Green Bay Phoenix radio play-by-play man Matt Menzl can’t wait for tonight’s championship game against Wright State. Menzl is figuring by that time, things might be back to semi-normal.
Menzl was on the headsets for last nights 99-92 thriller that saw the four-seeded Green Bay Phoenix prevail in overtime over the one-seeded Valparaiso Crusaders.
After a questionable call by referee Pat Adams in the second half last night, Adams kicked Menzl out of the game. Menzl said it was a misunderstanding gone wrong.
Menzl said Adams thought he was waving him off after a call went against the Phoenix. “I talk with my hands,” Menzl said. “I was trying to describe that we had two guys fighting for the ball, and he took it as I waved him off, like saying that’s a horrible call. “At first he gave me a warning. Then two seconds later said, ‘I want this guy removed and I won’t start the game until he gets removed.'”
Menzl, who works games on the road by himself, handed the headsets to the Oakland play-by-play announcer who was there getting ready for the next game. Menzl went into the tunnel and explained the situation to Green Bay Athletic Director Mary Ellen Gillespie and Horizon League spokesman Bill Potter.
Potter told Menzl to go back and resume his duties and that he would deal with it.
Menzl’s world has since been turned upside down. He told me he didn’t sleep at all last night and has done nothing but field calls for interviews from radio stations and newspapers around the state of Wisconsin and beyond.
Menzl told me the feedback has been mostly positive, but he’s trying to avoid social media for a short time.
For Menzl, it’s time to prepare for tonight’s Horizon League Championship game between Green Bay and Wright State. Matt told me he just wants tonight to be about the game and the players, because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
The winner tonight, gets the Horizon League’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, something that hasn’t happened for the Phoenix in twenty years.