Friday, November 21, 2008

Update: November 2008

Hello to everyone back in Blue Hen Country. As much as I have missed Delaware and Delaware Football, it has been an amazing Summer and Fall. I have received a lot of e-mails and messages asking how I am doing, so I thought I would post an update:

On July 31st I settled on the sale of my long time house in Trolley Square in Wilmington. I packed what I could into my car, piled Buckner the dog into the back seat and headed West. After spending a couple of days with friends on a lake in Newaygo, Michigan; I met my girl Pam in Chicago, and we stared weaving our way west.

We spent the next two weeks dissecting Rt 94 stopping at some great spots along the way including Deadwood and Sturgis, South Dakota; and Missoula and Flathead Lake, Montana eventually landing at my new home in Portland, Oregon.

I wasn't in Portland for that long before getting the call. One of my old buddies from college, Matt Fine, was making a movie in Michigan with his brother Jeff. It was one of those all-hands-on deck calls that you have to answer if you can. Fortunately for me and much to the chagrin of Portland Pam, I had yet to really look for a job so I had some time on my hands.

So for the passed two months I have been in Kalamazoo, Michigan working on an independent movie called Cherry which is a coming of age story about a young man embarking on his freshman year of college that is enriched by great writing and solid acting. The cast includes:

West Chester's own: Kyle Gallner; plus: Laura Allen, Brittany Robertson, Esai Morales, Stephanie Venditto, Kirk Anderson, DC Pierson (Search YouTube for his comedy troupe: Derrick), Zosia Mamet, and Matt Walsh.

The film was written and directed by my friend Jeff Fine, and shot by legendary cinematographer Marvin Rush.

We made the film in Michigan because of the incredible incentive program that the state is offering the film industry. We shot the film on two college campuses: Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo College, and several locations throughout the town of Kalamazoo.

The entire crew was also living in a vacant dorm on Western's campus. So in many ways it was like we were all going back to college as well including playing bocce ball in the halls and tapping the occasional keg in the party room of the sixth floor.

For me it was a once in a lifetime experience. I was charged with many different tasks including casting a few of the supporting roles, casting the hundreds of extras that appeared in the film, and overseeing an internship program that saw scores of college students get an opportunity to work on the movie in several different capacities. One of those students may get a chance to go out to LA to continue to work on the movie during the post production process.

I also have a neat cameo in the movie as a male nurse; plus I even cast a robot. When it is all said and done I will be credited as an Associate Producer.

I am not exactly sure what is next for me but I feel like I have been bitten by the bug, and I am looking forward to continue to write and hopefully drum up some interest in one of my screenplays. But for now I am getting ready to head to Mexico and relax for much of December with my girl Portland Pam.

I have been trying to keep up with Delaware Football as best I could from afar, and I know it has not been a great year. Hopefully the basketball team will step up and get things going in the right direction again. Plus we all know that UD Football will not be down for long.

Goodbye for now and Happy Thanksgiving!

Bill Komissaroff

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good Night And Good Luck

It is with great sadness that I am announcing that I will be leaving Delaware both the state and the University. It has been an honor and a privilege to be associated with the University of Delaware for the past sixteen years, and it has truly been a dream come true for me.

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved sports. And it became quite obvious early on that if I was to make sports a part of my life, it would involve something other than playing, hence: broadcasting. I can remember watching the NBC Game of the Week on Saturdays with the volume turned down pretending to be both Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. Most people do not get to realize their childhood dreams, and for this I am deeply humbled, forever grateful, and extremely fortunate.

My affiliation with my hometown University started back in the early 1990s when Jim Hayes asked me to sit in for him on a men's-women's basketball doubleheader against Drexel from the Bob that was being broadcast on the old Channel 2 in New Castle County.

While working at WSTW-WDEL, I was lucky enough to be the "back-up" guy calling basketball games on the radio when the football team's season was extended for the playoffs. Like in 1996 while the football was unfortunately getting thumped by Marshall in a I-AA Playoff game, I was in sunny Puerto Rico spending Thanksgiving with the Mike Brey and the basketball team who won two out of three games in that year's San Juan Shootout with wins over what would prove to be a very good Tennessee-Chattanooga team, and an 88-78 win over the University of Florida and their first year head coach Billy Donovan.

The next year while the football team was taking care of Hofstra on Thanksgiving weekend in the first round of the playoffs, I was in Bermuda with the basketball team calling Delaware's 66-56 win over American University in the first ever NCAA sanctioned event on the island memorable for having to use an office phone with a long cord because my equipment was not compatible with the facilities phone line.

I was the PA announcer for both Men's and Women's basketball for four years starting in 1996: the golden years of Delaware Men's basketball! While behind the mike on the PA there was nothing more thrilling than calling a Kestutis Marciulionis THREEEEEEEE!!!

Before the 1999 season the radio contract switched to the new FM station and the University asked me to team up with Mike Corey to call the games on 94.7. I'll never forget the butterflies in my stomach that first Thursday Night of the 1999 season under the temporary lights at Delaware Stadium as Mike and I called our first game together. It was a thrilling double overtime win over William and Mary, and in my mind I can still clearly see Butter Pressey slicing around the left end and cutting upfield for the game winning touchdown run.

There were so many great games over the years including national championships, improbable upsets, dramatic comebacks, and wonderful rivalries. But what I will cherish the most are the relationships and bonds formed with some truly amazing people, and what I will remember most are the funny moments of life on the road. Like the time an overly enthusiastic Corey tried to get his movie choice played on the team bus prior to embarking on an eight hour overnight ride home from the University of New Hampshire while Mike Brey looked back at me with that look of his telling me to reign in my man at the same time reminding us that, "Voltz (the previous radio guy) never complained about the movie".

Or the time when the team bus was stuck in the snow outside the Hofstra Arena during a blizzard long enough for Coach Henderson to watch the tape of his team getting pummelled by the Pride that afternoon finally exploding in anger and making everyone get off the bus and dig it out of two feet of snow on their knees with their hands. I looked over at Asst. SID Mike Hirschman to see if Henderson meant us too, and all Hirsch could do is shrug his shoulders and whisper, "I don't know?"

Football trips were always the most fun for the radio crew whether we were driving home from Northeastern in a borrowed SUV or trying to fly home (unsuccessfully) from Northern Iowa.

My approach to broadcasting the games has always been the same: be prepared; be honest; and (hopefully) be entertaining.

So many people helped and supported me along the way. To them I say a very big Thank You! The following are just a small sample. From the University: Edgar Johnson, KC Keeler, Tubby Raymond, Dave Cohen, Kirk Ciarrocca, Greg Perry, Frank Law, Jerry Oravitz, Monte Ross, David Henderson, Tyrone Perry, Sean Kearney, Scott Selheimer, Kevin Tritt, and Curt Krouse. I would especially like to thank Mike Brey who was instrumental in me getting the job in the first place.

Also, all my colleagues and friends at Clear Channel Radio including: Bob Walton, Matt Berman, Dan Clark, Tom Byrne, Glen Frazer, Paul Schmidt, Matt Ryan, Matt Janus, and Mike Miller.

Also big thanks to Kevin Tresolini, Scott Graham, and Joe Farley who hired me right out of college to call high school games at the old WAMS.

To my broadcast partner Mike Corey: We have sat next to each other for hundreds of games and countless hours on the road. We struck an instant chemistry that first night back in 1999 that has grown into something very special over the years. When people meet us they often compare us to an old married couple. I guess in broadcasting that is a good thing. Thank you my friend.

Finally to the fans. Thank you for listening. And thank you for accepting me into the Delaware family.

I am off to Portland, Oregon to start the next phase of my life with the woman that I love. See you in the bleachers in a couple of years when Delaware travels to South Dakota State!

Bill Komissaroff

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Tennessee Jed and the Mexacali Blues

What an incredible year for the University of Delaware football team. Congratulations to all of the players, coaches, and support staff.

Thanks also to my broadcast team: Mike Corey, Glen Frazier, Matty Ryan, Matt "Yalloff" Janus, Colin, and the rest of the team at Clear Channel Delaware. Great job guys!

The lesson I learned from this year is to never underestimate this team and never make vacation plans where there is any chance of a conflict. Early in the Fall, my girlfriend and I booked our annual December trip to Mexico. As we were strategizing, I assured her that I thought the week surrounding December 19, was going to be okay. I knew the Hens were going to be good; I just didn't think they were going to be "championship game" good.

Silly me.

I paid for my sins by logging a lot of air miles that week. I went from Philadelphia, to Houston, to Puerta Vallerta, and to Bucieras. Then on Thursday night before the championship game, I left Mexico and made my way to Chattanooga. On the flight from Houston to Tennessee, I sat next to former Blue Hen player and current Hollywood producer Phil Atwell. We talked Delaware football, Michael Vick, and movies for the entire bumpy flight.

After the game on Friday night, the crew and I stayed out until closing time at some extra smoky joint packed with, lucky for us, Appalachian State fans. I got back to our hotel very late, packed up my stuff, and headed straight to the airport for a very early flight back to Houston and then eventually back to Bucieras, Mexico where my beautiful girlfriend was waiting for me on the beach with an icy bucket of Pacifico. In retrospect, it was not a bad way to come down from what was a very disappointing game. (The NCAA should be ashamed and embarrassed by how poorly the game was handled by the officials and by the host school. It was a disgrace. Both teams deserved better.)

Below are all of my blog entries for this past season. For best results, read from the bottom up.

Enjoy and thanks for all of your support!

Bill Komissaroff