MVPs of Shocker Radio alongside each other again after year apart

Sports have always been about having a dynamic duo. The team with the perfect pairing is usually the best team.

Mike Kennedy and Dave Dahl make a dynamic duo of their own, not on the court though, but on the sidelines doing radio broadcasts.

There are not many more distinguishable voices in Kansas radio than Kennedy. For more than three decades, the Wichita Community turned to the “Voice of the Shockers,” Kennedy to follow Wichita State athletics.

Kennedy’s calm and objective style combined with his strong descriptive play-by-play style and Dahl’s ability to relate to his listeners combined with his knowledge of the game formed one of the best broadcasting pairs in Kansas.

Their working relationship has lead to many quality moments that have captivated listeners.

Yet, their chemistry was as good then as it is now, 32 years later.

It started when Kennedy invited Dahl to a Shocker Basketball scrimmage.

Without practicing with one another, they went to the scrimmage with a tape recorder did play-by-play just to see where it went.

It went so well that Kennedy decided that Dahl was the guy he wanted as a partner.

“There was kind of an uncanny feel an unspoken knack from the very beginning, he had a sense of where I was leaving him a little space to jump in to contribute or add something and we’ve done that for years and years,” Kennedy said.

Dahl said, “The chemistry was very enjoyable and Mike seemed comfortable with it also and he said ‘I think I want you to continue on with this’.”

Their love of sports helped form a friendship, but what made their bond unbreakable was their yeoman work ethic. They feel the call of duty to the fans to be accurate.

If Wichita State has a game against a team with foreign-named players, Kennedy would find somebody on campus in the Language Arts Department who could pronounce those names. He would spell all of the names phonetically on the roster so that he and Dahl would pronounce names correctly.

“You have a respect for the game and the players that play the game and that’s Mike Kennedy,” Dahl said. 

And Dahl spends nine hours preparing for a broadcast, crunching statistics and scouting various players. 

“He is always very well prepared and he is very meticulous with the way he goes about things,” Kennedy said.

Their long and memorable partnership includes appearances at six NCAA, two Sweet Sixteen and one Elite tournament games.

But Dahl stepped away from Shocker Radio last year to run for Sedgwick County District Court judge and to avoid his campaign conflicting with his job as a color commentator. 

Dahl felt that being unable to sit next to Kennedy to provide analysis left a significant void in is life. But that didn’t stop him from spending hours preparing for the games— even he knew he wouldn’t be able to call them.

“It becomes part of who you are as a person and it’s more than just a hobby for me, it’s a passion for me,” Dahl said.

Dahl came to the games and sat right behind Kennedy who said it felt weird not having Dahl beside him during the home games.

“After 32 years, it was big time strange not to have Dave involved. It just felt weird,” Kennedy said.

After Dahl submitted a “pretty extensive request” to the Kansas Judicial Ethics Advisory Panel and they gave him permission to resume his radio duties. 

“I really, really enjoy doing the games and I thoroughly enjoy preparing for the games. And just preparing for that first exhibition game, I was euphoric,” Dahl said.

Now Dahl is back to announcing WSU home games with Kennedy. And the job is too rewarding for them to stop any time soon.

“What makes it special are the relationships, when you’re apart of teams that work hard together and do well they kind of consider you part of that and you’re always part of that season and what happened and when you see those guys 20 or 30 years later it is still a special feeling to you,” Kennedy said.