“He’s the only brother you have, so you better learn to get along.”

That’s what my dad used to say to me when I would complain about my annoying little brother, Jonathan. With just three years between us, he just always wanted to follow me around. Luckily, my brother found his own way, and that didn’t last too long.

Growing up, my schedule was demanding. Most of my childhood years were spent going to gymnastics practice twice a day with school in between. We joke (but seriously) that Jonathan was potty-trained at the gym because he spent so much time there waiting for me.  

Jonathan quickly found his true love -- sports -- at an early age. He’s always got an opinion, and he can hang with the best of them when it comes to sports trivia.

Jonathan dabbled in basketball and soccer growing up, but it was baseball that captivated him. He gave basketball a try during the early middle school years.  A foot shorter than the tallest kids, my brother drew fouls, and he was really great showcasing his drama skills as a talented flopper. By high school, he decided to focus his talents solely on baseball. 

Baseball led Jonathan to establishing his career in radio. During high school, Jonathan interned at two local sports radio stations. He made his way on the air occasionally, and even participated in a hot dog eating contest against a man three times his size.  

After high school, Jonathan decided to attend the University of Missouri for the prestigious journalism program. I could argue that he was still just trying to follow me around, as I was only four short hours away at Illinois State, but the truth of the matter is that Mizzou and Jonathan were an excellent match.  

Because of all that time spent in the gym and attending my meets, Jonathan developed a very good understanding of gymnastics (he even knows what a Tkachev is). 

Combined with the broadcast journalism major, he was the perfect fit to land his first college gig as a freshman and host the online broadcasts of Mizzou Gymnastics’ home meets. You’re welcome

Fast forward to senior year. Whether it’s his Saturday morning radio show, weekend sports anchoring at the local affiliate, or gymnastics play by play, Jonathan has shown that he is a triple threat. I’m not sure where he will end up after graduation, but I know he will have a successful career whether it be “radio”ing, “TV”ing, or writing.  

It is so fun to be able to talk sports and sports business with my brother. Beyond just playing, sports is the thing that brings us together as a family. My mom used to work in sports, and my dad used to play sports (he’s not famous), and now my brother and I are working in sports. I don’t know what else to say besides it’s awesome.   

There is no one quite like Jonathan. He will talk to anyone, and you will know it’s him from anywhere in the room, as he is amazingly talented at making his voice carry. It is no coincidence that most of these potential jobs combine Jonathan’s two favorite things: talking and sports. I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for him.  

If my former college teammates remember one thing about my brother, it is that they could count on hearing a “That’s my sisterrrr!” scream from somewhere in the crowd after I finished a routine during a competition.

He may be loud. He may always be talking.  

But hey, that’s my brother.  


Happy 22nd birthday, Jonathan!

I love the Olympics. Winter. Summer. I DON'T CARE. To be honest, I wish there were Spring and Autumn Olympics but, admittedly, that would be a bit ridiculous. A lot of people (at least in the U.S.) seem not to care as much about the Winter Olympics. I get that... we aren't as dominant in the winter games as the summer games and more Americans grow up playing summer games like basketball, soccer, swimming, track and field, etc. People like familiarity, excitement and dominant performances which the Summer Olympics definitely provide but, that isn't to say that the Winter Olympics can't be just as entertaining. Case in point: I'm not sure how many of you watched the Men's Skiathlon on Sunday but, the announcer was PHENOMENAL. No idea who he was but, he was screaming for about the last 3km of the race (or so it seemed) and, it was a close finish for all 3 medal positions - 3rd place has even been contested by Russia who finished 4th by .1 second, claiming their skier was impeded in the final sprint. I don't know ANYTHING about skiing but it was super entertaining and even more intense.

My favorite event is Snowboard Cross. If you don't know what this is, it's exactly what it sounds like (think motocross). It's literally just a race down a course on the mountain with jumps and hills and stuff, except they all go at once - it isn't just a timed thing like downhill, slalom, etc. So you get the fast racing of all that timed skiing with the intensity and suspense of speed skating, where bumps and falls could cause you to go from 4th to 1st. (Or if you're J.R. Celski, the heartbreaking opposite last night in Men's Speedskating) Women's boardercross runs are this Sunday and the men follow on Monday. So stoked. 

Even though I particularly like the snowboarding events in general because I like to snowboard myself, there are definitely other competitions I'm looking forward to. First and foremost, our women's ice hockey team... I don't wanna jynx anything but, they are looking SOLID. They beat Switzerland 9-0 yesterday. Since the men haven't started yet, I haven't been able to size them up but, of course, I hope they beat Canada (or Russia - are they supposed to be good this year?). Something Russia is good at this year is figure skating. I know it may seem unpatriotic or whatever but, how can you not root for Evgeni Plushenko? Dude is 31, left skating, came back, has metal in his back and KILLED IT in the team competition in his home country's games. Also, his teammate, 15 year-old Julia Lipnitskaia... I don't even know what to write about her. I mean, SHE'S 15 and she's AMAZING. If you somehow have avoided her performances so far, don't miss her in the individual competitions. You will not be disappointed.

I'm looking forward to what our U.S. figure skaters put out there. The ice dancing couple Meryl Davis and Charlie White are supposed to take home gold and they looked great in the team competition. Also, 19 year-old Jason Brown's qualifying routine was one of my favorite things I've ever watched so I can't wait to see how he does. Among other sports, It'll be interesting if Lolo Jones can finally win a medal in these games with the bobsled. There's still plenty of speed skating left for J.R. to medal in something else. And I've enjoyed the new events so far this year - women's ski jumping and the slopestyle, where U.S.'s Jamie Anderson won gold in Women's Snowboard Slopestyle. All in all, the next 2 weeks, I will not stop watching these games. I've even been watching Men's Snowboarding Halfpipe while writing this but, don't worry, I won't ruin the ending for you because I know you'll be watching tonight, right? :)

In my last blog I talked about how Dustin and I went to ECU to shoot video footage for a new strategic plan campaign for ECU. The campaign was centered around the word Undaunted. We worked with ECU to create a strategic plan publication, a 3 minute video, 1 minute video and :30 commercial all showing what it means to be Undaunted as an ECU Pirate. Well, now those projects are finished, and they are awesome!  

The publication oulines all of the components of the new strategic plan and mission statement.

 

The 3:00 video is the main video for this campaign. It features ECU student-athletes, coaches and administrators talking about what Undaunted means and shows the excitement and core values around being an ECU Pirate. The 1:00 video is a condensed version of the 3:00 video that can be used by ECU at speaking engagements to get the crowd excited about Pirate Athletics and help start the conversation about the new strategic plan. The :30 commercial was also edited from the main 3:00 video and has been strategically placed on TV to correspond with big sporting events in the area. 


We were excited to be a part of this campaign and are looking forward to cheering on the Pirates in their continued success!

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