By Paul Anthony
There are so many sports announcers in this country and word that it is not funny. There must be at least a million and I am just taking a guess there might be more. But here is the thing in a area where there are so many it hard to be a stand out and if you manage to stand out then you become an legend and Michael “Doc” Emrick. On October 19th 2020 Doc announced his retirement from sports announcing. I didn’t want to believe it at first but it is real and one of the greatest hockey voice you’ll ever hear won’t be calling the great games anymore and things will never be the same.
Doc started back in 1973 calling games for the Port Huron Flags which was a hockey team in Michigan the International Hockey League (IHL). By 1977 he moved on to broadcast games for the American Hockey League (AHL) team The Maine Mariners from 1977 to 1979. Doc moved on once again and became the first voice of the New Jersey Devils which he was the voice from 1982 to 1986 season. At the same time he was also spot announcer for the Philadelphia Flyers from 83 to 86. He also became a studio analyst from 86 to 88. By 1988 he was promoted to be the lead announcer for the Flyers which he stayed there until the end of 1992-1993 season when he went back to New Jersey and served as the Devils lead announcer from 1993 to 2011. make no mistake about Doc was busy even on the national level, he announced games for all the big time networks including CBS, NBC, ABC, TNT, ESPN, Fox, Prism, Fox Sports Net and more of course.
Doc was no rookie to big games, he called 22 Stanley Cup games which is more than any other American Broadcaster in history, 14 NHL All-Star games then 2 World Cup of Hockey games ( 1996 and 2004) and 5 Olympic games (Water Polo games in 2004 and 2012, Hockey games 2006, 2010 and 2014. We know the 2020 season has been annoying because of the Coronavirus he had to do all of his games from home in Michigan. When he did make his announcement he did it on a video and his parting words were ” Things change over 50 years, but much of what I love is unchanged from then to now and into the years ahead. I still get chills seeing the Stanley Cup. I especially love when the horn sounds, and one team has won and another team hasn’t, all hostility can dissolve into the timeless great display of sportsmanship – the handshake line…. I leave you with sincere thanks”.
Now I can say this much I will miss hearing his voice, he was a Pittsburgh Pirate fan and he would help call games from time to time, everybody loved him. I can assume that from time to time he will stop by and call a game or two and when he does, I am sure we will all tune in to hear him call a game. Thank You Doc!!