Loading
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

RHINELANDER - New technology can cost a lot for schools. One elementary school just got some help from a nearby grocery store.

Gayle Daniel has been principal of Crescent Elementary School for just over a week, but she already has a lot to celebrate.

 After entering a contest for school spirit, Crescent Elementary School won $2,000 from Trigs in Rhinelander.

"Our students have a lot of spirit they also follow what we call our "Four B's," for our positive behavior intervention," said Daniel.  

"They're being safe, they're being respectful they're being responsible and they're being here."

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - Most years, ice already covers the lakes here in the Northwoods by now.

But, most of the lakes in the Northwoods currently have at least some open water.

Ice conditions can change from day to day.

That's why the DNR encourages people to use caution whenever they go out on the ice.

+ Read More

WOODRUFF - Gov. Scott Walker won't spend much time away from pieces of the Northwoods while in Madison this Christmas season.

The State Capitol Christmas tree came from Eagle River. Meanwhile, JJ's Acres of Woodruff decorated the outside of the Governor's Mansion with pine roping and wreaths.

The garden center also helped with holiday decorations at the mansion in 2013.

+ Read More

RHIENLANDER - Nearly 200 individual clay tiles will soon cover a wall in Rhinelander's James Williams Middle School. 

When Josh Calhoun decided to have his art students start a new project, he saw a bigger picture. 

"We're one big team with a goal in mind," said Calhoun. 

"You've got [to] do this piece of the puzzle and you're a part of it."

Calhoun decided to create a mural that will hang in James Williams Middle school.

"It's something that everyone has a piece of," said Calhoun.

 "They all have to work together to make this mural."

The mural's theme is surrounded around the four seasons featuring Wisconsin animals to represent the student's home town. 

The students will work on 182 induvial tiles that will come together as one. 

'"They're all unique they're made from our classmates," said 12- year- old Haylee Connor.

To get the students ready Calhoun even had them train in the gym with team building activities.

+ Read More

MADISON - The recount of Wisconsin's presidential election vote is nearly finished.

State election officials announced Friday that 89 percent of total ballots cast for president have been counted and 60 of the state's 72 counties had finished their work. So far, Democrat Hillary Clinton has gained 49 votes on Republican Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton by more than 22,000 votes in

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Several thousand people living around Rhinelander could get another high-speed internet access option. But first, Oneida County needs to figure out how to actually permit the tower.

The Town of Crescent approved building a 180-foot tower earlier in 2016.  The tower would offer high-speed internet service to most of the 2,000 people who live in the community.

Oneida County needs to approve a permit for the tower, but Town Supervisor Steve Richardson says county leaders still need to figure out what permit to use.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Every Christmas, thousands of children write letters to Santa. Sometimes, some of those kids need a little bit of help writing letters.

The Rhinelander High School FBLA/DECA organization went to local elementary schools Friday to help hundreds of kids write their letters.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here