Contrary to what some people believe, I wasn’t born broadcasting Brownwood Lion football and I haven’t broadcast it for the last couple of years, but I do love talking about it.
My first year to do Brownwood Lion football was in 1963. Ken Schulze and I went in at the same time. In 1962 the play by play crew was John Slaughter and somebody else, but John was the play by play man for the Lions. Well, he was the man until they played Cleburne in Cleburne. It was an interesting ballgame and I kind of felt for John because it was raining and they had no yard markers on the field and stuff like that. John, I guess just got eaten alive by the circumstances surrounding the game. I mean, he got lost and he sounded terrible. He couldn’t remember the score and just got panicky. It was raining, raining hard and he couldn’t see the field. I mean it all seemed like legitimate stuff to me. When he came back to town he called me and he said, “Man, I’ve never seen a game like that – the rain and just everything. It was horrible!” I said, “I understand. I thought you did okay.”
The big boss at the radio station was a man named Wendell Mays and the next day John kept his job but he was relieved as the voice of the Lions. He was fired because the boss didn’t like the way the game sounded. He said “We just can’t have that on Brownwood Lion football”. So, John stayed at the station, but he was out as the Voice of the Lions. They brought in – who knows – Fred Perry or somebody to do the ballgames to finish out the season. Then, as I think I’ve mentioned before, they hired Ken Schulze and yours truly to take over in 1963 and we did that until 1975 and then I took over in ’76.
I was terrified of bad weather games because that day stuck in my mind. I thought John did pretty good and he was fired. When I got hired to do the games, Mr. Mays told me, “Be careful of the weather. Don’t let it mess you up like it does some people.
I was just panicked. Every bad weather game I think I had from 1963 until I stopped doing the games – and they average about one bad weather game a year – but every time we had one, I’d have a little panic attack. Fact is, I kind of had a little panic attack anytime we had rain in a ballgame.
I can still remember most ballgames, especially a season opener in San Angelo. We started the game and it was literally raining so hard that you couldn’t see the field from about the 25 yard line back through the end zone. I remember that we got the opening kickoff and I could see the ball from where they kicked it to about the 25 yard line then the ball went floating into the rain and it just literally disappeared! All of a sudden, I could remember what happened to John, and I just called out somebody’s name that normally was a running back or receiver. I just called out some name and said, “He has it at the five and he’s got the ten and the fifteen” and I didn’t know where I was going. All of a sudden I saw a Brownwood player pop out of the rain! I caught up with him real quick. Sometimes you fly by the seat of your pants. That was one game where I was sure glad I got hold of the seat of my pants because anything could have happened.
Wendell Mays had long since passed away but his words still scared me that night.
Until next time, so long everybody.
‘Out of the Box’ with Dallas Huston is published each Monday morning at BrownwoodNews.com. Dallas was the radio voice of the Brownwood Lions and Howard Payne Yellow Jackets for more than 55 years. He currently is Pastor of Center City Baptist Church and hosts a Men’s Bible Study in Brownwood on Monday evenings. Your comments are welcome at email@example.com.