Every week we ask a community member to share 10 facts about themselves. This week it is St. Joseph resident and University of Illinois Athletics Associate AD Kent Brown.
I pretty much like any sport where a score is kept and a winner and loser is determined. However, if I have to pick one, it would probably be baseball. Some people find baseball moves too slowly, but, to me, the beauty of it is the pace … from almost no movement to everyone on the field moving as fast as they can in the blink of an eye. The tradition of the game, and the fact that the game is basically the same as it was 120 years ago is just something I really enjoy. Now, if MLB would just get rid of the DH.
I’ve been incredibly lucky in my life to have viewed some of the greatest Illini sporting moments in the history of the school. I also have some incredible sport memories from my high school days. Then, watching my children compete, including one helping his team win a state basketball title while at SJO, was just amazing. But, my favorite sports memory was attending Game 5 of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field with my son, Ty, when the Cubs needed a win to keep the series alive. The entire crowd was locked in on every pitch for the entire game. Just an incredible experience to share with my son. I literally waited my entire life to see the Cubs play in, and then win, a World Series.
When I was growing up, my parents and some other families would drag our camper trailers to the Illinois State Fairgrounds and attend the fair for several days. In the early 70s, your fair admittance got you into the grandstand for the music acts and somehow I talked my parents into taking me to the Sonny & Cher Show. It was the top-rated show on television and I thought it was extremely cool to see them in person … at least it seemed that way when I was about 10 years old.
I love a hand-made, grilled cheeseburger with BBQ sauce. And, for some reason my eyes always lock in on meatloaf if it appears on a menu.
It’s been several years, but I’ve been to Europe three times. My favorite city that I have visited is Paris. This history there just drips off every building. Switzerland, however, may be the most beautiful country I’ve visited. Every place you look could be a postcard photo.
I grew up on a farm with parents who enjoyed traveling during the summer after the beans had been walked and before school started, so I was fortunate to visit some great places from the Florida Keys, to Washington D.C. to Northern Minnesota to Montana and all places in between. When I was in junior high, I spent a month in the summer with my brother and his wife, who lived in Bozeman, Montana. We went on a three-day hike and camping trip on the top of a mountain ridge. I still have a limestone rock full of marine fossils that I found at about 10,000 feet from when it was the bottom of a sea and before the mountain range was shoved up.
I grew up on a farm located next to a busy highway (U.S. Rt. 36) near Hammond, so we went through quite a few dogs while living there as they would almost always end up crossing the road for some reason. When I was about 4, my brothers brought home a cocker spaniel dog they had adopted at college at SIU. His name was Rusty. But, alas, Rusty ran away and headed toward my Grandparent’s home in Hammond and was hit on the highway. My next dog was named Ringo, after Ringo Starr, because he had a ring around his eye. I always thought it was a cool name for a dog.
I always knew that I wanted to make a career in sports somehow. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to end up doing, but knew for sure it needed to be involved with sports. At one point, I thought it would be some job in television. I was always drawn toward media who covered sports, and, finally, while in college, was introduced to sports information, or, athletics media relations. I’ve found a career where I get paid to work around sports every day. Amazing.
I wish I had more time to read, but “One Shot at Forever” by Chris Ballard was terrific. It’s about the Macon, Illinois, High School baseball team that made an improbable run to finishing second in the state tournament. Anyone who grew up in a small town would understand each of the characters in the book. Macon is located right next to where many of my cousins grew up in Blue Mound/Boody, so they knew many of the guys. It’s a great story.
I still have every baseball card from when I first started collecting at eight years old. I haven’t added to my collection for many years, but I probably have a couple hundred thousand cards. I also once competed in a slam dunk contest with basketball hall of famer Kevin McHale and didn’t lose. Finally, I hate having our dog, Rosie, sleep on our bed.
You must be logged in to post a comment.