Radio Never Sleeps
Tower lights dawn to dusk
sweeping red across the
backs of railroad cars and
Constant babbling on the
frequency of steel toed
Or something like that. Radio really doesn’t ever sleep. We’re always on… just like the bright fluorescent lights of White Castles. Any time of the day you could get a plain cheeseburger or greasy talk.
Yesterday I left the new studios on the campus of the Purdue Univeristy Calumet Commercialization Center (love saying that) and came home with the intention of leaving radio behind for a day or so.
But as with last Friday night, a big lightning storm rolled through, so all high school football games were delayed, including the Crown Point at Merrillville game that we were broadcasting.
I spoke several times with our announcer, Brian Jennings, about what to do:
“I’m gonna head out and get a burger, didn’t eat. Minnow’s just sitting up in the press box bull#%2!ing. Looks like it won’t start until at least 8:30. Too bad we don’t have a deck of cards.”
Minnow’s the color announcer. He can bull@%!* pretty good, but I don’t know if he plays cards all that well. So the producer in the studio, Miguel, called me for some direction.
“Just play some music or replays from this morning.”
So he did… for a couple of hours. About 8:30 they called me and said that CP-Merrillville was canceled.
“Just call it a night,” I told Jennings.
So no live football game last night. That’s a first in many years on WJOB during football season. Both Miguel and Jennings suggested that I should get out of bed and make the short drive to Highland, where they were getting ready to play… but I was too tired and fell asleep immediately.
So radio slept for a while, at least until 2:30 am, when a source texted me that a policeman in Merrillville had been shot and was being airlifted to Chicago. The swat team may have shot the suspect dead.
Now that’s big. I checked the internet and on one, not even Chicago, had posted the story. So I got dressed and was heading out the door when a mention of the story popped up on the Times website. Back to bed.
That’s the second cop shot in a month or so. Jeff Westerfield of Black Oak was killed sitting in his car. Now this one. We live in an extremely violent area, just listen to the stuff I cover every day. How to handle this on Monday morning?
If I were to go on the air right now… I’d probably lose a gasket. And I wouldn’t be the only one. It’s ugly. At least I’ll have the weekend to think about it and come up with a reasonable strategy to bottle the frustration, sadness and anger.
.......... Turns out Munster beat Highland 34-20. I probably shoulda got out of bed and announced the game. We do have sports sponsors, you know. But they'll get their fill today when we broadcast Central Michigan at Purdue at 11am and USC vs. Stanford at 2:30pm. Yes, that's right. The NCAA national games have found WJOB. So has the NFL. We got a 49ers game tomorrow.
Anyways, most high school games are rescheduled for today. Jennings is doing a college game somewhere so there's a 50-50 chance I'll slug it out to announce a high school game tonight. Radio Never Sleeps.