Others connected to the game remain consistent however, and that includes the voices of the Shrine Bowl on radio and television. This year, the Shrine Bowl will be broadcast on a statewide radio network of 11 stations, and telecast live on Cox Kansas 22, available to subscribers of the Cox cable television service in 85 communities around Kansas. The radio play-by-play duties will be handled by Mark Elliott of Topeka’s WIBW radio, with color commentary provided by WIBW’s Jake Labahn, and sideline reporters Greg Agaki and Ryan Elder. Television play-by-play will be provided by Mark Ewing, who will be joined by K-State analyst Stan Weber and sideline reporter Chris Allison.
Weber has fond memories of his own Shrine Bowl experience. Representing Goddard, Weber was named MVP of the 1980 game, a 30-15 win over the East. He threw two touchdown passes, a record which has been matched but not surpassed in the past 31 years.
He says preparation for the game is interesting because of the nature of the contest. “You don’t have a history”, he says. “You can’t look at last year and see what players are returning. It’s all a bunch of individuals, so you’ve got to study it individual by individual. I’m a guy who likes to look at the team, and ultimately it gets to the East team versus the West team. The preparation as it gets closer to game time finally allows me to accumulate information, talk to the coaches, and get the team philosophy. You’ve got to study it all-star by all-star, but in the end you still want to know what the team is going to do together.”
Weber says no particular game or play stands out in his first 25 years as a Shrine Bowl broadcaster, but that he remembers the 1980 game in which he participated very well. One of his memories is of West teammate Jeff Smith of Wichita Southeast, who ran for more than 100 yards, and became a star at Nebraska and played in the NFL. “To be able to work with him and so many other great players and to have the success we did, and win easily like we did in a game where a lot of people thought we were the underdog….that’s really my best memories.”
Radio stations that will be carrying the 2012 Kansas Shrine Bowl include KVSV, Beloit; KINZ, Chanute; KVOE, Emporia; KKQY, Hays; KSKU, Hutchinson; KMAN, Manhattan; KBBE, McPherson; KOFO, Ottawa; KKOW, Pittsburg: KSAL, Salina; and WIBW, Topeka. WIBW will serve as the network flagship station.
All Shrine Bowl events are produced and presented to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children [SHC]. SHC is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Children up to the age of 18 are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay. The 39th annual Kansas Shrine Bowl will be played Saturday, July 28th, 2012, in Emporia, Kansas, at Welch Stadium on the Emporia State University campus. Kickoff will be at 7:00 pm. Tickets and additional information are available at www.kansasshrinebowl.com or by calling 800-530-5524.