Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Remembering a hodag legend - behind the microphone, in the communitySubmitted: 06/25/2013
Ben Meyer
Ben Meyer
Managing Editor / Senior Reporter
bmeyer@wjfw.com

Remembering a hodag legend - behind the microphone, in the community
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 - You'll need to pull your shovels out again in just a few days.

Lifting and tossing all that snow can take a serious toll on your back.

You should stretch and warm up before you head outside just like you would for any other workout.

Bending with your back is a bad habit a lot of people keep doing year after year.

That bad form can "snowball" into a bigger back problem.

"Sometimes it is just the repetition of doing it wrong that causes more of issue than just going out and doing it wrong once," says Dr. Grace Zuiker Nash at Hometown Chiropractic Center in Rhinelander.

Bad form can put 500 to 800 pounds of pressure on your lumbar spine.

That could result permanent upper and lower back problems.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Though the Packers lost against the Lions Sunday, some fans could see a silver lining.

Sunday was Quarterback Aaron Rodgers first game back after a collarbone injury caused him to miss the past seven games.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - Shop with a Cop allows community kids to get to know some first responders on a more personal level. 19 kids got the chance to do just that during this weekend's event.

The third graders are selected based on if they have a financial need, have good behavior in school, or if they have possibly met first responders in a serious situation before.

+ Read More

CRESCENT - Some people decided to bring their snowmobiles and ATV's out on the ice a little too early this season.
One man had to recover two of those vehicles after they sunk in lakes.
Tom Quandt own Bull Dog Off Road Removal. He got his first recovery call of the season Saturday, and a second Sunday.
He says getting two calls in two days is abnormal and that it's too early to bring vehicles out on water.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - It only takes a couple seconds to drop in some spare change or a couple dollars into a Salvation Army Red Kettle during the holiday season. One person, in those couple seconds, managed to make a big impact on Merrill's Salvation Army with their donation.

"It was unbelievable," said Salvation Army bell ringer volunteer Denise Ziech.

Ziech had just heard the good news.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK - A dance group in Tomahawk gets a second opportunity to show thousands of people what small town dancers can do. The Tomahawk Dance Team will perform at the Liberty Bowl half time show in Memphis In two weeks.
"We get to go out with a bang," said 17- year- old dancer Emma Gane.
At the end of the year seniors Emma Gane and Morgan Dischen will walk away from the dance team that brought them together four years ago.

"It's emotional to think about how fast things have gone," said Dischen.
However, first they'll step on stage in front of more than 60 thousand people.
"It's taking girls from this small town and putting them on this national platform," said Tomahawk Dance Team Coach Marina Olson. 

On December 30 the 11 girls on the Tomahawk Dance team will perform during the Liberty Bowl Halftime Show in Memphis Tennessee.
"It's just going to be different from our everyday small town life," said first year dance team member Semra Marquardt.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - The Vilas County snowmobile trails officially opened Friday at 5 p.m. But, the start of the snowmobile season isn't just exciting for those who plan to go out riding.

"We're ready for an opening today," said Brian Scheid, the Sno-Eagles Snowmobile Club Trail Master.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here