I'm not a good public speaker.
I'm a rambler. I tend to go all over the place and end my speeches without effectively delivering the message I was hoping to get across. Because of that, I don't accept a lot of speaking engagements.
Just imagine what I thought when the speakers line-up for the 2013 Little Rock Touchdown Club was announced. Take a look at this list:
Wed, Aug 21 -- Coach Bret Bielema (Arkansas)
Monday, Aug 26 -- Cliff Harris (Dallas Cowboys/OBU)
Tuesday, Sept. 3 -- Dan Hampton (Chicago Bears/Arkansas)
Monday, Sept. 9 -- Coach Tom Osborne (Nebraska)
Monday, Sept. 16 -- Jeff Long (Arkansas Athletic Director)
Monday, Sept. 23 -- Coach Houston Nutt (Arkansas/Ole Miss)
Monday, Sept. 30 -- Coach Gene Chizik (Auburn/Iowa State)
Monday, Oct. 7 -- Coach Clint Conque (UCA)
Monday, Oct 14 -- Mitch Mustain (Arkansas/USC)
Monday, Oct. 21 -- Jonathan Luigs (Arkansas/Remington Award)
Monday, Oct. 28 -- Coach Bryan Harsin (Arkansas State)
Monday, Nov 4 -- Steve Sullivan
Monday, Nov 11 -- Roland Sales (Arkansas/ MVP 1977 Orange Bowl)
Ike Forte (Arkansas/ MVP 1976 Cotton Bowl)
Monday, Nov. 18 -- Richard Davenport (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)
Chris Hays (Orlando Sentinal)
Monday, Nov. 25 -- Steve Atwater (Arkansas/Denver Broncos)
January Awards Banquet -- Lou Holtz (ESPN/Hall of Fame Head Coach)
There I was, penciled in for November 4. The good news: I'm 12th in the batting order. A lot can happen in three months. Deep down, I was hoping for the TD club's version of a pinch hitter, the substitute speaker.
It didn't happen.
For 11 Mondays, I watched the Touchdown Club's class of 2013 knock it out of the park. The class was better than advertised.
My goal for November 4th: don't disappoint Baz.
David Bazzel has been in my corner for most of my 30 year run in Little Rock TV. He has never let me down and I did not want to screw up what has been a very special season for a club Baz created.
My TD club experience turned out to be surreal.
Popeye of Popeye Video and Twin City Limousine insisted on making my arrival, the most special experience of the club's season. Mission accomplished! To mark the occasion, Popeye also presented me with a "Little Stevie" football trophy.
If you've never been to a Little Rock Touchdown Club meeting, the pre-game is often as or more entertaining than the speaker.
Baz handles the welcome. He's a natural. He always hits the right tone.
Rex Nelson bats second in the line-up. His weekend recap is always highly informative and very entertaining. It was a vintage Nelson performance on Monday.
Jim Rasco is one of the club's rising stars. His speaker introductions have been known to rival Rex's weekend recaps. Jim's goal is to surprise the speaker with some of the information he is able to gather. Jim hit a home run on Monday!
As for the speech, I got through it with a little help from some broadcasting greats. I was able to run vintage clips from Paul Eells, Vin Skully and my hero growing up - Celtics announcer Johnny Most. If you're not familiar with Most's work, you need to run a YouTube search. You will be entertained.
I think Pulaski Academy Coach Kevin Kelley got it right when he called Monday's meeting a change of pace.
I hope everyone there left knowing just how I lucky I feel. That's the message I was trying to get across.
I'm looking forward to next Monday when I get to return to my spot in the crowd behind the camera.
For more information on the Little Rock Touchdown club, go to lrtouchdown.com.
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