Thank You Acadiana, You’ll Always Have a Place in my Heart
As you may or may not have heard my time at ESPN1420 and with Townsquare Media is coming to a close this week with the final 'The Word With G' coming your way Wednesday, January 27th, 2021.
I'll be starting a new sports talk radio show on ESPN 105.1 The Zone in Chattanooga, TN from 11-1p CT. You can tune in on the website or download the TuneIn app and search "ESPN 105.1 The Zone". Please also feel free to continue to follow my sports media journey on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram we'll have some more fun stuff coming your way.
What a three and a half years it has been in Cajun Country, there are so many memories that I have from my time here but how about we start at the beginning.
Whoa, who is that guy? I barely recognize myself. That was my first weekend in Lafayette as the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns football team was playing and Scott Prather decided it would be fun to parade around the Yankee who's never had any Cajun food in his life. Yeah, throw me into the deep end of some pastalya, needless to say, I survived and got an opportunity to try many, many other delicious foods. I may or may not have been in a bit of a food coma after that Tailgate TV appearance.
Speaking of Scott Prather, he, Erik Hellum, Mike Grimsley, and Bruce Mikells deserve a special shout-out as they were the ones that decided that I would be the one to fill the void that they had at the station in August 2017.
This was the first time ever I got an opportunity to host a daily sports talk radio program and they took a chance on a kid from Sandy Hook, CT who was living in Queens, NY at the time. This chance allowed me to literally live out a dream I had worked so hard at to achieve since I was in high school. I would always tell people, and this is the God's honest truth, that I wouldn't have traded this job for a million dollars, that's how much I valued getting this chance.
So, to those four great men, I want to say a heartfelt thank you, I wouldn't be where I am or who I am today without you giving me this opportunity.
Now, I've gotta take care of this community and my listeners. Wow, y'all are absolutely incredible (yes, I say y'all now, thank you for that). I didn't know what to expect when I moved down here, I had never been to the state of Louisiana before the day I moved in, but boy did it far exceed my expectations.
I've always been someone who cares about people, connecting with them, interacting with them, and engaging them, especially through sports. You, the listeners, and Acadiana embraced me from the moment I moved in, and all of the well wishes and kind words on and off the air have been incredibly humbling to me over the past couple of weeks. Y'all have meant the world to me, without you, there is no show and I promise you that I tried my absolute best to bring it for you each and every time I cracked open that microphone.
I tried my best to immerse myself and embrace everything this cULture and the sports teams that you care about had to offer. That's from UL sports (I had never even heard of a Ragin' Cajun), Saints, Pelicans, all things LSU, high school sports, and more. It was a challenge but one I was happy to take on if it meant being able to live out my dream. Yes, every time I turned on that microphone I was living out my dream with you on the airwaves.
Some of you were a bit harsher, argumentative, and critical than others but I loved that because you challenged me, you made me better each and every day. Regardless of what type of caller you were, I was just happy to have you as part of the program, even if you had never called in once but would just listen I want you to know how happy I am that you tuned in each and every week. Thank you Acadiana, I will never forget you or your amazing food, I'll miss both so much.
I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention all of the outstanding guests that I had on to contribute to the show, I wish I could have paid each and every one of you to be on the show because you were absolutely worth it and helped make the show what it was and will continue to be. Thank you for always making time for me and to share your knowledge with the listening audience.
"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean."
For the people in the local media that I got the opportunity to get to know and work with within various capacities-James Bewers, Kevin Foote, Tim Buckley, Seth Lewis, Andrew Clay, George Faust, Madeline Adams, Emily Giangreco, Cavan Bordelon, Scott Brazda, Ian Auzenne, Brandon Comeaux, Bandit, Mr. Bobby, Gerald Broussard, Dan McDonald, Shaquira Martin, Chris Lanaux, Chris Gannon, and many others it was a pleasure to know and work with all of you, keep up the incredible work.
I wanted to give a special shoutout to a couple of people that I've worked closely with at ESPN1420 over the years as well. Norman Locke, Lane Johnson, Cody Junot, Jay Walker, Steve Peloquin, Scott Prather, Brad Topham, Spencer Urquhart, Billy Ryckman, and Sam Stokes. I couldn't have asked for a better crew to go to battle with.
Now, without this man stepping away from the business who knows where I would be and that's Ryan Baniewicz. Thank you for showing me the ropes buddy, it was great to be able to learn from you and I hope I did the shows proud, I always appreciate you calling to check in from time to time. Also, my videographer Dustin Webb who not only has been great to work with creating our "Emotional Saints Fan" videos but we've become fast friends as well, I can't tell you how much he's helped me and how great of a friend he's been.
To those of you that I got the opportunity to work with at the great University of Louisiana from the staff members to the coaches to the players thank you for always putting up with me and helping me to cover your teams to the best of my ability. I really enjoyed getting to know those of you that I did staff members, coaches, and players alike I now have a team to truly root for and I will always do so, keep up the cULture.
To my Townsquare Media family, thank you for treating me always like part of the family and taking care of me, it certainly wasn't an easy transition coming from NYC, being so far away from my own family and every single one of you was incredible. Special shoutout to Mike Grimsley the OG, Pam Begnaud my work mom, Brad Burley who is an incredible person, and the Acadiana Cane Cutters Richard and Sandi Chalmers for giving me the chance to broadcast Cutters Baseball.
Finally, the biggest shout-out to my family for always being my absolute support system from afar, I may not be perfect, no one is but I couldn't have asked for a better family to come up with. Erica and Grant you guys are the best siblings and I wish nothing but the best for you. Mom and Dad, I literally wouldn't be the person I am today without the two of you raising me the way you did and always believing that I could make this dream come true, that belief meant more than you'll ever know. I love you all.
So, we're onto the next stop here soon, thanks for barring with me, I just wanted you all to know how damn much I appreciate y'all and if I missed anyone by name specifically I apologize. As my great-grandma always told me, and I take this to heart, there's no good-bye's there are only so-longs. So, Acadiana, I'll be back, you've got a piece of my heart.
Until next time.
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