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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Caseville's Smith on 'The Big Show'

Adams wrote this story for Wednesday's Tribune...
Congrats to Aaron Smith from Caseville.

GRAND RAPIDS — The power of the social media is not to be underestimated.
Because of Facebook, local sports fan, Aaron Smith of Caseville, recently got to experience something few get the chance to.
Smith participated in and won “Huge Show Friday,” resulting in him being able to co-host “The Huge Show,” a statewide sports talk radio show hosted by Bill Simonson. It’s something Simonson does four times a year for his listeners.
The rules of the contest were simple: The person that got the most people to “like” The Huge Show’s Facebook fan page would get the opportunity to be in the studio with Simonson.
Smith, along with Shae Brophy, were the lucky winners of the contest and were on the airwaves last Friday. The duo also received tickets to a Grand Rapids Griffins game and to Sunday’s Purdue at Michigan State contest.
“When I found out that I won, I had no idea what to expect,” said Smith.  “The only for sure thing was I knew I had a four hour drive to Grand Rapids ahead of me. I never thought I would be on for the whole three hour show. I thought maybe an hour at the most.”
“The Huge Show” is one of the highest rated sports shows in Michigan, but Smith said he wasn’t nervous about doing live radio.
“I did not find it intimidating at all,” he said. “I do a lot of public speaking and all I was doing was sitting in a room talking sports with two other guys. The only thing different was that there is a microphone you’re talking into. I never once thought about the thousands of people that were listening to me.”
Added Simonson: “Aaron was fantastic on air. His passion and knowledge made me proud to have a listener like him in my studio.”
While on the air, Simonson took some jabs at Caseville for being a small town, but Smith took it all in stride. 
Simonson also mentioned how Smith’s grandfather, Mike Power, was along for the experience. 
“The most memorable part of doing this for me, believe it or not, was to see how much fun my grandpa was having sitting in the control room listening to the show,” Smith said. “I would constantly look through the glass and see him smiling just as much as I was.”
Although he’s not even 20 yet, Smith has had his fair share of sports experiences.
He worked with the Detroit Shock for three years, but said Friday’s experience ranks right near the top of the list for him.
“I have been fortunate to do a lot of things in my 19-year life,” he said. “As I mentioned on the show, this is right toward the top of my list.  Not many people get an opportunity to host a radio show that thousands of people across the state listen to each and every day.”
Smith hopes his appearance on “The Huge Show” could possibly serve as a springboard to other opportunities in sports.
“I have always wanted to go into sports for as long as I can remember,” he said. “My dream job would be to coach Division I men’s college basketball. A lot of people have told me over the past few years that I would make a great announcer.
“This experience definitely opened my mind to possibly going into the broadcasting field. One of the neat things about this experience is that I was able to experience the radio business firsthand.”
Smith is also drawing inspiration from another Thumb native, Heidi Androl, who now covers professional sports in Los Angeles. 
Androl’s story recently appeared in the Huron Daily Tribune.
“I carry around the article that Mike Bogan wrote in the Huron Daily Tribune a few weeks ago about Heidi Androl,” he said. “In the article she states, ‘I would encourage them (young people of Huron County) to embrace all opportunities with open arms and not be afraid to fail.’ That is exactly what I did. I saw a great opportunity and made the most of it.”
Simonson takes pride in helping his followers take a chance to pursue their goals.
“I think it is my obligation to give others a chance to chase their dreams in radio like I did when I was 19,” he said. 
Leading up to and since the appearance, Smith’s Facebook page has seen a lot of traffic of its own.
“I would like to thank all of my friends, family, and everyone else that helped me win this contest,” he said. “I would like to send a special thanks to Bill Simonson, Brett Muller, and everyone at The Huge Show.” 

Caseville’s Aaron Smith (left) poses with “The Huge Show” host Bill Simonson on Friday. Smith won a Facebook contest and joined Simonson as a co-host.  

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