It's great to be home.
Growing up in Billings, I learned years ago that Montana living is the daily equivalent of a walk-off win. Waking up to the Rimrocks out one window and mountains out the other? Unbeatable.
That said, what high school kid doesn't want to venture out? I graduated near family from the University of Oklahoma. One of my real college thrills: equipment manager for OU's nationally ranked basketball Sooners. Oh, the stories under Coach Billy Tubbs! Naturally, I wasn't good enough to play, so my next best plan: athletic trainer or sportscasting. Journalism won and here we are 30 years later, gratified in a storytelling career.
Simply put, my journalistic passion is covering our local athletes. Yes, I've realized a childhood pipe dream of bumping elbows in pro locker rooms. I've lived in the moment at The Masters, Super Bowl and multiple college football national championships. But like everybody else, those athletes have bad days. They don't always love answering questions. I'd much rather buzz around Billings or drive any Montana back road to share original stories of kids, parents and grandparents who smile and appreciate seeing you.
Among my favorite moments: caddying for friend and LPGA golfer Leslie Spalding in England at the 1998 Women's British Open. Wow. The Billings Senior grad qualified last-minute as an alternate, then stunned everybody by finishing sixth at Royal Lytham & St Annes. What an amazing, unforgettable week inside the ropes.
My greatest honor? Induction to Montana's Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame (not as a competitor!) for contributions in broadcasting.
No matter the story, all my roads lead back to Montana. It's great to be home.