A great time to be a FalconSOMEWHERE IN FLORIDA

Pete Stella and Pete Stella


While working Wednesday night, an item moved across the Associated Press Wire that grabbed my attention – and kick started my memory.

“Michigan at Bowling Green, 7:30 p.m.”

Before I had time to think, I already had 100 percent confidence that the Falcons would win the game against their Big Ten opponent (I love it, first the Buckeyes give it to University of Michigan in football then the bad ass Falcons hand it to them in basketball, what a bad year to be a Wolverines’ fan).

As I followed the game on ESPN.com, I wished I could have been in Anderson Arena to experience yet another magical BG moment.

But I was there in spirit.

The best part was watching a Keith McLeod three-pointer bounce out then back in as time wound down with BG up a good deal. The floor then turned into a mass of ravenous, orange-clad fans and the post-game praise from Digger Phelps was well deserved.

It was a beautiful sight, even from 1100 miles away.

The upset of Michigan was yet another awesome chapter in BG athletics this year. I hope that everyone who attends BG and cares about the sporting teams realize how lucky they are.

I’ll get back to basketball in a minute.

When I first met football coach Urban Meyer earlier this year, he told the reporters at his first press conference that there would be an immediate change, and the Falcons would become an immediate contender for the Mid-American Conference title.

Though I had spent four months last fall listening to former coach Gary Blackney ramble on about changes and playing with poise and confidence, I truly believed that Meyer would help BG do a 180.

He had a spark in his eye that the Falcons desperately needed in their program to help rebuild the respect BG once got in football.

With wins over Missouri, Northwestern and Toledo, BG has become everything Meyer said they would with hard work and dedication.

Congrats boys, you deserve it.

And for that, I’m proud to be a Falcon.

Who could forget the volleyball team, one of the best in the MAC and possibly the country. Coach Denise Van De Walle continues to recruit top high school players and mold them into collegiate “killing” machines.

And for that, I’m proud to be a Falcon.

Even though I live in Florida and have had some awesome experiences already in my young career, nothing really tops watching a game high atop in Anderson Arena. Two weeks ago, I spent both Friday and Saturday night in Gainesville watching Florida and Florida State play in basketball and football.

While I watched the slopping Gators disperse of the Seminoles in basketball and was fortunate enough to meet Dick Vitale, I realized the O?Connell Center (UF’s home court) doesn’t have anything on “The House that Roars” (ranked as the hardest place to play in the MAC in several sporting publications), or the Sideline Squad.

And for that, I’m proud to be a Falcon.

I had the pleasure of watching guys like McLeod, Len Matela (before his famous elbow pad) and Brent Klassen from the freshmen year and to see them get national attention. Also, to have seen them grow into dominate basketball players makes me happy.

And for those of you who weren’t around two years ago, one of the coolest things I have ever seen while covering sports was watching McLeod do an off-the-backboard, reverse dunk in a BG win over the Rockets at Toledo.

The Toledo fans didn’t like that too much, but I sure did.

To all the Falcons’ athletic teams, especially rugby and other teams that don’t get the spotlight sometimes, you are all awesome and make BG that much better.

And for that, I’m proud to be a Falcon.

Finally, to Dan Dakich, possibly the coolest coach and person I have ever had the pleasure of working and developing a friendship with, Dicky V said he looks forward to seeing you at The Big Dance.Pete Stella misses the Bowling Green life, especially the entertaining Dakich press conferences, the party life, the hot Ohio women and watching Dan Nied eat, which is quite an amazing site in itself. But never fear, he loves the Florida experience.