July 23, 2018
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Bangor sports personality ready for ‘a whole new game’

Contributed photo | BDN
Contributed photo | BDN
Jeff Solari
By Jeff Solari, Special to the BDN

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

— Muhammad Ali

I have wanted to spend my life covering sports in some capacity since I was younger — and much thinner. Perhaps like you, I discovered watching and playing sports from an early age. But as a youngster I also learned I loved broadcasting. I even had a pretend radio station in my house in grammar school.

A few years later in high school I did play-by-play for MDI basketball on the local cable channel. My senior year in 1988 I collected my first professional sports broadcasting check providing hoops play-by-play for the teams from MDI and Ellsworth on WDEA AM 1370.

I don’t want to bore you with the rest of my resume, but I’ve been in and out of sports broadcasting for 30 years. I think you’ll see why I am ready to follow my passion and return to sports full time.

When I went to school, the teacher asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. She told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told her she didn’t understand life.”

— Unknown (maybe John Lennon?)

So, Friday I met with my boss at Rudman Winchell and told her at the end of the year I would be leaving my current position at the firm which I have held for more than 7 years. It’s actually the longest I have ever worked anywhere.

I want to follow my passion and work on the “Sports Chowdah” email/newsletter and “The Drive” on 92.9 FM, basically, full time.

One of the hardest decisions of my life.

Seriously. What middle-aged, married man with two young kids walks away from a fantastic job at one of the largest and most reputable law firms in the state? Rudman Winchell is a great place to work filled with people I admire and many I call friends. Yet, it’s just the perfect time for a change. No more waiting.

“Are you waiting on a lightning strike? Are you waiting for the perfect night?

Are you waiting till the time is right? Don’t you wanna learn to deal with fear?

Don’t you wanna take the wheel and steer? What are you waiting for?”

— Nickelback

I feel alive when I’m talking or writing about sports, going to games and meeting athletes. But it’s not just about having a job that’s kind of like hobby. It’s a change in life philosophy.

I am no longer interested in money and big houses and fancy cars as I have been much of my life. Life for me now is about time. With my kids. With myself.

A pound of gold can’t buy a minute of time.”

— Unknown

I always hoped I wouldn’t be like David Price and just play for the team that pays me the most. I would want to win and just be happy.

I feel energized, excited and eager when I think about the future. I also feel apprehensive and terrified. I remember feeling this way before big games when I played sports.

Nervous. Yet confident.

I can do this. But not alone.

I have had unbelievable contributions from my team of writers here at the Chowdah, week in and week out. I look forward to working more with Jim Churchill and the awesome crew at The Drive.

I am thankful for the more than a dozen sponsors who helped me get the Chowdah off the ground.

And, of course, my wife and family.

And you, the Chowdah reader and Drive listener. Because no sports coverage or teams in this country would exist at all without public support.

In January the Chowdah will expand to be a couple days a week. We’ll add podcasts and videos. You’ll hear more of me on The Drive, as well, in 2018.

2018 looks like a whole new game to me.


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