By Dave Walsh, Cowboy State Daily
I just love springtime in Wyoming! Of course, you could get just about anything “weather-wise” this time of year. One day it feels a lot like winter, others it may seem a bit “fallish” There may be a day or two in April that give you a summertime feel.
And “sports-wise” here in the Cowboy State, we are plenty busy following our springtime favorites. I hear that there are even a few professional leagues back in business and well into their regular season schedules, but as a U-Dub fan, and especially a Cowboy Football geek, spring has sprung in a big way. In fact, the only way I know that it’s technically and officially spring is that Cowboy Football is involved in spring drills.
Spring Football is just one phase, and a very important one, of the entire process of preparing for the upcoming season. The Cowboys are midway through the spring and two weeks away from the Spring Game in War Memorial Stadium on April 30.
Another thing we love about the spring is that it means we are that much closer to the fall. We are that much closer to the start of the 2022 Cowboy Football season. Cowboy Football fans will tell you that the Pokes are, right now, just 19 weeks from starting the 2022 season. The Cowboys are just a little more than four months from “kicking off” the season in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. The Cowboys will face the Fighting Illini on Saturday, August 27, a mere 133 days from now!
Springtime is a time of reflection, and a time of attending to the here and now, but it’s also a time of moving ahead. We are all kind of “springing forward” I suppose. For this veteran broadcaster, it is all of the above. The old voice still reflects on a Cowboy Football season that ended just four months ago in Boise, Idaho. And can’t help but get excited for the next season that begins in four months in Illinois.
I’ve said many times, on many broadcasts over the years, that I am the most fortunate person. I’ve been lucky enough to spend my entire time in the workplace doing the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do, something that was anything and everything but work. I knew at a very tender age, I was 8 years old, with my transistor radio on my pillow, listening and falling asleep to a baseball or basketball game in its final stages, well, I knew then what I wanted to do when I grew up. I wanted to be that announcer, the play-by-play guy describing the game.
Lucky, fortunate, me. Here I am, and here we are just 133 days away from “living the dream” and calling a Cowboy Football game. Back in the booth, back in the headset. Back with the crew, the entire broadcast team.
And back with Kevin.
Like I said, I am the most fortunate person. I am so lucky to have had Kevin McKinney as my partner on Cowboy Football broadcasts. We did 36 years of Cowboy Basketball together, and will head into the 39th consecutive year of announcing a Cowboy Football together. We even did a few Cowboy Baseball broadcasts 25 years ago.
From 1999 through 2008, Kevin and I co-hosted Sportsline Live, a nightly sports call-in talk show in southeast Wyoming. That’s some 1,200 talk shows and close to 1,500 Cowboy broadcasts, and all were done “live.” Those are a lot of broadcasts to get comfortable with one another, develop a rapport, and just do good radio.
You may have heard me refer to, and often introduce Kevin as “the Armani of Analysis – Kevin Mc Kinney.” The Armani reference is to one of the Kings of Fashion, Georgio Armani. And anyone who has ever met or seen Kevin is immediately impressed with how nattily-dressed the man is, a style that is very Armani-esque. And analysis? Well, there is no one who can breakdown what we have just seen, and provide quick and knowledgeable analysis, better than Kevin McKinney.
I’ve always been very open and honest about how I feel about broadcast, and the Cowboys. I fully admit that I am a “homer.” It’s been a love that began to develop almost exactly 40 years ago. I’ve learned a lot about this great state, its wonderful university, Wyoming athletics, and especially Cowboy sports, from Kevin McKinney.
Born and bred in Cheyenne, Kevin was a Cowboy fan from the start. He attended Wyoming games all through his childhood, would earn a degree from UW, and has worked in athletics at Wyoming, in so many ways, for more than 50 years.
How lucky am I? The luckiest ever! That’s how much!