Loading

70°F

68°F

69°F

69°F

65°F

69°F

72°F

69°F

70°F

72°F

69°F

70°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

WESCOTT - Authorities say a man has gone missing in Shawano Lake in northeastern Wisconsin after he jumped in the water to rescue his 10-year-old son, who was later found safe.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - We told you earlier in July about the Merrill Citizen's Fire Academy.

People who take the 10 week course this fall will learn more about what firefighters do.

12 people will take the class.

Spots for the course are filling up.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Keeping the Northwoods wooded is Trees for Tomorrow's basic goal. This weekend, they'll show people why that goal is important to them, when the organization hosts Forest Fest in Eagle River on Saturday.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Rhinelander's search for a new city administrator got a little narrower - from nearly two dozen candidates to a handful. Rhinelander has been without a city administrator since the middle of May when Blain Oborn went to Lake Geneva.

The Rhinelander City Council held a meeting last night to go through a list of candidates. At the end of that meeting, they went front from having 22, down to a list of four.

"We have four candidates that we have coming in," said Rhinelander's Mayor Richard Johns. "And the candidates vary, one's from Eau Claire, Antigo, Kewaskum, and Stevens Point. We pretty much have a local area so-to-speak, rather than out of state."

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - All K-8 students in Merrill Schools will get their own iPads this fall.

Wednesday, teachers were trained on how to use the new technology.

Last year, six third grade classrooms tried out how it would work.

District leaders said parents and students involved in the pilot program liked it.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Thousands of people will come to the Oneida County Fair starting Thursday.

The fair has grown a lot in recent years. Organizers try to get new rides and entertainment to draw in bigger crowds.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 77-year-old woman who spends the summer and fall in Sugar Camp can celebrate after earning four medals at the 2015 Senior Olympics earlier this month.

Bev Linnihan-Moye, a frequent swimmer at the YMCA of the Northwoods, says she just feels great in the water, especially after an ankle injury a few years ago.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here