A year ago the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network was officially born and launched at the Mercedes Benz Louisiana Superdome for the 2013 SBC Football Media Day. One year later and now we are headed back for the 2014 version of the SBC Football Media on Tuesday July 22nd. This will be personally my 4th year in a row to cover this GREAT event! Each year the Sun Belt has stepped up their game and continued to make tremendous strides to make this event the perfect kick-off for the upcoming conference football season. It’s a who’s who of the Sun Belt Conference, with some new & old faces each year. From Commissioner Benson to our awesome AD Terry Mohajir to the longest tenured coach of the SBC in Troy Head Coach Larry Blakeney. Unfortunately news came down the wire today that the “Godfather” of the SBC will not be in attendance due to recovery from minor back and foot surgery. Troy will however be represented by Offensive Coordinator Kenny Edenfield. Of course, as Arkansas State fans and supporters, we are all to familiar with “new faces” with the arrival of our 5th Head Coach in as many years in Coach Blake Anderson. Although Coach Anderson is new as far as being a Head Coach in the SBC, he is very familiar with the conference as a whole with stops as an asst at MTSU (2002-04 Co-OC/WR) and ULL (2007 OC/QB). Coach Anderson won’t be the only “new” Head Coach at the 2014 SBC Football Media Day, in addition to Coach Edenfield filling in for Coach Blakeney of Troy, new conference member Georgia Southern will debut there newest Head Coach Willie Fritz. Coach Fritz comes into the SBC with a very impressive coaching resume, compiling a record of 137-62 as a college Head Coach, with 2 NJCAA National Championships (1994 & 1996) at Blinn College under his belt, as well as, successful stops at Central Missouri (1997-2009) and Sam Houston State (2010-13). The other new 2014 SBC football members (NMSU, Idaho, & App State) were represented by their respective head coaches last year. The Sun Belt Conference Football Media Day will have tons of local media coverage for each of the conference members but will also receive national coverage via ESPN3. With that being said, the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network will bring you the most in-depth coverage of the 2014 SBC Football Media Day for not only Arkansas State but the entire conference as a whole! We will HIT THE AIR on Tuesday at 10am and are tentatively scheduled to be on until 3pm. That’s right, that’s 5 hours straight of in-depth coverage of the 2014 SBC Football Media Day and we may not stop there! Also, i’m proud to announce that Luke Matheson of RedWolfReport.com, part of the Rivals.com network, will be making the trip with us and will be cranking out the most comprehensive media day stories that you can find on the web! It’s going to be a great day for everyone involved and we are going to do everything we can to make sure every AState fan and supporter feels like they are live and in person in the “Big Easy”. With all of that being said, our broadcast and interview schedule for the 2014 SBC Football Media Day is as follows:
10:15 a.m. – Todd Berry, UL Monroe
10:30 a.m. – Scott Satterfield, App State
10:45 a.m. – Joey Jones, South Alabama
11:00 a.m. – Mark Hudspeth, UL Lafayette
11:15 a.m. – Karl Benson
11:30 a.m. – Doug Martin, NMSU
11:40 a.m. – Dennis Franchione, Texas State
12:00 p.m. – Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern
12:15 p.m. – Texas State Student-Athletes
12:30 p.m. – Arkansas State Student-Athletes
12:45 p.m. – Trent Miles, Georgia State
1:00 p.m. – UL Monroe Student-Athletes
1:15 p.m. – Paul Petrino, Idaho
1:20 p.m. – Ga. Southern Student-Athletes
1:30 p.m. – South Alabama Student-Ath.
1:40 p.m. – Blake Anderson, Arkansas State
2:00 p.m. – Georgia State Student-Athletes
2:10 p.m. – App State Student-Athletes
2:15 p.m. – Troy Student-Athletes
2:20 p.m. – NMSU Student-Athletes
2:30 p.m. – Larry Blakeney, Troy
2:40 p.m. – UL Lafayette Student-Athletes
2:45 p.m. – Idaho Student-Athletes
HOW TO LISTEN
It’s very easy! You can either listen on our website RedWolfRollCall.com or by downloading the world’s largest internet radio app, TuneIn Radio for your iPhone, Droid, or Windows. All you have to do is download the TuneIn app for your smartphone and once it’s downloaded, simply search Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network. Once you find it, favorite it and it will be there each and every time you want to listen to our programming on the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network.
Weekly RWRCRN Schedule
Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Show with J.C. & Uncle Walls Monday-Friday 11am-1pm (Show replays Mon-Fri 6pm-8pm on the RWRCRN)
The Last Call Radio Show with R.B., T-Squared, & World Wide Wes Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm (Show replays Mon-Fri 8pm-11pm on the RWRCRN)
We realize that it’s not always easy for our family of listeners to catch the LIVE broadcast or replays of our daily shows on the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network. So we want to make it as easy and convenient as possible for our great listeners to be able to catch both shows on a daily basis, even when their schedule doesn’t lend itself to do so either live or via a replay. There are 2 ways to check out every show and interview broadcasted on the RWRCRN. The first way is our website, RedWolfRollCallcom. Within the last couple weeks we have began posting every show and interview on our website and have been experiencing tremendous traffic and response from our listeners. What we have found out is, that once our listeners get to our website, they not only listen to the shows and interviews but enjoy catching up on the written content such as blogs, press releases, stories, etc…. that are also available there as well. Prior to putting the shows and interviews on our website, we only made them available via our SoundCloud page, which you can find here. We have more than 450 shows and interviews available to listen to on-demand at your leisure either by going to our SoundCloud page or by downloading the Sound Cloud app for your iPhone, Droid, or Windows smartphone. Once the app is downloaded to your smartphone, simply search Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network. Once found, simply save it as a favorite for your future listening pleasure!
Our Story & The Great Sponsors & Family Of Listeners Who Make It Possible
I would like to take this time to thank not only our RWRC Road Trip sponsors but EVERY great sponsor we have here at the RWRCRN for believing in us and making this dream a reality each and every day! This all started as an idea or epiphany that I had one day following one of the worst weeks of my life in May of 2013. That horrible week started late on a Sunday night with a phone call from my family, letting me know that my grandfather & mentor was being brought to the hospital here in Jonesboro due to complications surrounding the cancer he had been battling for quite sometime. The initial conversation was there was no need to worry, that he just wasn’t eating and it was purely for precautionary reasons. I was told there was no need for me to come to the hospital so late since I had to be up early to do a morning & midday show at 103.9 The Game. So since it seemed as if it was not a dire situation, I just told my family to keep me informed and I would come up to the hospital on Monday after I fulfilled my obligations at the station. Monday came and as planned I did both shows and headed to the hospital to see how my grandpa was doing. Once I arrived, it didn’t take long for me to realize that my family was simply in denial and didn’t want to face the fact that my grandfather’s health was deteriorating by the minute and this was in fact a very serious situation. From that moment on I made sure to be heavily involved with every conversation that was to be had with nurses and doctors in regards to my grandfather’s health. News only continued to get worse and only went downhill from there. There is nothing worse than spending your days and nights in a hospital waiting room, sleeping in chairs and feeling absolutely powerless. Not being able to help a man who had always been the rock of our family and the man I looked up to each and every day of my life, was tough to bear. Knowing my grandfather and his work ethic, I knew he would want me to fulfill my duties at The Game and not just sit in a hospital waiting room I decided to do just that. I decided I would fulfill my on-air duties each day and then head right back to the hospital to be there for my family. Well little did I know but life was about to throw me yet another curveball. I arrived at the station on that Tuesday knowing that several of us had a scheduled meeting that afternoon with the owner, just wasn’t sure what the result of the meeting would be. Well I got off the air at 1pm and headed to back to the hospital to see how things were going and to just get a quick update so that I could get back for the afternoon meeting.
Things hadn’t changed much because the doctor hadn’t came in to give an update yet, so I headed back to the station for the BIG meeting. As I walked into the conference room we all had a pretty good idea that changes were coming, we just didn’t know what exactly and how it would affect each one of us individually. Well as the meeting started we all found out that station had been sold and the new ownership had no plans of keeping any of us due to a change in format and that most of us in that room were going to be unemployed within the couple weeks. Not the news that anyone of us wanted to hear. At that point my mind was so far from that conference room that I had reached the point of being numb. I felt like I was being tested by the “Big Man Upstairs” to see just how much I could take before I cracked. I left the meting with walking papers in hand that contained the final date that I would be employed by The Game and headed back to the hospital to be with my grandfather. When I arrived there still wasn’t much of an update so I got comfortable in my waiting room recliner and just tried to let everything process. Well I decided I was going to just go down the road to the store right quick to get a breather and something to drink. As I walk closer to my car I realize that it has been hit in the parking lot. So, of course I look for a note or something, nope, no note! On top of everything else my vehicle has now been hit and the great folks responsible for doing it decided to leave. Oh well, thanks to the police report, video proof that it was a hit and run, and decent insurance I was able to get it taken care of.
Wednesday came and his condition was getting worse and the doctor finally gave us an update. His body was filling with fluid making it hard for all of his internal organs to function properly. It was becoming very obvious that he may not ever have the opportunity to leave the hospital again. Reality was beginning to set in finally with all of my family members and was crashing down like a ton of bricks! Thursday came and he was barely communicate with any of us or any of the medical staff. It was time for a real conversation with my family in regards to his wishes. We were able to get a copy of his will that stated as long as he was able to respond, it would be his decision on whether or not he was to be placed on life support. Well with his health declining quickly, I made the decision to bring my family together and discuss how we wanted to proceed. I wanted to make sure we got his wishes and didn’t leave it up to anyone else to decide his fate. We all agreed that while he could still realize what was going on, we needed to proceed quickly.
Now, the only decision left to discuss was WHO was gonna be the one to hold this conversation. I stepped up for my family and for my grandfather and said that I would do it. Saying it is easy, doing was a whole different story. We went ahead and let the medical staff know our plan. Well as part of hospital policy, a member of the medical staff must witness and confirm the decision of the patient. It was now time to head into the room and start the process. As every member of the family entered the room and surrounded his bed to be close to him and comfort him, it was time for me to ask the questions we all agreed that I would ask. Well of course we wanted to make sure he was cognizant of the situation so the plan was to ask him about certain family members and their names. Meaning I was going to intentionally ask him if my cousin Brian was Josh (his brother) to see if he would nod yes or no. He then nodded no. Well that was accurate. I then asked a few more similar questions and he answered them correctly. It was now time to ask the most important question, to get his final wishes. With every family member in the room eyes full of tears and crying, I was trying my hardest to keep it together and ask him. So fighting back the tears and trying not to breakdown, I said “Grandpa, you aren’t doing well and I need to ask you a question”, he then nodded at me and I said “Are you ready to go”, he then nodded back to me and pointed to the sky as if to say he was read to go to Heaven. I had to ask one more question, I said “Grandpa do you want life support”, he nodded no and tried to take off his oxygen mask to try and talk to me but we put it back on. I immediately broke down and the nurse asked him a few more times to make sure that was in fact his wishes and asked him if he was ready to go and he nodded yes. It was time for the family to clear the room and head back to the waiting room to try and cope now. We were informed that they would come get us when it was time to remove him from the machines so we could all say goodbye and with him during his final moments.
As we all waited in the waiting room, my family came to me one by one thanking me for stepping up and being the one to ask the questions that needed to be asked. I didn’t want to be thanked, I only wanted to do right by grandpa and to not see him suffer anymore. It took every bit of strength in my body to pull it together and do it, only to fall apart after it was all said and done. We all were beginning to pull ourselves together when the waiting room door opened and it was the nurse saying it was time. As we walked down the hallway headed to his room, I’m trying to keep my mom from not just collapsing in the floor on the way to the room. We all try to navigate into this small room so that we can lend him comfort and say our last goodbyes. We all go one by one up to him and hug him, tell him it’s ok now, and other private things to try and put him at ease. After all of us have said our last goodbyes, the staff begins to unhook all the equipment from and we at this point we know it’s just a matter of time. With all the equipment removed at this point, his heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing begins to drop. With every beep from his heart monitor and with each struggled he took, reality was hitting each one of us harder and harder by the minute. As time went on, all of his monitored rates began to dissipate, until they finally got to the point that they were no longer really registering. As his breaths became further and further apart, the anxiety was filling the room so thick that you could feel it all building up into something that would soon need to be released. Now in a moment that I will never forget for the rest of my life, as I sit next to his bed, I see my grandpa kinda reach his arms out, as if he was trying to grab someone and as he did so took one last gasp of air and that was it. He was finally at peace and the family now could begin to mourn, so that at some point the healing process could begin.
My grandfather Gordon Pierce passed away on that Friday afternoon. He was the greatest man I ever knew and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about him. During times that I find myself alone, I wonder and hope that I make him proud. At this point you may be wondering why I when into such detail and what all of this has to do with the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network? Well, we buried my grandpa on that following Sunday in Forrest City, Ar next to my grandma Phontella, as well as my great grandma Viola. After the service was done, we all had lunch provided for us at a nearby church and the time to reflect on the last 7 days began to kick in. As I sat at that table, I realized that not only had I just buried my grandpa but I also was about to lose my job that I absolutely loved. To say that I was stressed, would be a vast understatement. I finished up eating and saying my goodbyes to my family and headed back to Jonesboro with a million things running through my mind. I got home and instantly just physically and mentally broke down. I went to sleep to try and get rested up for my last days at The Game. I got up that Monday morning and really didn’t know how to feel at all. It’s not easy to go on-air and host a sports talk show with so much on your mind and your emotions headed in 10 different directions. I told myself it’s time to suck it up and get after it! Just like any other morning, I hopped in the shower, but little did I know, this shower wouldn’t be just like any other morning.
As I’m showering, my mind is racing! What am I gonna talk about today? Can I keep it together? Holy cow, what am I gonna do for a living?! And that’s when it happened! The idea or the epiphany hit me! As I was washing my hair I was looking up at the recessed flood light above my shower and literally had my “light bulb moment”! I was like, WOW! Why can’t I keep doing what I love?! I love Arkansas State! I love Northeast Arkansas athletics! I love sports and all the great listeners and friends that I have made & met during the time while I was on-air! That’s when the idea of the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network hit me! I began to do research as to what I would need to do, what equipment I would need to get, and how it would all work. As the days went on, I began to put all the pieces together and begin to put this plan into motion. I then spoke to some people close to me about the idea to get their thoughts as well to see if maybe I was just crazy and whether they thought it was a good idea. Well I knew I couldn’t do it on my own, so I then talked to Uncle Walls and R.B. about the plan as well. Well I also knew it wasn’t gonna be cheap and here I was about to be unemployed. So I put together everything I thought I was gonna need and made a plan. I then reached out to some folks that I knew believed in me and obtained a small investment and a small loan to get what I needed to make this dream a reality. To those great people, you know who you are, I will forever be grateful for you believing in me and helping me make this possible. From that point to where we are today, heading into year 2, it just makes me shake my head! You see, in what was probably the worst week of my life, when all was said and done, something great came from it. I know to this day that this “idea” wasn’t by chance. It was divine intervention from the greatest man I’ve ever known, my grandpa! I feel him near me every day and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Everyday that I do this, I do this in his honor! Everyone asks me all the time why I work so hard and work so many hours. It’s simple, I do this everyday to make him proud and I do it because I love Arkansas State and I love Northeast Arkansas! So, when people decide they want to downplay what we are doing here at the Red Wolf Roll Call Radio Network and say that we aren’t real radio or we are just on the interwebs, know that I take it personal because your making light of something and SOMEONE that means everything to me!
Now that you know our story, I want to take this time to thank all of great sponsors and our family of listeners here at RWRCRN. As you see, they aren’t just sponsors and listeners to me, they are family! By them believing in us and supporting us each and everyday, you are helping me grow this dream that I started in honor of my grandpa! We couldn’t do it without any of you and I’m so grateful and would like to say thank you! I know I can’t name every listener that we have but I do want to take the time to thank a few that have been with us since day 1. Aaron, Jess, and Kaleb Lowe, you guys have been there since the late nights when I was testing the equipment and learning trial by error ha! You guys are behind everything we do and are always going and seeing our sponsors, so I say thank u! You guys are one in a million! And well Kaleb is my #1 fan and a pretty great kid! Gary Miranda and the rest of your great crew, we may not always see eye to eye and certainly have our moments but since the first time we were in contact with each other you have been apart of everything we have done. So to you and your great wife,who should receive an award for putting up with you , and your great group of future Red Wolves (kids), I say thank you! To Steven Bridges who listens to us almost everyday all the way in Knoxville,Tn. I can count you almost every week to provide me with a “Damn Man Really” that will make me laugh and of course be able to do a little less show prep! Now, you just have to be our Knoxville tour guide when we come up there to beat UT! To the Propane family, I don’t know that I have ever met a more genuine, what you see is what you get kinda dude like Mark. Great guy! You have a wife who is willing to , on her lunch break, come to a sponsor location while we are live on location and take a selfie by the street next to an inflatable man just so you can win some tickets lol! She’s a keeper my friend! And of course I’ve got to talk about “Little Propane”, my buddy who I can always count on getting a high five from in tailgate city before a game or wherever we may run into each other at! Another great family that I want to take a moment to thank! To my man Craig Gammon who has a wealth of A-State knowledge and who I can get riled from time to time when we get on a “Hot Topic”, I say thank you my friend! I can go on and on because we do have such a great family of listeners but it’s after 3am and I’m supposed to be leaving for New Orleans for the whole point of this article ha! Lastly but not leastly, thank you again to our AWESOME group of sponsors! Thank you to the following sponsors, Superior Lawn Service, Ace of Blades, Dennis Manufacturing, Teriyaki Madness, Massage Envy, Sumo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Gina’s, Barnhill’s, Slim Chickens, Wings To Go, Godsey’s, M&M Insurance, Flash Market, Auto Max, Petit Jean Meats, Paragould Bowling, Superior Plumbing, J. Michaels, George Kell Motors, United Pawn, J-Town’s Grill, Joey Glaub Portrait Art, Sherrod Chiropractic, Casa Maya, Back In Action, Burch & Co Real Estate, and the Party Store!
Well it’s time to wrap this thing up and try to get a little sleep before we make the RWRC Road Trip to NOLA for the 2014 SBC Media Day! It’s a great job to be able to work with some great folks here who also believe in me and what we are trying to accomplish! Thank you to Uncle Walls, R.B., T-Squared, World Wide Wes, Ando Commando, Preston, Aaron Russell, and everyone else who has played a role in this being built at some point! It’s been my honor to get to know such great coaches, student-athletes, administrators, teachers, etc…. I look forward to many more great days ahead! Wherever you are reading this, give me a BIG HOWL YEAH! Grandpa I love you and we will see each other again! In the meantime, catch some big fish, hike any mountain you choose, hug grandma and great grandma for me, and keep an eye on us!