One of Mike Kennedy’s goals this week was to take down his Christmas lights.
One of his long-term goals is write a book about the wonderfully strange history of Wichita State football.
Tonight, he’ll be the master of ceremonies for the Shocker Sports Hall of Fame banquet.
And Saturday afternoon, barring something unforeseen, Kennedy will announce his 1,087th consecutive WSU basketball game as the “Voice of the Shockers.”
That’s a staggering streak, one that spans more than 30 years, and Kennedy will be the first to tell you he’s stubborn about keeping it going. A notorious workhorse, Kennedy has also taken on Shocker baseball and volleyball broadcasts. Including the 77 football games he did before the program was suspended in 1986, Kennedy estimates he’s called around 2,800 sporting events for WSU.
In between, he’s been named Kansas Sportscaster of the Year seven times and has won too many awards to mention.
What’s important to Kennedy, though, is his connection to the Shockers and their fans. That’s one of the reasons he enjoys Twitter, where he also throws out opinions on everything from pop culture to current events to his beloved Los Angeles Dodgers.
We asked Kennedy for an interview, with this twist: The questions and answers would be Tweets only, in 140 characters or less.
What's the closest you've ever come to missing a Shocker basketball broadcast?
@ShockerVoice 2003 NIT game at Iowa State. With baseball in Phoenix, major weather issue with flight, sat down in Hilton 15 min before tip #long story
Is it true the very first WSU game you announced was a baseball loss to Creighton?
@ShockerVoice Yes, on the campus station KMUW in 1970 at McAdams Park. Winning run scored on a bases-loaded walk to Gil Passarrella, the CU shortstop
What advice would the 2014 version of Mike Kennedy give the 1970 version?
@ShockerVoice The biggest thing would be about how to prepare - I always knew it was important, but learning how to really do it well evolved over years
Your preparation for broadcasts is legendary. How did you learn to "do it really well?" (Beyond the statistics and pronouncing names?)
@ShockerVoice I listened to national broadcasters for things that I thought were informative, and now I try to approach as if I were listening, what would
@ShockerVoice I want to know?
@ShockerVoice Btw, Twitter is a grammar assassin
Yes, it is. No judgement here! You hold a vocal music degree from WSU, correct?
Samuel Ramey was at WSU around then, and went on to become one of the biggest opera stars in the world. What was your relationship with him?
@ShockerVoice Close friends, he used to come to my family's house for dinner often. He was also very competent in pickup hoop games at Henrion Gym
Really? What were his strengths on the hardwood?
@ShockerVoice Quick and a good shooter. He was also a very smooth first baseman - we played fast pitch softball together
Who’s the best athlete you’ve ever seen in a Shocker uniform?
@ShockerVoice After careful consideration, I would have to say Warren Armstrong (Jabali). Quick, fast, amazing leaper, powerful.
Many fans think he deserved more love and recognition from WSU when he was alive. What do you think?
@ShockerVoice Probably so - he was a combative personality in his younger days, and he angered some people, but he did a lot of good in his adult life
You've been a Shocker Hall-of-Famer since '95. A new class, most of whom you know, will be inducted Saturday. What kind of thrill is that?
@ShockerVoice It is always great to be part of and to see the emotion that it evokes. I always enjoy seeing how much it means to the recipients.
Todd Dreifort was a cog for some of the best baseball teams in Shocker history, including its national title. Five words that describe him?
@ShockerVoice Solid, consistent , intelligent, resilient, clutch
Jason Perez's time at WSU coincided with Coach Randy Smithson - after horrible, before great. What do you think of, when you think of Jason?
@ShockerVoice Someone who persevered in a difficult time. Dedicated, extremely hard worker, got the most out of his talent, and handled things with class
Some think Robert Elmore was WSU's best center ever. Did his off-the-court issues, including dying of a heroin overdose, make voters wary?
@ShockerVoice We (the committee) all feel character should be part of HOF considerations, but in Robert's case, the perspective of time softened things
From where you sit, do you think Wichita has ever been more Shocker crazy than it is right now?
@ShockerVoice Probably not more, from what I heard it couldn't have been more off the chart than it was last March, and it has carried over
What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't a sports broadcaster?
@ShockerVoice I have no idea - maybe try to write. I have such an interest in sports history, I love the research and could see myself writing about it
What's your favorite sport?
@ShockerVoice There's no more exciting event than a great college basketball game, but if I could only do one sport, I would have to pick baseball
Best sports movie of all time?
@ShockerVoice Can't pick one among Field of Dreams, Seabiscuit, Cinderella Man, and Hoosiers. Did I just give away that I tend to be sentimental?
Yes, but at least you're versatile. Those cover four different sports! Alright, you've forced me to ask. When was the last time you cried?
@ShockerVoice When our dog died.