Yesterday during the Sports Exchange I got a phone call from a man that I have talked to off the air several times. He called me years ago when I started to do the show by myself, he was giving me words of encouragement and telling me that he listens all the time and that he will for sure keep on listening. I thanked him told him I appreciated him and his support for the show, I asked him what his name was and he wouldn't tell me, he just said to call him "the anonymous caller", so that is what I have been calling him ever since.
Over the last few years he has been calling me off and on. About 2 years ago he called me and he sounded really rough, he was telling me that he was going through some big health problems and that the doctors can't do a lot more for him. He said that he is going to keep listening to the show and that it helps him get through his day looking forward to it. I asked him again, if I could have his name or if he would tell me who he was, again he didn't tell me and he said that he just wanted to be known as the anonymous caller. So I respected his wishes and didn't push it anymore.
About a month ago I had the honor of talking to Jason Church, he is a former UW-L fullback and an army ranger that lost his legs fighting for our freedom. After that interview (which I will be re-airing sometime during the holiday season) I got another call from the anonymous caller, and he told me a little more about his life, he had told me that he too was a veteran and that he is very proud of his service and he thanked me for supporting the military, and I thanked him for his service and what he had done. I kept hoping to get more information about him and find out more about his life, and why he insists on just calling me off the air and never calls me to join the discussion that he talks about enjoying so much, still nothing.
So that brings us to yesterday, yesterday I got another call from the anonymous caller, only this time it wasn't before or after the show, it was on the air, and while he sounded ill before. Yesterday was different, his call had a lot of the same things in it that he has told me off the air, he mentioned callers by name saying how much he appreciated the dialogue that goes on and their opinions on sports. I can honestly say that I have never talked about sports to this caller one time, it is always about life and, frankly, stuff that is much more important than sports in my mind. I still don't know who he is, I don't know that I will ever know who he is, I am not even sure that it matters if I ever know who he is. To me he is more than "just a caller", he is a symbol and an example of how we should treat each other. It was very appropriate that he called and was on the air for the first time during this time of year, a time where we are supposed to be putting others first and where giving is more important than receiving . All he wanted to do was GIVE words of encouragement and thanks, and he wanted nothing in return, not even to be known. I don't know his health condition, but it didn't sound good. I am hoping 5 years from now I am still getting random calls from "the anonymous caller".