At the Top
Mike Emrick has been an inspiration of mine, and the icon of which I have wished to aspire to ever since I started pursuing this crazy dream that I hold. I’m sure there are thousands of people out there a bit like him, including me. Difference is, they want to broadcast anything. I want to be like Mike Emrick. I want hockey, and nothing else.
Today, the 65-year-old Michigan native bid his farewells to the Devils and the MSG Network, and has decided to put all of his efforts at the top of the hockey food chain with NBC and Versus. He has made it exclusively to the top. He is “the man”. Not that he particularly wasn’t “the man” before, he just is now more than ever.
On top of being the voice of hockey that people will miss desperately when he’s gone, he is one of those people that everyone should strive to be. Some broadcasters lose their sense of class and moral once they reach the top. Emrick is an example of one that retained his class. I have seen a lot of broadcaster hate, especially in the past couple of weeks. Doc isn’t one you should hate.
I don’t care if you think his voice is annoying, I don’t care if you think his anecdotes mean nothing. He spends countless hours going through his hockey encyclopedia mind trying to teach the audience something they never knew while watching the best game on earth.
On an episode of the NHL Network show “Voices”, Dave Strader said that Emrick personally mailed a packet of 100 pages of notes to Strader’s hotel in Chicago for the Winter Classic. On top of that, his expansive vocabulary puts a stamp on his brand of game. It’s infectious. You know it’s a big game. No play will ever be as artfully and yet culturally spoken as he would describe it in the biggest moments.
I personally spoke to FOX Sports broadcaster Kenny Albert last week–he raved about Emrick by telling all of the Sports Broadcasting Campers this: listen to him intently. You will learn how to broadcast well from him. I’d like to say I’ve learned quite a bit.
It’s my dream that one day I could have some sort of correspondence with the man who sits at the top. Doc spent years of hard work while digging in the trenches of the minors. It’s a lesson that many broadcasters and many people could take from him. “Hard work builds character”, I was always told.
I know I won’t be applying for any of the NHL broadcasting jobs that are popping up left and right this summer. I’m still in college, and I want to finish what I started. I also want to start at the bottom just to build the character I’ll need to be like Mike.
Doc, I will drink to you and your success tonight. You deserve every bit of praise you garner. If I knew a way to get this to you, I would. For now, it stays here.
Congratulations on making it to the top.