Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Top 5 Moments - Hauter & Rakestraw

@Hauter Photo

When I first started thinking about doing this series, I had originally envisioned it being mostly for players. I figured that at some point, coaches and front office staff might get pulled in to get more people involved. However, I'm only two editions into the series and I have already included someone from a front office and another that is from the broadcast booth. It just goes to show that soccer touches so many lives and the moments that stick with people can come from so many different perspectives. For now, I'm still going to limit the Top 5 to folks that have a direct connection to the events and not just from a fan perspective. Though I suspect that will evolve into being a part of this series in the future as well. I know that Peter Wilt was thinking about his fan Top 5 when he put together his list for Edition #1.

As a reminder, this series is where I get players (and front office staff and now broadcasters) to give me their Top 5 Moments from their soccer careers. This can be from anytime from their days as a youth to their final game as a professional or international.

As was mentioned by Greg Rakestraw when he had me appear on Soccer Saturday on the 17th, one of the first people that I approached about taking part in this series was Brad Hauter, a fellow DePauw graduate and someone who has frequently helped me with questions over the years as I try to learn the business, coaching, and goalkeeping sides of the sport. Given Brad's playing, coaching, and announcing careers in soccer, I suspected that his list might include aspects of each stage. After I posted the first edition, Greg Rakestraw reached out to me, eager to participate himself, which I quickly adjusted my "rules" and gladly accepted his Top 5 Moments. 

With the inclusion of Greg's and Brad's inputs (Brad's actually count down from 5), we have the Top 5 - Broadcaster Edition.

Brad Hauter

  1. #5 - The Birth of Indy Eleven - I have known Peter Wilt since 1989 (there is an awesome story there for another time) and when he contacted me in 2013 and asked to meet for dinner in Greencastle I jumped on it. While meeting over wings and a beer, he asked if I thought pro soccer could make it in Indiana. As a long-time Hoosier, having spent my club, high school, and college playing days in Indiana, I did not hesitate in saying "Heck yes" (It may not have been that tame). Once I knew Peter was involved, I was thrilled as he has always delivered for pro soccer. Listening to his and Ersal's vision was an electric feeling I'll never forget.
    The reason this is one of my top 5 is that I grew up in Indiana wanting to play pro soccer and could not even imagine having a team to support, like Indy Eleven is now, that is so committed to growing soccer in Indiana. Every young player in the state NOW has a team and players to look up to and tangible goals to shoot for.
  2. #4 - Tying into the above... Pro soccer in the late 80's and early 90's was all over the place as far as professionalism. Some clubs were well run and some were not. In 1991, I remember being with the Illinois Thunder and heading to Milwaukee to play Peter Wilt's Milwaukee Wave. Most teams in the league drew 3,000-ish. The Wave averaged 15,000 that year. They were 7-0 and we went to Milwaukee and played in front of a sold out Bradley Center. We were up 1 with 10 seconds to go when Milwaukee came in on a 2 on 0 with me in goal. Goals in the league were 1, 2, or 3 points in value. The shot was taken and I didn't think I could get it, but I got a finger to the ball and pushed it wide. However, the 17,000 fans did not see the save and thought they won the game. The sound of 17,000 fans screaming because they thought they won the match in the final seconds to the immediate silence in the stadium as they saw the ball roll up the boards will be a memory I will never forget.
  3. #3 - The Miracle at the Mike. Having to win and win by 3 goals is an unrealistic thing to believe in, but as announcers, Greg and I held out the belief that it could be done. The emotion we felt in the booth as the impossible unfolded before us was simply amazing.
  4. #2 - In 2015, DePauw advanced to the Sweet 16 in Saint Louis by beating Washington University in Saint Louis in penalty kicks at Wash U. We won 8-7 in PK's with 5 of our 9 kids being from Indy... All 5 Indy kids scored BTW.
    Editor's Note: The Indy kids represented Zionsville HS, Center Grove HS, & Cathedral HS (X3). Additionally, former Indy Eleven player Adrian Ables was a senior on that 2015 DePauw squad.
  5. #1 - Advancing to the 2nd round in the NCAA tournament in 2016. The Monon Bell game is a historic and iconic football game between DePauw and Wabash each year; an old and epic rivalry. We were playing at home in the NCAA tournament as the football team was playing at Wabash in Crawfordsville. We were down 2-1 to Centre College late in the 2nd half and scored the equalizer with 20 minutes to go. A few minutes later, the football team returned to campus after winning the Monon Bell at Wabash. As their 3 buses pulled up behind the goal at the soccer field, we scored the go-ahead goal with minutes to go in the match. The football players were pounding on the bus windows so hard that the buses were rocking and I thought they might flip over. An absolutely incredible feeling.
Greg Rakestraw
  1. 1994 World Cup, US vs. Brazil - I pick this moment simply because this is where my soccer fandom began. I was just graduating high school and getting ready to head off to college. You could play youth soccer in the next town over, but there was no such thing as high school soccer for any of the schools in my home county growing up. I watched that match, with 90K+ fans in the Rose Bowl, then ended up rooming with a soccer player my first year at UIndy. The rest is history :)
  2. 1997 Public Address Announcer for the Indiana Blast and Blaze - This isn't a particular moment per se, but a first notch in the soccer resume. I think what made me most attractive to the team was what I charged the team for doing the work...nothing. There would be Friday and Saturday night crowds at Kuntz Stadium where the team played in front of 2-3k people, and you were like, hey, we're onto something. And there would be Sunday afternoon games where I could have stood in the stands, done my PA work without a microphone, and everyone would have heard me just fine. BTW, old man moment the other day, I called a Marian soccer match on ISC where the goalkeeper for Marian is Brandon Weiger. His uncle Steve played on that Blast team. I'm now officially an old man in soccer, too.
    Editor's Note: I found some Indiana Blast games on YouTube (there are even some Indiana Twisters clips in there too). If you're interested in watching the 2nd half of an Indiana Blaze match from May of 1997, YouTube has it.
  3. 2009 IHSAA Boys' soccer state finals, Zionsville vs. Homestead - This is the first soccer match I ever broadcast. Nice to start on a small stage with a state final, right? Little did I know that the match would feature Dylan Mares and AJ Corrado, who would also feature in another moment or two further on down the list. I'm sure there were things I misspoke about, or terminology I got wrong. At the time, I knew broadcasting much better than I knew soccer. I think (I hope) I've got a pretty good grasp on both these days. 
    Editor's Note: Mares and Corrado won that state championship game with a scoreline of 3-1, with Mares getting the Eagle's first goal of the game, his 24th of the year, tying Corrado for the team high for the season. If you would like to see the game and listen to Greg's entry into soccer broadcasting, you can watch the game on YouTube (in nine parts, each 9 minute long... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ... remember the day when you had a limit to the file size for YouTube?) FYI - Mare's goal happens around the 3:10 mark of Part 3.
  4. 2014 Opening Night for the Indy Eleven - I almost got the play-by-play job by default. There were conversations with other play-by-play guys about the Indy Eleven gig, but I think I was the only local guy up for the job. Because I had approached the team about the concept of Soccer Saturday on the Fan in the fall of 2013 after the Chelsea/Inter Milan match at Lucas Oil, I think that made me the natural lead choice for the job. The excitement, the atmosphere, and the social media response I got during and after that broadcast were absolutely amazing. Plus, it introduced me to Brad Hauter, who I had never met until two weeks before the season started at the team's picture day/media session at WISH-TV. Brad and I are truly friends away from the broadcast booth, and I think that comes across on the telecasts.
  5. 2016 The Miracle at the Mike - June 11th 2016, is one of the best non-marriage, non-birth of child days of my life. I broadcast two softball state finals that day. My alma mater in Lanesville won their baseball semi-state that day to get to the state finals the next week, and I knew I would be on the broadcast the following Saturday. So then we get to the Mike and it's unlikely that the team wins the spring season title, but there's a chance. One of the things that I remember most from that night is the lack of reaction to Carolina's lone goal that night. Because the Indy Eleven were thinking about getting to 4, and not worried about allowing the 1, it was just like, 'Oh well, the other team scored a goal. Moving on.' And Brad Ring wasn't the only person to chug a beer on camera that night. Ok, Hauter and I didn't chug a beer, but we did enjoy a Silver Bullet together on camera in the post-game show. It was all legal that night.
  6. Two World Cup moments stand out for me, so I'll cheat and claim two here.
    2006 World Cup Final between Italy and France - It wasn't so much the play of that match, although the Zidane head butt is impossible to forget, but rather it was getting there at least 4 hours before kickoff to stake out the best seat in a small house to watch the match, and realizing that the investment of my time was totally worth it. Ah, the things you could do before you had kids...
    Now, let's fast-forward to 2010. USA-Algeria - Howard outlet, Landon scores, Western Hemisphere goes ape (bleep). I'm watching this match at home. Just me. I'm like running up and down the street to see if anyone else is home, watching the match, looking for someone, anyone, to hug, kiss, cry with, etc. Lesson learned, always watch big matches in a crowd so you've got someone to embrace, or punch, or kick if necessary.

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