The plight of Ball State’s aspiring sportscaster Brian Collins has been mentioned in this space previously (April 21, 2005, December 28, 2005) but it took’s intrepied Mean Gene Wojciechowski to catch up with the young man that launched, well, Scott Van Pelt’s 2nd most memorable public moment (this, of course, being the first).

ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Scott Van Pelt e-mailed Collins and told him, “If this is the worst thing that ever happens to you, life will be good.” And then Van Pelt paid homage to Collins by using the “Boom Goes The Dyanmite” line on the air. He still does on occasion.

Other Ball State students did double takes when they saw Collins on campus. But apparently the chicks didn’t dig his fame or appreciate the brilliance of his ad lib. He got zero dates out of it.

“I’m the, ‘Boom Goes The Dynamite Nerd,’ ” he said.

Nah, I tell him. It was inspired stuff.

“Oh, c’mon,” he said. “It was nerdy.”

Collins is 21 now. He’s finishing up his junior year at Ball State, has a girlfriend, lives off campus with four buddies, and begins an internship this summer at Indianapolis’ WTHR-TV. He’ll be working with the station’s investigative team. Boom goes the hidden camera.

Collins would like you to know he’s doing fine. Better than fine. The sports talk radio stations don’t call anymore, and his last print interview was almost six months ago. But just to be on the safe side, he wouldn’t agree to this interview until he confirmed it was really someone from ESPN.

“You’d be surprised what people would try to do,” he said.

Well put.