Who is this guy?
A classic moment from a classic flick, “Caddy Shack”. Certainly the catch-phrase that has become synonymous with that movie was omnipresent throughout my childhood. However, I recall the moment when it was seared into my very soul. I was standing at the free throw line and dribbling the ball on a sunny fall day in 1984. My eyes followed the ball as I debated whether to jump or finally graduate to the exclusive, macho club of ballers who can shoot from the charity stripe flatfooted. My white-with-blue-trim St. Michael’s Wildcats jersey wrapped my 10-year-old body like a polyester sausage casing. The tension in the gym was palpable. OK, perhaps that’s a stretch. It’s hard to imagine a match-up between two all-white 5th grade basketball teams ever being edge-of-your-seat exciting. Surely it was as important a moment as any I’d had previously in my short decade on Earth.
I completed my pre-shot ritual and my eyes locked in on my target: an orange metal ring 15 feet away and 10 feet in the air. That distance was daunting in those days. It would take every ounce of mental and physical skill I possessed to complete my appointed mission successfully. Silence descended on the gym as I brought the ball to my waist.
Then, an anonymous but poignant shot from the stands pierced my concentration…four words spoken so clearly, it was as if my tormentor and I were totally alone:
“Miss it, Noonan, miss.”
Oddly, I don’t remember if I did miss it as my heckler suggested. I don’t recall if I jumped or hurled it flatfooted. All I remember is that I smiled. Even at the age of 10, I knew that was a douchebag thing to do, heckling a 10 year old.I also smiled because it was funny as hell. Those words didn’t rattle me; they didn’t anger me.
I do hold onto them, though.
As I’ve grown older those words ring out in my mind still. They aren’t lurking within the recesses of my brain as part of some deep-seated confidence problem however. They are there to remind me to follow through. To get it done. To make it. To never stop. Damn it, Noonan…Don’t miss. There’s a lot to see. There’s a lot to do.
Don’t. Miss. It.
Are you coming?
Mike Noonan has worked in radio since the early 90s in programming, production, sales, on-air, and as a voice talent in places like Chicago (WBBM-AM, WLUP, WUSN), Aurora (WKKD-FM/AM), Joliet (WLLI), Bloomington (WBWN), and Peoria (WMBD-AM). In 2004 he joined Matt DuBiel in co-founding the radio programming and syndication company Broadcast Barter Radio Networks, a division of New Paradigm (NPE). NPE has ecommerce, affiliate and emarketing, and direct response marketing interests. NPE also consults and transacts in joint ventures with brands and companies on the local and regional level throughout Chicagoland as well as some brands with national and international footprints. Mike lives in west suburban Chicago with his wife and four children. They think he’s wavy gravy but he insists he’s a pretty cool dude. Yes, he can make a free-throw. 4 out of 10 on most days, in fact. Hecklers be damned.