Wes Offerman works in NDSU's sports information office. We have never met in person, but I saw him on the national television broadcast of our men's basketball game in the NCAA tournament. Of all things, there was a clip with Wes, in his nice work clothes, dunking a basketball during warm up with the team. In addition to my awe at anyone tall and coordinated, I was thrilled that one of the behind-the-scenes guys got some air play. Then I heard he'd written a tweet that got a lot of attention, a lovely, apt message, sent a second before the end of the historic game, in which our team won our first ever national tournament game: We'll gladly be your Cinderella, America.
In thinking about how to cover the game and all that it meant to us in terms of wild enjoyment for sports fans and exponentially greater name recognition to lots of new people around the country, I thought of Wes. I love a good back story, so I asked him to write about his experiences throughout the weekend, the big exhilarating win on a Thursday followed all too soon by a painful loss on Saturday, in Spokane, Wash. I specifically mentioned the two things I knew, the dunk and the tweet. Sure, he says. I could probably do something. That low-key response was my first clue. I tried not to scare this nice young man who'd never heard of me until I called with this request with an overly tight deadline, but it was a pretty short time frame. But dang if he didn't finish it ahead of schedule.
In addition to beating the deadline, he sends a note that says, I tried something a little different from what we talked about, I hope you understand.
So read it, please. You'll see why I'm so impressed with this guy. Who gets a chance to tell about their own moment in the sun and passes it up? How great is it that he's working with us. I look forward to meeting him in person very soon.