Author: Rick Dunetz
October 6, 2008
I walked outside to meet my friends who were waiting at the ticket counter of Rec Hall (next to the everpresent Nitanny Lion statue) and as I walked back into the arena, I see our logo emblazened upon each Jumbotron. It was at that point, that I realized that we are on to something that is going to be really really big. When my wife Akiyo and I arrived at Rec Hall, we were met by Salima Rockwell, an assistant coach for Penn State. She escorted us down to the court where Michigan State was warming up and introduced us to Jeff and Jen who both work with the marketing group at Penn State. Jeff is holding a bunch of NIKE boxes that contain size PINK size 12 autographed shoes and he tells us that they are going to do a silent auction during the match…Akiyo won the pair that was signed by the whole team. We were then introduced to the folks at the Big Ten Network and I started to get nervous. I had to do a 20 second mini-interview. I don’t like interviews because I have so much to say and not enough time. My brain doesn’t work in 20 second increments. It was crazy to the see the play by play guy, because I see him all the time on TV.
We sat and waited for the interview and I was pacing frantically up and down the court. They were all very nice trying to keep me calm and I think it worked because the interview wasn’t half bad even after 2 takes. Akiyo and I found some great seats and waited for our friends to show up. So many people wore pink…it was really exciting. After my friend showed up we sat down and watched a very experienced team in Penn State beat a realitively young team in Michigan State. But there was a great energy in the arena. They have a great home court advantage.
After the match we went downtown and kicked back and said, “WOW, that was cool as all get out!”. The next day Akiyo and I ate brunch and proceeded over to the Creamery. We bought tons of ice cream, butter, cream cheese and other stuff and went home. I TIVOed the match and I was anxious to see the interview. Then BLAM….the Dig Pink Logo pops up on the screen. Not once, but many times. I was going nuts. Even better then that, my interview wasn’t a complete disaster. It was pretty decent, however, as much as I love Hi-Def, I can’t say I love it when it’s me on the screen.\
All in all, a great success. Thank you to everyone: Jeff, Salima, Jen, Russ, all the players, the Penn State boosters, and the Big Ten Network. You all were AWESOME and made me and my wife feel very at home. We look forward to a long relationship.