Thank You, and Good Bye
April 14, 2011- (The views expressed in this blog are the views of Bryan Benway, and may not be the views of the Laredo Bucks organization). Oh Hi Friends. I am writing to you for the last time from my corner office at Laredo Energy Arena.
As of tomorrow afternoon I will officially leave my position as the Laredo Bucks Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting after four great years. I am leaving the Bucks to pursue other opportunities and projects, one that really excites me. Unfortunately, I can't announce where i'm going just yet, but I can assure you that you have not seen or heard the last of me in Laredo. For now you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/BryanBenway to keep in touch with me.
This move was planned for about a month or so and it's bitter sweet now that it's finally here. I must warn you though that there is a chance that I will return to the Bucks in the fall just to broadcast the games. Once the Bucks figure out which league they will play in and if my schedule allows it, I will return to call the games next season. But there is no guarantee of that.
These last four years with the Bucks have truly been some of the best times of my life and there are lots of people that I want to thank for me even being here today. First off I want to thank Glenn Hart, Kiki De Ayala, John Beckelhymer and Terry Ruskowski for hiring me and bringing me to Laredo in July of 2007. After I sent in my resume to John I had a phone interview with him while I was in the press box preparing to call a baseball game for the Little Falls Miners in Little Falls, New York. I felt the interview went well. I knew it went well when he called me the next day to schedule a phone interview with him, Glenn and Kiki for the following day. Again, I did the interview in the press box and I thought it went very well. The next day John called me back right before the baseball game I was calling started, I politely told him I would need to call him back after the game and he said make sure I did because it was important. Wouldn't you know it? The damn baseball game went 14 innings that night and lasted almost five hours!! I called John back at 11:30pm eastern time that night and he told me that I had the job with the Bucks and that he wanted me in Laredo in two weeks. The rest is history.
I also want to thank Steve Cherwonak, Jason Rent and Darren McLean for helping me get the Bucks job. At the time Steve was in the CHL office, Jason was GM of Bossier-Shreveport and Darren was GM of Amarillo. I sent my resume to all three of those guys that summer and they put in a good word for me to the Bucks.
Of course I want to thank the best fans in the CHL, Laredo Bucks fans. When I first got the job here I know a lot of you were skeptical of how good I was and didn't like my broadcast style. I can say now that I know I have the majority of Bucks fans in my corner and that most of you ended up liking my broadcast style and blogs. For the Bucks fans who never came around to liking me, just know that I tried my best every second of every day to entertain and inform you and my style just never clicked with you, and that's ok. Thank you for continuing to support the Bucks.
I'm going to toot my own horn here for a second if you'll allow me. I think I can safely say that I worked extremely hard to make sure that Bucks fans were informed and entertained quite a bit. In my four years here I'm pretty sure that Bucks fans were the most informed fans in the CHL because of how often I sent out press releases, updated the website and wrote my blogs. The Laredo media, and South Texas media did a great job covering the Bucks during my four years here. They made sure that almost everything I sent out they used to help keep Bucks fans informed. A huge thank you to every single person in the Laredo media (I don't want to name them because I don't want to forget anyone), as well as the great folks in Corpus Christi (Greg "The Hammer" Rajan), Rio Grande Valley (Brian "Sandman" Sandalow) and the other CHL markets for working so well with me. I've become friends with many of them also.
When I first got into the league I was very green and was learning quite a bit everyday. I would not be where I am today without the help of Josh Bogorad and Rich Bocchini, the former voices of the Corpus Christi Ice Rays/Rayz and the Rio Grande Vally Killer Bees. Both Josh and Rich helped me out so much and gave me lots of good advice and have became good friends of mine.
I want to thank the rest of the CHL communications staffs from the other teams in the league. Trust me, there are a lot of characters in that group, we have to be since most of us are broadcasters. It was a pleasure working with all of the guys and gals from the other CHL teams. It's safe to say that I have shared quite a bit of adult beverages with the rest of the broadcasters in the CHL!
I also want to thank the CHL front office staff who are very good to get along with. Duane Lewis, Bob Hoffman, Jim Wiley, Wayne Bonney, Todd Bisson and Elizabeth Geeza. I appreciate the hard work that you do and thanks for being so good to me. I only got fined by the CHL one time for something I did or wrote so I guess they either liked me or I didn't really cross the line too much!
I want to thank the original voice of the Laredo Bucks Jim Talamonti for being there for me when I had questions or concerns. I only met Jim once when he was visiting Laredo with his wife but we e-mailed quite a bit. We had a great dinner together at Hal's, which included plenty of adult beverages. He told me to be myself and that people would embrace me here. That was great advice and I follow it everyday.
Is this getting boring yet? Have I lost you? Do I need to throw in a jab to my friends in other cities? I can't always be entertaining!
Moving on. I want to thank the Bucks staff for their hard work over the years. We have some good people on this staff and they work extremely hard to make sure that Bucks fans enjoy the games everytime they step in the building. They know that I will still be stopping by the arena from time to time to make sure they are working hard and trying to figure out ways to put me on the jumbo tron!
I want to thank the Laredo Bucks players for being so good to me over the years. Never once when I asked them did any of them say no to an interview, an apperance or anything else Bucks related that I needed them to do. I've become good friends with some of the players and I can't thank them enough for letting me in their group. I won't name them individually because I don't want to forget any of them.
I want to thank the great Art Trevino for his nine years as the Bucks sound engineer during games. Art works extremely hard to make sure that Bucks fans get a one-of-a-kind broadcast by setting up ice mics, a penalty box mic (which we got in trouble for two years ago) and making me sound good! And trust me, that last part needs a lot of work. Art and I have become good buddies and I know he will continue to bust his butt for Bucks fans.
I know i'm going to forget about someone eventually. If I do I apologize. You can yell at me on twitter, http://twitter.com/#!/BryanBenway .
I want to thank the Laredo off-ice officials and my interns for working hard for me the past four years. Everyone that i'm in charge of here works behind the scenes at every home game making sure that it goes off without a hitch. I would be lost without the hard work of the off-ice officials and my interns.
A special thank you needs to go out to Terry Ruskowski, or El Presidente Coach Rosco, as I have dubbed him here on the blog. Terry and I have become very good friends over my four years in Laredo and without his advice and faith in me I would not be where I am today. I have spent more time with Terry over the last four years than I have with my family or girlfriend, which is probably not a good thing for him!! As a matter of fact, I can remember the first time I met Terry. It was my first day on the job and I was sitting at my desk trying to organize stuff. I heard someone wisper, "I smell a Yankee, I smell a Yankee." (Because i'm from New York State) I looked around my cubicle and saw Terry walking towards my desk and wispering that to me. We shook hands and he told me a couple of his famous jokes and from there we became good friends. I have interviewed Terry over 300 times and have been to over 300 other events with him in four years and I enjoyed every single one. Terry is one of the best guys i've ever met and I thank him for being my friend.
Finally I want to thank my family and friends. Since I moved to Laredo four years ago i've seen my family only twice a year because of the long distance between my hometown of Jay, New York and Laredo,Texas. They support everything I do 100% and are very proud of me. In fact, they became pretty big Bucks fans over the years and enjoy coming down and meeting the players and watching the games. Thanks to my family, I love you so very much. I've met so many great people in Laredo over my four years here, many of them have become good friends of mine. I truly feel like this is my home and that I belong here. I've been treated so well by so many people that I want to sincerely thank each and everyone of them. And to my girlfriend Vanessa, who I met here in Laredo, I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart. She, like all of the other girlfriends and wives of coaches and players, had to deal with me being gone on long road trips, long nights at the arena, getting in from the road at odd hours of the night, me being cranky and grouchy because of lack of sleep, etc. Without her I would be insane by now. She keeps me grounded and keeps me focused. Thank you so much! I love you!
I think that should just about do it. I hope I didn't forget anyone, if I did I am very sorry. In closing, I would once again like to thank the Laredo Bucks organization, the city of Laredo, my friends, family, and everyone who helped make these last four years very, very special to me. Like I said earlier, I can assure you that you have not seen or heard the last of me in Laredo, so keep watching for where i'm landing next! If all goes well I will be back broadcasting Bucks games in October. From the bottom of my heart, thank you very much, mil gracias!
Until next time,
It will be a hot one in the old town tonight!
GO BUCKS GO!
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