Friday, November 19, 2021

Blind Broadcaster, Bryce Weiler’s Story

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH 

One of the things I like about owning an online publication is it’s great to add the Podcast/Broadcast Division to compliment the written material. 

I’m finding out that having audio and visual aspects separates us from a lot of the newspapers by offering more to our followers. 

Nowadays, the attention span of individuals varies immensely. 

Whether they’re at home or driving to work, they can read, watch and listen to podcasts. 

I get lots of request from individuals who want to share their stories but I am very selective of those that I want to proceed with. 

It’s difficult to turn people down and I can’t cover every event in person.

We do provide a platform for business to invest money into airtime and build their online profile which enhances their credibility that in turn improves their SEO Rating on Google. 

Everyone has an opportunity to become a columnist provided that the story is clean and stays away from politics or religion.

But as we work towards providing a balance between sports and non sports content, this is what is making our platform grow.

On October 5, 2021, a Facebook Friend, Bryce Weiler contacted me and told me he was a disability consultant for the Baltimore Orioles. He also told me that he’s blind and has done broadcasting for numerous organizations. 

He’s been a color analyst for 150 games.

Once I evaluated his information, I felt this would be a very inspiring broadcast. 

As we approach Thanksgiving, this is a time when these stories become more magnified and even have more meaning.

On November 17, 2021, this simulcast show became a reality. 

It took 24:11 to complete and we hope you enjoy the audio and visual component.

Weiler listed some of the most prominent places he worked.

1. University of Evansville, Athletics.

2. New Britain Bees, Minor League Baseball, Atlantic League.

3. Akron Rubber Ducks, AA Cleveland Guardians.

4. Evansville Otters, Frontier League (Independent Minor League Baseball).

5. Western Illinois Sports.

6. University of Texas San Antonio, Men’s Basketball as a Color Commentator.

Bryce has a lot of great stories during the show and demonstrated to me that despite having a disability, and working as a disability consultant, this is a reminder to all of us that no matter how tough life can get, there are other individuals that also have to work harder to overcome their adversities.

Here at the South Florida Tribune, we are content hunters!

One of my early mentors, Andy Liscano taught me to always be different when we worked together in South Florida in the 1980’s.

Who knows if Andy will ever see this post or video. In December, I’ll turn 59 and his message has resonated loud and clear through 40 years in the Media!

On November 28, 2020, My mother passed away. 

One of the big lessons she taught me was to be open-minded.

Shila Morganroth and Andy Liscano truly will always be appreciated because of their amazing words of wisdom.

I hope you check out the South Florida Tribune and take a peak of what shows we have and in 2021 as I make the bold decision to scale back sports reporting to search for other human interest stories, that you’re going to see in 2022.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to search for these incredible human interest stories so we can find more Bryce Weiler’s.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

To see his broadcasts, Subscribe to South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at No Charge. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Owls Not Bowl Eligible Yet

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH 

Prior to last week’s home game vs Marshall, the FAU Owls had a 12-game home winning streak and needed just one win to become bowl eligible. 

This game was the 250th contest in program history.

Both teams were tied for first place in Conference USA East.

During their series history, Marshall owned a 7-1 advantage.

Would this be the day that FAU could get their second win vs the Thundering Herd?

No.

Marshall struck early as Jayden Harrison took the opening kickoff 99-yards and just like that, FAU trailed 7-0.

FAU responded with a drive of it’s own that went six plays, 75 yards and lasted 2:01 to even the score 7-7.

The Owls added a two more field goals in the second quarter, 37-yard field goal from Aaron Shahriari and a 38-yarder to take a 13-7 lead.

Marshall would score 21 unanswered points and held the Owls scoreless in the second half to win the ballgame 28-13. 

The home winning streak wouldn’t reach 13.

There are two important numbers that summarize this game.

First, special teams play resulted in 14 Marshall points.

Second, the Thundering Herd scored seven points off of turnovers.

In addition to the opening kickoff for a touchdown, Marshall had a 29-yard punt return which led to a touchdown.

Owls QB N’Kosi Perry went 15-29 for 198 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed for 67 yards.

Running back Johnny Ford rushed for 139 yards.

Leading the way for Marshall was QB Grant Wells, who completed 26 passes for 351 yards and one touchdown. Rasheen Ali rushed for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Willie Johnson led Marshall in receiving with 140 yards and a touchdown.

Coach Willie Taggart said, the team, “dropped the football, couldn’t get rid of it quick enough and if the deep balls would have been caught, it would have been a different game. N’Kosi could have gotten rid of the ball quicker, but did some good things. The kickoff return and punt return were killers.”

Perry added, “we played sloppy football, drops and fumbles. We can’t have missed opportunities, drops and we left a lot out there.”

Perry’s point is well documented as FAU amassed 441 total yards and 21 first downs. 

The Owls led in Time of Possession 30:19-29:41.

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Would things improve on Saturday in Norfolk, VA., against Old Dominion?

No.

Nick Price kicked three second-half field goals and Old Dominion scored on two first half safeties to defeat the Owls 30-16.

With the Owls leading 3-0 in the first quarter, Marcus Haynes sacked Perry in the end-zone for a first quarter safety. Perry was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone with 4:06 left in the first half for a second safety. Blake Watson ran 11 yards in the final minute of the half to send Old Dominion into the intermission with an 11-3 lead.

Monarch’s QB Hayden Wolff completed 21 passes for 289 yards and a touchdown while Watson had 23 carries for 163 yards. Old Dominion improved it’s record to (4-6, 3-3 Conference USA).

Ford carried 19 times for 101 yards while Perry completed 12 of 21 passes attempts for 187 yards.

The loss dropped FAU’s record to 5-5 and 3-3 in Conference USA.

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Unfortunately, things will get more difficult next week as FAU travels to Western, Kentucky to face the Hilltoppers on Saturday at Noon.

Western Kentucky brings a 6-4, 5-1 Conference record into this contest.

The Hilltoppers throttled Rice 42-21 on Saturday as Bailey Zappe threw five touchdown passes, including three during a four minute span.

With two games left for the Hilltoppers regular season and Conference USA, Zappe leads the nation with 42 touchdown passes. He has thrown at least three touchdown passes in every game this season and has thrown five or more scores in a game four times.

To say that FAU has it’s work cut out in Bowling Green, Kentucky is mildly stating the obvious facing a QB that could be playing in the NFL.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at at southfloridatribune@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, Subscribe to the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel free to see his broadcasts.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Field Of Dreams

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

If you build it, they will come!

Indeed, these are the legendary words that make Field of Dreams one of the greatest movies of all-time!

This finally became a reality for Candy Ebling and I on Halloween Weekend as the 2021 World Series was winding down. 

There was no fitting ending to baseball season then to take the trip to Dyersville, Iowa., and take this off our bucket list.

The road to Dyersville took an interesting twist as I had aspirations of covering the Michigan vs Michigan State game in East Lansing on Saturday, October 30, but do to high demand, I was turned down. 

I told Ebling that I’ve never been happier for a turn down because I knew The Field of Dreams Movie Site was on the bucket list and this was the perfect time to go. 

The Fall Classic was going on and the weather was sunny in the 50’s on a beautiful Autumn Day. 

We decided to go to watch the football game in Racine, WI and then made the trek to Iowa around 3:30 PM local time. We arrived in Dyersville at 6:30 PM and decided to check out the movie site in the evening before we found a hotel and ate dinner.

What a great decision that turned out to be as we saw the field lit up and there was a wedding taking place. Ebling seized the opportunity and took some great night-time photos.

But the real fun began on Halloween when the Field of Dreams Movie Site was open. 

We gave a donation as there is no fee, and got out of the car and security directed us to tour guide Craig Purcell. 

I introduced myself to Craig and told him that I’m the owner of the South Florida Tribune. I asked him if he wanted to do a video to talk about the movie site. I also asked him where he thought would be a good place to do a Facebook Live.

He quickly contacted his supervisor Roman Weinberg and introduced us. I told Roman what my game plan was by doing two videos, a Facebook Live and following it up with a story. By then end of our conversation, Roman was on board with what we wanted to do and we went to work.

We did the Facebook Live in the Outfield then did a pair of videos in the Farmhouse and the Back Office.

We had two different perspectives of the experiences as you’re going to see viewing those videos.

During the summer, the Field of Dreams Movie Site got a bigger boost as the New York Yankees faced the Chicago White Sox on a separate field. From different vantage points you can see a glimpse of the field plus the lights. 

The game was such a success that MLB will have another one as the Chicago Cubs square off against the Cincinnati Reds next summer.

I heard from different people that Chicago White Sox Hall of Farmer that Frank Thomas will be investing time and money to create activities which will be disclosed at a later date.

During this post, I’m not going into too much detail of the videos and Facebook Live because I want you to see them and draw your own conclusions. 

This place is definitely a must see for not only baseball fans but everyone in general!

What I will say is that after the experience, I told Ebling that I will take her to Cooperstown, NY., so she can go to the Baseball Hall Of Fame! 

I’ve been to these hallowed grounds in upstate New York a couple times and not only have I bought valuable memorabilia, but a lifetime of memories in a town that’s all baseball. 

Baseball has put Dyersville, Iowa on the map and like Cooperstown, it’s small town intimate setting is truly tremendous.

What’s great about the Field of Dreams Movie Site is the fact that it’s only three hours away from Wisconsin where I have a lot of family and a few friends. This drive is a cakewalk for me especially since I live in Florida and my average drive to go to a major city is around three hours.

This could be a short little day trip getaway or a night trip, and you can rest assure I’ll find more creative ideas for videos. 

Who knows, if the Baseball Gods have their way, I’ll cover an MLB Game. 

But I’m not holding my breath on that because if it’s meant  to happen, then it will. 

Otherwise, I’m more than content to hang out in my new favorite Iowa town and converse with the locals.

The final piece of business we did in downtown Dyersville was we spent about 45 minutes and checked out a small museum that told the Field of Dreams Story. It was the best $5.00 per person we spent. We did it after our visit to the field and the information was extremely valuable!

The background and history of Field of Dreams reinforced what we saw and allowed us to fully comprehend what we just experienced.

We truly hope that you not only enjoy this story, but the Facebook Live and two videos because when it’s all said and done, like us, you’re going to be hooked! 

We are and I’m glad that the domino’s dropped in our direction as we replaced a football game with something much better! 

Going to the Field of Dreams Movie Site wasn’t a matter of if, but when! 

On Halloween Weekend during the World Series, we took care of the when! This is truly a Baseball Mecca!

I do want to take the time to thank the folks at the Field of Dreams Movie Site for all of their hospitality especially Craig and Roman. For a guy that’s made his existence as a writer and a broadcaster, I’ll be talking about this experience nonstop!

To summarize, best of all, when you come to Dyersville, Iowa and see the Field of Dreams Movie Site, you definitely want to watch the movie again!

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

You can see all of his broadcasts by subscribing to The South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel for free.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Return To Hockey Town

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

When My wife Candy decided she wanted to see her dad on his 79th birthday on October 26, I had no problem going to Wisconsin doing this.

This idea made sense for a lot of reasons.

She didn’t have to request time off from her full-time job during Thanksgiving or the Holidays in December which would conflict with numerous requests by her employees.

I figured that we should take a flight and spend a week in the area.

She had another request and that was to drive instead of fly. 

I wasn’t keen on the idea since a couple weeks prior, I leased a vehicle in Detroit the week of my mom’s memorial service and had to drive from Detroit to Deerfield Beach which took 22 hours.

I really wasn’t ready for an extensive road trip with a short turnaround time. 

But considering the way she asked me with her sweet tone and convinced me that it would save us a lot of money, I reluctantly agreed to this. 

In addition to spending time with her dad and seeing family, she wanted to go to her families house  and get some her valuable possessions as her dad moved into an assisted living facility. This made complete sense, plus we saw other family members.

As I thought things through, I added a some conditions.

First, because her sister was unable to host us on this trip, I wanted to stay in a hotel on Lake Michigan. My brother-in-law Steve found the Doubletree Hilton in Racine, WI. 

This was excellent as we were on the third floor and overlooked the lake. I figured while she was out doing her things, I could relax in a serene setting.

Second, I looked at the Detroit Red Wings schedule and they happened to host the Florida Panthers at Little Ceasars Arena (LCA) on Friday, October 29, 2021 at 7 PM. I told her that I wanted to cover this game for the Detroit Monitor. 

Initially, I was hoping to also cover the Michigan vs Michigan State Game in East Lansing the following day, but due to demand, I was turned down. 

That would ultimately work out well as we traveled to Iowa on that day and we visited The Field of Dreams Movie Site instead taking this off the bucket list.

Third, if we were going to take this trip, she had to take Monday, November 1 off as a travel day. 

Foresight paid big dividends because we were on the road for 10 days and drove 4,543 miles and found ourselves traveling after midnight four times.

There is no doubt that I enjoy seeing the Red Wings anywhere around the country. I’ve seen them play in Phoenix, Tampa and South Florida. I have future plans covering them on the road as well as returning to Detroit.

But this trip to Detroit was like no other. 

On Thursday Night, we visited a Sports Exchange contributor in Cedarburg, WI which is north of Milwaukee. I needed Candy to help out on this drive because I had to be smart about my concussion issues and she did an outstanding job.

I told Candy that it would be a great idea if we found an inexpensive hotel in Metro Detroit so we wouldn’t be overly tired when it came to game time. It took us about six hours to get to Metro Detroit and we stayed at a Red Roof Inn in Belleville, MI for $75.00. 

It was a great move! 

I had loose ends in the area which included a trip to the cemetery to see family members.

At 5 PM, we picked up My colleague George Eichorn and went to the game. 

It was great to be back at LCA as we made one prior visit a few years ago. It’s an awesome arena and the Red Wings definitely got it right when it came to all the amenities, etc…

I saw one Panthers communications person and a member of the media during the pre-game meal. 

Then we went upstairs to the Press Box and got to work.

Eichorn and I had plenty of time to talk about the South Florida Tribune and other ventures we’re working on.

It was great to see old friends again such as Red Wings radio announcers Ken Kal and Paul Woods. Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News is another one of my favorite people. 

I also stopped by and saw Kyle Kujawa, who always makes sure I get the credentials I need when I cover the team and gave us a tour of LCA during our first visit.

Yes, there was a hockey game to cover and this was the right team to see as I have seen the Red Wings and Panthers play at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, FL many times. 

This arena is one of the finest venues I’ve ever worked in and I have seen a lot of great games between these two squads. There are no shortage of red and white jerseys when the Red Wings visit Sunrise.

On this night, the Panthers were dealing with some adversity as their coach Joel Quenneville resigned the night before after he was among those implicated for not responding swiftly to allegations by former Chicago player Kyle Beach of being sexually assaulted by then Blackhawks assistant Brad Aldrich during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Andrew Brunette coached the Panthers in their trip to Detroit in what would turn out to be a very emotional night for the newly appointed interim coach.

As I’ve seen so many times in Sunrise, FL., this game would turn out to be a classic. 

Florida jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but the Red Wings stormed back and tied the game with 2:41 left in the third period.

The Panthers won the game 3-2 as Aleksander Barkov netted the game winner with 1:31 left in OT enabling Florida to improve to 8-0-0. The Red Wings dropped to 4-3-1.

Barkov scored two goals in the game but both goaltenders had outstanding performances. 

Detroit’s Alex Nedeljkovic stopped 30 shots of the 33 he faced, and the Panthers put pressure on him all night but he kept the Red Wings in the contest. He was named the No.1 Star.

Sergei Bobrovsky was named the second star as he faced 30 shots and stopped 28 of them.

Barkov, the heart and soul of the franchise was awarded the third star as a result of a two goal night.

All in all, it was a tremendous visit back to Hockey Town. 

When the game was over, Eichorn and I took a few great photos as we departed LCA. 

We drove him back home to Warren, MI then traveled back to Racine, WI, where we would arrive at our hotel at 4 AM local time.

By 11:30 AM, we checked out of our room, went to a local sports bar to watch the Michigan vs Michigan State game the departed for Iowa.

You can rest assure that after seeing the Red Wings face the Panthers in Sunrise, I have to admit that seeing these two teams play in my hometown was a lot more fun because of all the familiar faces when I was a regular in this media market. 

You can rest assure, there will be more Red Wings vs Panthers games in Detroit in the future but with less commuting from Wisconsin to Michigan via I-94. 

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

You can subscribe to his broadcasts on the South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel for free.

Friday, November 5, 2021

Tracking The FAU Owls Football Team

 BY SCOTT MORGANROTH

The FAU Owls have come a long way in the past four weeks.

When we covered the Shula Bowl as FAU faced rival Florida International University (FIU), the Owls were 2-2. 

The game with FIU was FAU’s first Conference USA Contest.

FAU lost to Florida and Air Force on the road and defeated Georgia Southern and Fordham at home.

What were we going to see on October 2, 2021 at FAU Stadium?

A lot of points.

The Owls led 34-21 at halftime and QB N’Kosi Perry was on his way to a big contest.

As I sat in the Press Box, a strange thing entered my mind. 

Would one team eclipse the 50 point mark in this game?

There is a history of this. 

On November 26, 2005, FIU hammered FAU 52-6 down in Miami, but the win was vacated by the Panthers.

On November 24, 2007, FAU hammered FIU in the last game ever in the Orange Bowl. I covered this game and it was a forgettable year for FIU which finished the campaign 0-11.

On November 29, 2008, I’ll never forget this game at Joe Robbie Stadium as FAU outlasted FIU 57-50 in a game that featured two future NFL Players. 

Rusty Smith was FAU’s QB and he would be drafted by the Tennessee Titans while Wide Receiver TY Hilton would eventually become an Indianapolis Colt. FAU’s win earned them a spot in the Motor City Bowl in Detroit, MI.

On November 18, 2017, FAU trounced FIU 52-24 in Boca Raton.

These two rivals have been played at four different stadiums through the years. They’ve played at Joe Robbie Stadium, FIU Stadium, Lockhart Stadium in Fort Lauderdale and FAU Stadium.

——————————————————————————————————————————On this day, it was the N’Kosi Perry Show as he was 18-21, threw for 329 yards and three touchdowns. 

Perry rushed for 16 yards and a touchdown. 

Perry’s primary target was Je’Quan Burton caught seven passes for 121 yards and one touchdown.

Running back Johnny Ford had a huge game as he rushed 16 times for 102 yards and a one touchdown, plus added two receptions for 91 yards and a touchdown.

The Owls offense obliterated FIU’s defense by amassing 704 yards and dominated time of possession 37:33-22:27 to win the Shula Bowl 58-21. 

FAU outscored FIU 24-0 in the second half.

FAU would improve to 3-2 with the win.

——————————————————————————————————————————

How would FAU fare the following week at the Owls faced the UAB Blazers in Birmingham, AL?

Not very good as the Blazers knocked off the Owls 31-14 and dropped to 3-3 going into the bye week.

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FAU would have an opportunity to showcase itself on the CBS Sports Network on Thursday, October 21 against the Charlotte 49’ers. 

This is a place where FAU has had great success and this proved to be the case as the Owls crushed Charlotte 38-9. The Owls made the most of its opportunity on the big stage!

Perry threw for 225 yards and had three touchdown passes while Johnny Ford rushed for 92 yards and a touchdown, then caught one pass for 32 yards and another score.

The Owls defense held Charlotte scoreless for all of the second half.

The Owls have remained perfect in Charlotte at 4-0 and during the day, FAU accepted an invitation to leave Conference USA and join the larger American Athletic Conference (AAC). The American’s expansion date has not been announced.

Charlotte, UAB, North Texas, Rice, Texas-San Antonio will also be joining FAU in the AAC.

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Would the positive momentum carry over to the next week as a 4-3 FAU squad would host 6-1 UTEP on October 30, 2021?

You bet at FAU defeated the Minors 28-25 to win it’s 12th straight home game. 

The Owls took a 21-7 lead at the end of the third quarter, but withstood a 15-7 comeback by UTEP in the fourth quarter to improve to 5-3. UTEP dropped to 6-2.

The Miners out gained FAU 454-279 but that wasn’t enough to leave Boca Raton with a win.

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Tomorrow, FAU faces Marshall with a chance to become bowl eligible and win it’s 13th straight home game against a foe that will also be leaving Conference USA. The Thundering Herd will be moving to the Sun Belt Conference.

The game starts at 6 ET. 

FAU hits the road on October 13 and 20 to face Old Dominion and Western Kentucky before concluding the regular season at FAU Stadium on November 27, 2021 against Middle Tennessee.

There is no doubt that November will be an interesting month.

Speaking of expansion, while FIU will remain in Conference USA, like Marshall, Old Dominion is also heading to the Sun Belt Conference. 

There is talk about Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee departing to the Mid American Conference.

Scott Morganroth can be reached at southfloridatribune@gmail.com and you can follow him on Twitter @TribuneSouth.

Also, to see his broadcasts, you can subscribe to South Florida Tribune You Tube Channel at no cost.

Inter-Miami, Recap Before International Break

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH This is the time of the year in sports where we begin to hit that slower period where the NBA Finals are complete, the N...