a few words about him right now. Look, I don’t pretend to know everything about sports. In fact, being in this business for more than a year has humbled me a great deal.
But I do have a knack for quickly picking out those who really do know what they’re talking about regarding sports, and those who frankly just don’t get it. You know, the kind of sports “fans” that swear they are diehard Orioles fans but couldn’t tell me who the O’s drafted in the first round in 2003.
I could give more analogies, but I think most of you reading this understand what I mean, and you can tell the difference between someone who knows what they’re talking about and someone who doesn’t.
Obviously, you will make your judgments every Saturday morning, but Jed gets it. He really does. Say 2006 Ravens, and Jed will immediately respond with Steve McNair, 13-3, awful loss to Colts. Say Sidney Ponson trade, and Jed will start talking about the failures of Damian Moss and Kurt Ainsworth.
Jed is a true Baltimore sports fan and he’s extremely knowledgeable. Plus he’s an awesome guy.
Needless to say, I’m excited to talk sports with Jed every Saturday morning on the station that NEVER stops talking Baltimore sports.
And I couldn’t be more grateful to the fine people that work together each day to make WNST what it is today. The opportunity that Nestor Aparicio, Paul Kopelke, Ashley Bishoff, Glenn Clark, Drew Forrester and everyone else associated with the company has provided me is one that I’ll never take for granted and never forget. And I cannot thank them enough for giving me a chance to do something that I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid.