Sectional finals - 2A at Lake Station, 3A at Hammond, 4A at Crown Point
It’s Sunday after Indiana high school basketball sectionals. Here’s some stuff:
19 games on AM and FM radio and on the Tunein app
19 games in video on Roku, Amazon, Apple and Facebook Live
26 people on the broadcast team, many of them students
Five sectionals: Crown Point, Portage, Hammond, Calumet and Lake Station.
Five champions: Munster, Chesterton, Hammond, Hanover Central, Andrean.
1,000,000 views. That’s our goal by the end of semi-state.
After the games last night, we continued the generations-old tradition of the WJOB sectionals team getting together. We gathered at Bridges Scoreboard in Griffith:
A bunch of people helped out but didn’t make it to Bridges.
It’s a lot of people committed to the mission, which is to strengthen the bond between high school teams and their communities. We do this by working with the IHSAA to put as many games as possible on streaming TV.
Your breath’s so bad,
We both need gum.
Who would have thought that when
you danced up and smiled,
You’d be the one?
Please don’t be misled by our goal of making it to 1,000,000 views on the Internet. This number is skewed by a heads-up play from Ben Wood and Ben Cowart. Here’s the text Ben Wood sent me on Thursday morning:
“It’s a good thing you made us do that Hobart-KV game. I posted a clip on twitter from the game and it’s gotten used by some big outlets. Over a couple hundred retweets.”
It turns out that the clip now has upwards of 750,000 views on twitter and Instagram. People are telling us they saw it on ESPN.
It’s a clip of Kankakee Valley guard Bobby Bonilla getting trapped at mid-court by three Hobart players. To escape, he rolls like a break dancer, keeps dribbling, regains his feet and drives to the basket, where he makes a layup and gets fouled. He's the “Artful Dodger” from Oliver Twist.
If that clip gets to 750,000 views, to make 1,000,000 we have to match last year’s number for the broadcasts. That was 250,000 views for the whole tournament. We still have Regionals and, hopefully, a semi-state game.
The guys didn’t want to broadcast the KV-Hobart game. To them, it was a throw-in before the big Valparaiso-Merrillville, not as important.
Here’s the thing – all games in the Indiana boys basketball tournament are good and pure and beautiful, no matter how lopsided or how little chance either team has of winning the sectional. This is an Indiana truth.
Cleaned-out soul of a top
drawer. Sometimes you want more
but get nothing.
Here’s how fast things are changing with radio and streaming video. NIPSCO is the main sponsor of high school sports in video. When we sold it to them in August, the tag line was –
“Mobile video of high school sports powered by NIPSCO.”
It’s a good enough tag line. It represented what we were at the time – a broadcaster to Facebook Live. Most people watched on their phones.
We recently got approved to have channels on Roku, Amazon and Apple. We're in people's living rooms. The IHSAA has been amazing in taking the lead on this... but the NIPSCO tag line is no longer accurate.
This is why, prospective advertisers, you let us keep with the technology. If you wait too long, you will be left behind. Fact of life, truth of life, just like Indiana high school sports is good and pure and beautiful. All of it, including the KV-Hobart game.
in small doses
is okay. But too much
and you wind up sleeping
alone at night.
That should do it for now. Thanks to everyone who made this a special week - players, coaches, A.D.’s, administrators, sponsors, fans, popcorn salespeople and the WJOB broadcast team. The Indiana boys high school basketball tournament is good and pure and beautiful. Thanks for helping us bring that message to the world.
Marie makes her way back to
FaceTime with the kids and
a cold night pillow.