Off the ice, on the mic

Ferris State Athletics debuts new student and alumni-hosted podcast

What do you get when you cross a Ferris State alum and a current Ferris State athletics intern? A hockey podcast that’s not about hockey.

Instead of average of average recap and hockey talk, the “Off the Ice” podcast focuses on the everyday lives of Ferris State hockey players.

Ferris State alum Brody Keiser and sports communication senior and athletics intern Bethany McKinney debuted the new podcast on both Spotify on Tuesday and Sunny 97.3 FM on Tuesday evening.

Keiser, who graduated in May and joined athletics in July, had begun to think of the podcast even before he was hired.

“It was something that I was considering when I was actually applying for the position,” Keiser said. “When I brought the idea to [associate athletic director] Rob [Bentley] and the hockey coaches, they loved it. So I thought I’d run with it.”

So far, the podcast has featured senior goaltender Logan Stein and junior forward Nick Nardecchia.

While the podcast solely features hockey players, the goal of the podcast goes much deeper than the sport they play.

“The goal is to let people see a different side of them, to listen to the actual people.” McKinney said, “They’re not just the Ferris State hockey team.”

Episodes of “Off the Ice” will air on Sunny 97.3 FM at 6 p.m. throughout the season and then will be released on Spotify the following day.

McKinney has high expectations for the next episodes after releasing the first.

“There’s definitely things that we can improve on,” McKinney said. “That’s to be expected with anything new, just kind of getting into our flow and kind of how we want to structure it. I think we’re gonna work on and kind of fine tune [it].”

McKinney and Keiser both also have high hopes for the podcast to gain more traction among Ferris State hockey fans.

Each episode will allow Bulldog’s fans to learn more about the players outside of their hockey careers, including who they are outside of the sport, what they do when not playing or practicing and some ordinary things like what media they are consuming. The podcast allows for hockey players to be speak longer and more in depth compared to what they would face in a press conference.

While the podcast solely features hockey players, Keiser and McKinney’s goal is far from the sport itself.

“The main goal is obviously to help fans and listeners learn more about our players,” Keiser said. “They might know a lot about who they are on the ice, but we want to help people know who these guys are as people, not just as players.”

With only two episodes out, “Off the Ice” is already showing players in a new light. When it comes to hockey, it’s easy to criticize player’s every move, every missed shot and every failed save, but knowing players on a more personal level certainly will help fans feel more connected to the players as people, not just student-athletes.

Keiser and McKinney’s goal for the podcast is to interview all of the players on the team. The podcasters are aiming for weekly episode releases.