To the editor:
I just read the article in last week’s Observer regarding Jude Kelly and his induction into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame, and I’d like to offer my congratulations and gratitude to both you and Kelly.
Back in the summer of 1999, I became aware that WNTY radio in town had been sold, and they were no longer planning on airing the Blue Knights football games. I was able to convince the new station manager to allow me to keep the games on the air, and it would not have been possible without the strong support of many including Coach Kelly.
I had a full time job outside of radio and needed a tremendous amount of help to gather sponsors, information, stats, player upgrades, strategies, etc in order to be able to broadcast all of the games both home and away for eight years. I explained what I was trying to do to Coach Kelly, and he couldn’t have been more helpful in providing me anything I needed to make my broadcast and coverage of his team the best it could be.
My job required extensive out of state traveling during the week, but Kelly would always make himself available on Wednesday or Thursday after his practice and answer all questions I had about the upcoming game. With everything he had on his plate, we would spend close to an hour discussing the upcoming opponent, game plan, injuries, etc.
As with every broadcast, success is all about having information to share with the audience, and Kelly couldn’t have been more cooperative and forthcoming.
As Bryant Carpenter stated in your article, the Friday night games were a family and town event. The stands were full for every game. I could not have done my eight years of broadcasting the Blue Knights without the help of many including the booster club, the Observer, Steve Daniels—who would provide me the stats every week—and access to the coaching staff, and Dr. Bob Lehr….all because of Coach Kelly’s attitude that was contagious to all associated with the program. His enthusiasm and willingness to help all associated with his program, was infectious to everyone.
When I first met Kelly, he said “if you want to promote Southington football, I’ll help you any way I can to assist in your efforts”. He went above and beyond. Kelly actually joined me on a Sunday morning talk show at the radio station to answer questions from listeners who called in….whatever he could do to help those trying to promote the program.
Thank You, Coach Kelly for all your help in making my broadcasts the best they could be, and congratulations on your induction into the Southington Sports Hall of Fame. It is well deserved.
Greg Graham, Southington