Loading

69°F

65°F

73°F

72°F

66°F

73°F

64°F

72°F

68°F

64°F

73°F

64°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Remembering a hodag legend - behind the microphone, in the communitySubmitted: 06/25/2013

Ben Meyer
Executive Producer
bmeyer@wjfw.com


RHINELANDER - People in Rhinelander knew him by voice alone.

But Todd McEldowney, the longtime voice of the Hodags, was much more than that to the community.

He died late last month.

"He was synonymous with Hodag sports. He was the voice of the Hodags," says Todd McEldowney, Todd's son.

The senior McEldowney became almost as much of an institution for Rhinelander athletics as the Hodag itself.

His 33 years behind the radio microphone and as a teacher at Rhinelander High School inspired, as well as entertained.

"People left him feeling better about themselves and better about the world they lived in, because he truly loved what he was doing," his son remembers.

Football to basketball, softball to snowmobile derbies, WOBT radio to a stint here at Channel 12, and the microphone to the classroom, the Rhinelander community knew and loved him.

"All in all, we had an excellent time together," says his longtime partner, Paul Ebert.

Ebert was with him in the booth for decades.

"I probably preferred basketball on the fact that it was indoors and warm," Ebert laughs.

"If I wasn't with him broadcasting, we were probably fishing for walleyes on the weekend," he says.

Many people thought he could go even bigger than the Northwoods.

"I would think he would have been network caliber," says Ebert.

"He decided that teaching was so important to him, and he loved being around the kids so much, that he was going to stay here in Rhinelander, support his Hodags, and teach for Rhinelander High School," says the junior McEldowney.

Stay, support, and teach - and be vital member of the Rhinelander community.

"He always thanked people that were listening. He mentioned specifically the shut-ins and the people that couldn't get to the games," says his son.

McEldowney signed off with his signature line for the last time in 1988.

"Win or lose, it's always a good idea to back your Hodags," he would say.

But that didn't end his love for Rhinelander.

"He was so proud and so loyal to the Hodags, and that's something he took with him until the day he died," his son says.

He died on May 26th, loving every minute of life.

"He always said in his closings that he hoped people enjoyed the broadcast as much as he enjoyed bringing it to them."

You can help remember McEldowney by aiding in building a new press box at Mike Webster Stadium, Rhinelander's football home.

Make donations out to McEldowney Memorial.

Send them to O'Melia, Schiek, and McEldowney, 4 South Stevens Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - It takes a lot of work to get a business started.

Incubators, like those in Vilas County, gives entrepreneurs the tools they need to get their company off the ground.

Brad Zdroik has been in one of the Eagle River incubators for about a year. It's helped his Deep Freeze business grow.

+ Read More

EAGLE RIVER - The first-ever ATV & UTV World Championship Derby is well underway. Races begin early in the morning and conclude Sunday afternoon. Derbytrack owner Chuck Decker said there are about 200 entries, or about 150 participants. 

"It's been going really good, it's a first time event," Decker said. "You know we're very used to running a lot of snowmobile events, so this is very different. There's always some hiccups when you first start out. But things are going good. People are starting to come in. There's a lot of vendors here. I think it's going to be a great weekend."
 
 Check back all weekend for more updates as the Newswatch12 news team covers it. 

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - The Neighbor's Place Food Pantry in Wausau worries its hours make it difficult for people to get the food they need.

Right now, the pantry is open until 5 o'clock Monday through Thursday and until 2o'clock on Fridays. Those hours may not work for people who need to work during the day.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - A Wausau teen could face a jury in a murder trial next month.

15-year-old Dylan Yang is accused of stabbing and killing 13-year-old Isaiah Powell during a gang-related fight in late February.

Yang was in court Friday for a motion hearing. It's part of the judicial process where both the prosecutor and the defense file arguments that certain evidence or witnesses can't be used during trial.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Getting a license to become a fishing guide in Wisconsin doesn't take much effort. Applicants fill out a one-page form and send a check to the DNR.

One local guide thinks the process should include steps to ensure safety on the water. Minocqua-area fishing guide Greg Bohn wants guides to be trained in safety procedures.

"You pay a $40 fee for the license, and you're a Wisconsin Licensed Fishing Guide. It doesn't mean that you're protecting yourself. It doesn't mean that you're protecting your passengers for hire," Bohn said.

+ Read More

ACROSS WISCONSIN - Abbotsford 49, Greenwood/Granton 12

Alma/Pepin 53, Independence/Gilmanton 21

Almond-Bancroft 48, Rio 0

Antigo 35, Oconto 0

+ Read More

GREEN BAY - Some football fans heading into Lambeau Field Saturday for the Green Bay Packers first preseason home game this year will encounter newly installed metal detectors.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here