Changing Lanes

That coach he’s talking about is a superintendent of a nearby district now. Back in the day he was a three-sport star, a third-generation standout at his school, a college quarterback with SoCal good looks. During the early days of my broadcast career I called a no-hitter of his, countless touchdown passes and three-point baskets.

Now he’s a football dad, watching his son taking the snaps at his alma mater.

It happens to the best of us. Father Time is undefeated.

This past school year featured two Northwest Indiana teams winning IHSAA basketball state titles, Marquette Catholic is the 1A girls champ and Andrean won the boys 2A final. That made for a super-enjoyable broadcast year, one of my favorites since I started doing this in 1989. Unprompted, I remember thinking after the 2A regional final last year “if this is the last game I ever call on the air, I went out doing some of my best work.”

Step away like MJ? So be it.

So I kind of quietly made a decision over the summer.

It’s time to hang up the microphone.

My youngest son is a sophomore this year, participating in football & wrestling. He’ll never be a star, never see his name in the paper or a sportswriter’s tweet, but he’s made a commitment, put in his time in workouts throughout the year. If he can do that, I can be there every time he puts on a uniform.

That would have been impossible to do on Fridays and made for some overscheduled Saturdays.

So now I’m just-a-dad. Mrs. Dull checked in on me Thursday evening after dinner: “You know last year at this time you’d be doing game prep. Are you OK?”

She knows me very well. I always prided myself on my prep work. Not Doc Emrick-level, but I was ready. Many a Thursday night I rolled into bed at 1 am after putting the finishing touches on the package of game notes & two-deeps & scripted pre-games for my broadcast.

But: Yes. I am most definitely OK.

It is right and good. I’m exactly where I belong.

There was a time when Cubs radio play-by-play man was my dream job. The one I’d have given 10 years off the end of my life for.

But I have different dreams now.

That’s my oldest son (the Army private) and his new bride, by the way. They got married on Monday and Mrs. Dull flew them home for an open house this weekend. If I was calling prep football I’d have missed that too.

Not on your life.


Four years ago I followed through on a commitment to begin blogging as a way to reflect on my practice. I’m not really even sure that blogs are a thing anymore, but I’ve got a handful that I read on the regular (Blogroll is over there to the right).

My online PLN is blogging their way thru August in the #MTBoS Blaugust2019 challenge. Check out the complete list here. While you are there, sign up to join in the fun. Not sure what to write about? Here’s some prompts. I’m waiting to read, learn, and grow with my Teacher Twitter people.

Author: thedullguy

High School Math/PLTW teacher, Valparaiso High School, Valparaiso, IN. Opinions mine.

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