Loading

22°F

24°F

22°F

23°F

22°F

25°F

22°F

26°F

22°F

24°F

26°F

22°F
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

NORTHWOODS - The U.S. Forest Service will hire thousands of temporary workers this spring. Leaders at the Chequamegon Nicolet Forest Service want to hire more than 50 temporary employees to work during summer. They're looking for people with diverse backgrounds and plenty of experience.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Police squad cars get a lot of wear and tear. That's why the Rhinelander Police Department needs to upgrade at least one of them every year.

+ Read More

Play Video

ST. GERMAIN - The 13th Annual St. Germain Radar Run kicked off on Friday. The event draws thousands of people to St. Germain each year.

"Who doesn't want to see a sled going 135 miles an hour down a track or 169 [miles per hour]? It's a lot of excitement," said Assistant Race Director Amy Greenberg.

"So many people come into town. The motels are full. The restaurants, the pubs are all full," said Race Director Mark Hiller.

+ Read More

Play Video

MINOCQUA - Many current high school students will need to know how to use the latest technology when they enter the workforce, which means they need to have more than just math, writing, and science skills.

Some Northwoods high schools have started offering different classes that develop 21st century skills.

The Media Productions class at Lakeland Union puts on a live broadcast for the school.

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - Authorities are investigating reports of beheaded chickens and roosters found in Milwaukee County parks.

The South Milwaukee Police Department investigated a report of a headless rooster found near tea candles at Grant Park.

The station says the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office investigated another chicken that was found with its head cut off at Bender Park, but the scene did not include candles there, just the beheaded chicken.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Firefighters in the Rhinelander area saved a two story home from going up in flames Friday.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Super Bowl Sunday is the holy grail of football.

This time last year, more than 113 million people were preparing to watch the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos battle for the Super Bowl title.

But it's what happens when the game stops that has experts talking.

Game time is primetime for the biggest advertisements of the year, many of which market alcohol with ads targeting teens.


+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here