Like many people, I woke up to an alarm on Monday dreading the upcoming work week. Another 40+ hours, sitting in the same room, working on the same laptop, blindly asking co-workers, “How was your weekend” or “Do anything fun” over a zoom meeting you don’t want to be on. Looking to procrastinate as any millennial would, I took to Twitter to spend my last moments of “freedom” for the morning. I was blindsided by the news. Account after account announcing that Doc Emrick was retiring from his hockey play-by-play duties at NBC.
I did not know Doc personally and had never gotten to meet him, but like many fans who enjoy his broadcasts, I felt like I did. He had a unique way of calling games with so much enthusiasm that even if you were watching alone on your couch, it felt like you were with a friend. Sure, a clumsy slapshot from the point would sometimes garner the same excitement as a toe-drag around a defender leading to a breakaway, but that’s what made his games great…everything was exciting. That never-ending excitement kept the blowouts interesting and made your two-hole pucker during the tight contests every time the puck crossed either blue line.
He has been the undisputed voice of hockey for the better part of my life and has a longer hockey history than most NHL franchises. Entering the booth when there were just 14 teams in the league, it’s grown to 32 while his voice has called out many historical moments. He’s been a part of games from Orr to Oshie, and seen the game evolve from a largely physical spectacle to a blur of speed and skill. When you think of playoff hockey, even if it’s hard to do as a Wild fan, I’ll bet it’s narrated in Doc’s voice.
I’m over 1,500 characters into this blog and just now realizing that this sounds like a eulogy for a man that is very much still alive. All this is to say that I appreciate everything Doc has done for the game of hockey and that it will not be the same without him. In his final move as a true professional and class-act, he put together a farewell video that can summarize everything I’ve rambled on about to this point and make you ask who’s cutting the damn onions.
I’ve been hit by cars three times, which is an indication of how stubborn I am.
I write about everything across the board, but focus on Hockey and the pain that is Minnesota sports.
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