Wednesday, March 31, 2010

50 years of fabulous announcing!

Sportscaster Dick Enberg had a 50-year run doing March Madness basketball games on TV come to an end last Saturday. He will now
focus more time on announcing San Diego Padres baseball games.
He talks about the evolution of March Madness in this article.

Sadly, one of Enberg's former football partners, NFL Hall of Famer
Merlin Olsen, died earlier this month. Olsen lost his battle with cancer.
This article at CBS News includes a video link with Dick Enberg remembering his courageous and caring colleague.

A Canadian TV fixture for about 50 years is David Mainse. It all started in 1962 with a 15-minute program following the late night news in Pembroke, Ontario. Today, Mainse has seen Crossroads grow into an international ministry with a 143,000 square foot state-of-the-art television production facility called "The Crossroads Centre" in Burlington. David could not have done this without you, so he wants to personally say "Thank You" at one of his "town hall style" meetings to be held in over 100 Canadian communities during 2010 and 2011. The schedule is here.

Thank you for the memories and teaching Merlin, Dick and David!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

More Motown memories and March Madness

Mike 'Doc' Emrick called his 3, 000th pro hockey game Monday night
in Detroit! He is a Michigander and the number of pro games that he
has broadcast is about the equivalent of some 36 ½ NHL seasons.
The full story is on the Detroit Red Wings' website.
I have a lot of catching up to Mike to do BUT here is my
latest for future NHL'ers:

Fans here in Kelowna indeed went nuts for the Wings last week:
They are on a roll too having won five of their last six games while our province's team, the Vancouver Canucks, have lost three of four - including to Detroit in overtime on Saturday, 4-3.

March Madness basketball resumes tomorrow with the Sweet Sixteen. There were 48 games last week between Thursday and Sunday. I pointed out in my last post that 14 is a fabulous number! But there was only one game in those 48 that was decided by exactly 14 points: the Ohio Bobcats (ranked 14th in the Midwest region) shocked #3 ranked Georgetown, 97-83, for their first tournament win in 27 years. I picked the underdog Washington Huskies to advance to the Sweet 16 tomorrow against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Huskies' streak may come to an end but as I watch the 12 games this weekend, I'm hoping more games are decided by exactly 14 points. I know this is more common in football...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

14 is a fabulous number!

Today is March 14th so I want to point out some great 14's.
14 gold medals for Canada at the Winter Olympics!
NO nation has ever done better than that standard. Close - but no cigar, winning 13 gold in 2002 was Norway while the Soviet Union did that as well in 1976. 12 gold medals were won a couple of times by Germany - once in 2002 and four years earlier in 1998.

My son Jordan is 14 - but in 15 days he turns 15. We enjoyed the BCHL playoff game last night between the Westside Warriors and Penticton Vees. Westside won a thriller in overtime, 4-3, to tie the playoff series at 2 games each. Number 14 for the Warriors is Kyle Singleton while Penticton's #14 is Alex Szczechura. He scored a goal Saturday night and was born in Wayne Gretzky's hometown of Brantford, Ontario. Szczechura has committed to playing Division One hockey next season at Ohio State.
After 14 straight road games, the Vancouver Canucks played Ottawa last night and won easily at GM Place, 5-1. Ottawa managed only 14 shots
on goal. It was an NHL-record 14-game road trip for Vancouver and
the Canucks share a bunch of memories here. More realistically, it was divided into eight- and six-game stretches with a two-week Olympic break sandwiched in between. The Canucks were impressive on the road, going 8-5-1. They have one of the best number 14's in the league:
Alex Burrows got his 31st goal against Ottawa. He was born in Quebec, just like Philadelphia's #14, Ian Laperriere.

14 must be a number of significance in the Czech Republic because four players born there currently wear that number in the NHL. This includes these two 20-goal scorers:
But most of the #14's in the NHL were born in Canada.
Besides Burrows and Laperriere, add these to the list:
  • Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars' rookie (with an impressive 16 goals) and Kelowna Rockets alum 
  • Joffrey Lupul, Anaheim Ducks
  • Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Taylor Pyatt, Phoenix Coyotes
  • Chris Campoli, Ottawa Senators
  • Justin Williams, Los Angeles Kings  
  • Dustin Boyd, Nashville Predators
  • Derek Meech, Detroit Red Wings
  • Trevor Gillies, New York Islanders (31 years old. Five games played in his career)
Other players wearing #14 in the NHL but not born in Canada include:
Sergei Samsonov, Carolina Hurricanes (221 career goals) - born in Moscow
Patrick Davis, New Jersey Devils - born in Michigan
Andrej Meszaros, Tampa Bay Lightning - born in Povazska Bystrica, Slovakia

Friday, March 12, 2010

Motown is coming to K-Town!

Kelowna, BC is hosting the Detroit Red Wings' practices next Wednesday and Thursday. Detroit is taking a three day break in our city between games against Calgary and Edmonton. Admission to each of the 11 AM practices at Prospera Place is by a donation to the Kelowna Community Food Bank.

Detroit hosts Buffalo and Olympic tournament MVP, Ryan Miller, tomorrow night. His brother Drew is on the Red Wings while another Olympic all-star, Brian Rafalski, is on Detroit's defense. The Sabres' Ryan Miller had a mammoth Monday media day!
Check out his busy itinerary here.
He was born not too far from Detroit in East Lansing, Michigan.

Ryan Kesler was another US standout at the Olympics who plays for the Vancouver Canucks. They host Detroit on Saturday, March 20th. He was also born in Michigan - very close to Detroit in Livonia, a city about the same size as Kelowna. Kesler scored in the men's hockey final and has now scored the coveted cover for the NHL 2K11 video game, following in the footsteps of Alexander Ovechkin, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza and Joe Thornton among others. Kesler calls it the "icing on the cake" after his Olympic experience. "Everything just keeps getting better for me," he told The Canadian Press. "I'm very excited."

I am getting excited about cake and icing too...
My birthday is two days away:)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Football, burgers & Sandra Bullock

I hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes footage on my last post!

Strength and conditioning coordinators are the ones that toil
behind the scenes begins this article today at the
Buffalo Bills' website. The same could be said for voiceover
talents like me...anyway, check out the article as it relates
to a Bills tie to "The Blind Side" football movie.

Congratulations to Sandra Bullock, who won the award for Best Actress at the 82nd annual Academy Awards on Sunday for her portrayal of Leigh Anne Tuohy in "The Blind Side." What did she do to celebrate? She had a burger of course. Her hubby, Jesse James, owns the burger joint...they are an odd couple to say the least. Picture and story here.

Friday, March 05, 2010

AMAZING Ice, Camera & Action

Trade Deadline Day has become quite a tradition in the NHL. The TV coverage on three Canadian sports channels is very in depth to say the least - up to eight hours of live coverage. But as the NHL grows in popularity in the U.S., you can thank that gold medal battle between Canada and the U.S.A. last Sunday at the Vancouver Winter Olympics
and the annual NHL New Year's Day "Winter Classics."

Philadelphia and Boston played this year at fabulous Fenway Park.
Buffalo hosts Philly tonight in the NHL but on January 1, 2008 the Sabres hosted the other Pennsylvania team (Pittsburgh) in a "Winter Classic."
"The Making of a Classic" DVD went on sale in September of 2008 with
a portion of the proceeds from it's sale going to the Buffalo Sabres Foundation. A 2 1/2 minute clip with narration from yours truly is below.
The Buffalo Sabres Foundation has a great event coming up on
St. Patrick's Day: Ronan Tynan (who is featured on "The Making of a Classic" DVD) along with special guest Méav. Click here for all the details.

If you would like a copy of "The Making of a Classic" DVD, email me at and I will pass your information along so you can make a contribution to the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

On the MOVE

The famous Trade Deadline Day has passed in the NHL. Lots of players
on the move to primarily improve playoff chances for their new teams.
Wow, I popped some P's there...How about this one?
The Pittsburgh Penguins picked up Ponikarovsky.
That trade took place with Toronto.

Shaw TV's first WHL game since February 10 goes tonight
with Saskatoon (Bryan Cox's town) in Brandon. We have a
new intermission sponsor and here is my upbeat voiceover:

Below is a more moving, heartfelt reading from me. I don't think it will
make you cry...onions might though...I actually just did an audition for an animated segment that talks about imported produce vs. locally grown produce.
Here is the fun "onion audition" script I just tackled.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Do Sportscasters DUMB things down?

Birthday boy Bryan Cox slams sportscasters and I should call the police!
Bryan always offers a different perspective on things...
Click here.

Monday, March 01, 2010

What a SC-ript!

Hockey heaven yesterday at the Olympics!
Canada got gold in an epic overtime battle with the U.S.A.
winning 3-2! "Timing as they say is everything" wrote Eric Duhatschek. Here are all the goals - including Sidney Crosby's game-winner
1:23 seconds into the footage (7:40 seconds into yesterday's overtime period). Way to choreograph that for Canada Mr. Crosby!

It was an amazing Winter Olympics in Vancouver and would have been even if Canada lost in the final game. Also a writer for The Globe and Mail, Christie Blatchford, has a great Canadian perspective in her article,
These Games were everything a human can feel.

Stephanie Ciccarelli (yes, another SC) at linked to a cool commercial starring Sidney Crosby ten days ago. Have a look and listen...closely. By the way, Roll Up the Rim to Win is back at Tim Hortons. In fact, my cup today won me a free coffee tomorrow! There are millions of prizes to be won across North America, including:
• 40 Toyota RAV4s
• 100 $10,000 Cash Prizes
• 1, 000 Toshiba Netbooks
• 25, 000 $100 Tim Cards
and over 31 million food prizes!

But, NO gold medals...

Thanks for choreographing this coffee extravaganza contest Tim Hortons!