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Lou Pickney's Online Commentary

Loud Places

Monday
August 31, 2015

"And soon everybody will ask what became of you
'Cause your heart was dying fast, and you didn't know what to do"
-Death Cab For Cutie "Cath..."

"Didn't I take you to higher places you can't reach without me?"
-Jamie xx "Loud Places"

It was twenty years ago this month that I lauched my personal website. Learning how to code .html wasn't something that came naturally or easily for me, but I saw the huge potential in having a website, so I put my mind to it.

In my first week on campus I met Andy Capps, a sophomore who would eventually end up being my fraternity brother in Phi Kappa Tau. He showed me a few things about coding and I taught myself the rest looking at source code for other sites.

The original home for this site was school-generated: spruce.evansville.edu/~lp25. Not the easiest thing to remember, or explain, and that was in the era when people felt the need to say "H-T-T-P colon forward-slash forward-slash" before telling you a domain name.

The site had a very important purpose for me, as it served as the home for the fantasy football league I had played in the previous year in high school. Time was on our side: pre-internet there's no way the league could have stayed together. But with seven of the eight of us all going to college, we were able to be relatively early adopters of things like email and web browsing that weren't exactly commonplace in 1995.

You have to also understand that, in that era, we were still scoring games by hand from box scores out of the newspaper, eventually replaced by box scores available online. Over the next few years we slowly moved toward a more typical setup allowing for real-time scoring, and for most people I know it's easy to take it for granted. But I'm an old-timer when it comes to that, and I still appreciate having data available so quickly.

In a related note, tonight we started our 24th season (my 22nd year in the league) and 17th year of the keeper format with the 2015 Draft. It's remarkable that we've kept it together for so long.

For the first time since 2011, I returned to the Father Ryan High School football broadcast team earlier this month. When I left Nashville in May 2012, I unfortunately had to also vacate my spot with the crew. But the guys here held it together in my absence, they welcomed me back with some great enthusiasm, and I've had fun working the sidelines as a reporter.

But I'm at my most effective from the broadcast booth, and with Hank Fuerst's job preventing him from being able to make most of the remaining regular-season games, it looks like it will be Rhett Douglas and me on the call going forward. More than anything, I want to call a Father Ryan/Montgomery Bell Academy game, since scheduling quirks before prevented me from that.

The last time Father Ryan beat MBA in football was at Vanderbilt in the 1997 state championship game. My brother Matt was on that FRHS team, beating an MBA squad that had two players (Hunter Hillenmeyer and Ingle Martin) who would later go on to play in the National Football League.

Also, I'm excited about helping out with the school's Behind the Crest broadcasting program, a relatively new venture that provides great opportunities for students to learn about everything from play-by-play to video editing to interview skills. It's the sort of program I would have loved to participate in when I was in high school.

The role I anticipate taking will be in an advisory standpoint. I've worked in the media world long enough to learn a few things, and hopefully I'll be able to impart some of that knowledge to the students involved. It should be fun to be fun to be in the mix, if nothing else.


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