I have covered prep basketball in Whatcom County for well over two decades, but Tuesday, January 9th felt like a daunting trip in the wayback machine. It felt like I was starting all over again. In a way I was.
Not much had changed at my destination. Jake Mayberry gymnasium was the same. I saw many familiar faces and launched into plenty of sports talk as soon as I hit the bleachers. No...the change was with me.
Back in late October I found myself without a job. My position was eliminated after nearly 22 years with the company. After 27 years in the radio business I was without a game to call, a show to prep for, employees to supervise, stories to write and so much more. Like so many in the industry these days a casualty of "strictly an economic decision". What 's a workaholic radio-lifer to do?
First you take solace in all of the well wishes from long-time listeners, coaches, AD's, colleagues, friends and family. I can't even begin to properly thank all of you. Please know that the texts, e-mails, social media posts and face to face contact was much needed and appreciated!
Then it gets dark. You fight off the nervous breakdown. You question how stiff the penalty for 401k early withdrawal really is. And then as you battle another sleepless night, the realization of who really is in your corner (and not) comes. What an epiphany! You tackle the next challenge!
So on that January night as the Squalicum and Lynden girls battled it out at The Jake, The DLN was making it's debut. That's The Doug Lange Network (the name just came to me 😜). And today, January 16th the website OnTheDLN.com follows!
My wife had been urging me to retire for the last couple of years. "Pick up a hobby, " she would say. "Get rid of the stress and find your joy." So let's call this my "forced retirement" hobby. A project for me and hopefully one that's well received by you.
One of my great joys in the radio business was building the first all sports station in Whatcom County. From securing the shows and building the guest lists and contacts to expanding local coverage and finding/growing local talent it was truly a labor of love! It was also challenging, exciting and most of all...FUN!
Now a chance to build a new local sports outlet for Whatcom County? You bet!
As a Seattle native, I have always marveled at the sports scene here in the 4th corner. Great success and tradition with amazing community support, that you don't see rivaled anywhere else in the Evergreen State. An opportunity to add to that sounds like fun to me.
That's the thing. Sports should be challenging, exciting and fun! Hopefully The Doug Lange Network will provide all of that for you. Please check out the videos, photos, interviews and more on the website and join me for streaming game broadcasts. Where this all goes from here...who knows? Remember it's a hobby!
Way back when, I had no idea what an all sports station in Whatcom County would look or sound like. A old boss of mine from almost a quarter century ago laughed and mocked me back when I said we should look into all sports programming and a local sports talk show. It sure ticked me off at the time. He thought he knew better and wasn't interested in any input from me. What did I know anyway. I was so mad, but it turned out he was doing me a huge favor. It stoked the creative fire within and I think you know how it all turned out.
It's funny how something I thought was so crappy at the time, ended up being such a great turning point in my life. Thinking about it now, after life delivered another shot to the solar plexus, this is really a no-brainer. A return to the hardwood doesn't seems so daunting...it actually feels liberating!
Now...Get Off The Rope and OnTheDLN.com!