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!!
By Paul Anthony
I have to admit I am missing hockey and with my beloved Penguins already basically set to be in the playoffs before this mess even happen, and with the news that the NHL does have an plan and agreement to resume action, I needed to find another hockey movie to enjoy and another fun sequel came to mind. Of course I am talking about D2: The Mighty Ducks. Which was released in March of 1994 and became a beloved hit with fans and even spawn another sequel. Now sadly I was not able to find an budget for this film but the first film was ten million and it made 50 million for a gross. Part two didn’t do bad either and came close to first films gross and that gross was around 46 million. If I would have to put number on the budget I would say around 12 to 14 million, in any case I do believe it made a decent little profit.
Anyway let’s get to the plot. The film picks up just after the offseason when the Ducks won the State Championship and their coach left to be a minor league hockey player which he was so good that he was just one step away as the announcers would say from being called up to the NHL despite only playing one season. However a dirty player decided to ruin Bombay’s career by busting up his knee which ended his career for good. So he returns home to figure out what to do next and that when a sponsor shows up to recruit him to coach Team USA with some of his Duck players and some new talent around the country. The team heads out to Los Angles California where they begin to work as a team and win games. Slowly fame goes to Bombay’s head and he begins to change the way he acts and coaches the team and when he full out changes, the team gets crushed by Iceland which has become the number 1 favorite to win it all. After losing the game and losing his team Bombay begins to find himself and realizes the only way to win is to be himself and so it begins and team USA returns to their winning ways however they meet Iceland in the finals which goes to a shootout and uniform to spark the ducks to win the shootout and game and the team returns home where they enjoy a camp fire which happens during the credits.
I don’t think this film was bad not at all actually. I think the biggest problem was that it felt like the first film all over again and I think that was the biggest problem. Some elements like the timeline with Bombay’s career didn’t make sense like how was he so ready for the NHL. Some of the cast from the first film are missing without being explained. Then at the same time too many of the Ducks were on the team and not so many were around the country. Overall though it was still a fun family film to enjoy if you and the kids are missing hockey like I am and in the end I am giving this film a B plus for a rating!
By Paul Anthony
Now that the NFL season is over I like to focus on other sports and right now it is hockey because here in Pittsburgh our hockey team is doing very well so in honor of that I wanted to watch a hockey movie and recently I just watched the first film which was called Goon. Now little did I know this movie was out since 2011 and yet I just watched it how crazy then I saw that there was a sequel and I knew I had to watch it and what did I expect? Truth is with any direct to video film you have keep it on a lower standard until you watch it. Now this film was made in 2015 but was released two years later so 6 years in between releases but nevertheless when it is a direct to video film I guess it doesn’t really matter.
I didn’t figure out when this film takes place if it was 6 years later like the release or the next season after the first film it doesn’t make that exactly clear but that is besides the point. Here we have Doug the Thug becoming his team’s captain which is a big honor for an enforcer but it is shortly lived because he gets into a fight with the other team’s goon who just happens to be Doug’s team owner, Cain beats Doug down and wins the bloody fight, which shocks everyone because Doug never loses a fight. Doug just doesn’t just lose the fight he injuries his shoulder which would make his knock out punch with his right hand weaker, this injury forces him to retire because he wouldn’t be the same. At the same time Eve his wife now finds out she is expecting which forces Doug to move on from hockey all together and get a real job as a insurance salesmen which add insult to injury his office is in the basement. Now Cain becomes a member of Doug’s team and captain after the team goes on a long losing streak. Now At first this was working because the team was wining but Cain’s fights also hurt the team and just keeps them a few games out of the playoffs. Doug however kept missing hockey and soon meets up with his old rival Ross the Boss who is basically fighting on skates. Ross agrees to train him using his left hand so he can rejoin the team to help them win. Even though now Cain and Doug would be on the same team for a short moment both get suspended and soon Cain is released from the team which means a rematch would soon happen and this time Doug wins. Doug’s team wins while he watches from the back which he sees that his time is truly done and he lays his stick down and leaves.
I did like the story overall, I do wish they would have explain the time line to help show how important Doug was to the team. The one downside of this movie was Jay’s character who was over the top but besides that it was pretty good. This movie reminded me in the days where fighting was really so important and glad that the game evolve from that point. If you are looking for a good laugh and enjoy hockey this your movie I am giving this film a good 80 percent.
By Paul Anthony
We are in the era of full women rights and rightful so, god made us all equals therefore we should get paid equal. If you are good at what you do you should be paid well regardless if you are an man or woman now it is something different if you just suck at what you do. But we know or some of us know that a company’s revenue is very important because that revenue helps pay for people’s income. Now this is very true for sports leagues. Revenue from fans showing up and buying clothes and jerseys helps keep a sports league in great shape for years to come. Now the part that is fun for Athletes in these leagues is the money they can get with little to no education, sounds like i am being harsh but I am not. Just think you are in debt from college making maybe 50 to 70k starting out. Some of these people make 300K with no debts from college, so when I say I am not trying mean I am really not. that high number Just mention is for men not women sadly, their case is much different, but as they fight for equal pay the truth is they may never get it but who is to blame for that? Well if you are sports fan then look no further then at yourself.
Leagues live on their revenue that is no secret and it comes from the fans, just look at the NFL which makes billions upon billions which they can give their plays millions per year and not think twice about it. I know you heard the saying called the big four leagues which are the biggest leagues in North America in terms of revenue, they are NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL. Then you have two more leagues behind them which are MLS and the CFL. All are of course Men leagues. So how do these leagues make then? NFL makes about 13 billion, MLB makes about 9.5 billion, NBA makes about 5.2 billion, MLS makes .9 billion and CFL makes about .2 billion. Some high numbers right.
Now you may be wondering where do the women leagues stack up against these numbers? truth is they don’t at all. Let’s look at the biggest Woman’s league and that is the WNBA, but they wouldn’t have stuck around had it not been for the NBA giving them money, about 11 million dollars per year for most of its time here just so they can remain a float, now just for a few years only half of the league’s teams reported a profit and that comes with not enough people watching them shine.
This topic become a hot topic thanks to the US Women National team winning the World Cup for the second time and four of the 8 world cups and while the men failed to qualify for the world cup. Now people only seemed to be interested in these world games for National pride rather then being a hardcore fan of the sports because those hardcore fans are far in between Just ask yourself which game would you attend a NBA game or WNBA game and then you’ll understand why they don’t get paid that much.
I would like to say one day this could change but it won’t change until the right action is taken and what is the right action? Well one solution is the men Leagues buy the Women’s leagues and fund them that which could clearly boost the pay for the women but that could also mean less profits for the big four leagues are they willing to accept 12 billion instead of 13 billion, I would say no because they would have already done this. I wish the women Athletes the best of luck and keep fighting for higher pay!
By Paul Anthony
This week we got to crown two team champions from two different leagues and they are both first time champions! That is right the NHL season is over and so is the NBA season. Your champions are the ST. Louis Blues and the Toronto Raptors both are first time champions in franchise history. First before we get started lets say congrats to both teams for winning. The Blues needed 7 games to win and the Raptors needed six games and few injuries to do it but nonetheless became the world champs.
First let’s start with the Blues, very rare you go from being the worse team in a certain month of the season then by the end of season winning it all however they had some good motivation in doing so. The Blues caught the news that they had a young super fan named Laila Anderson who is only 11 years old but sadly is battling a life threatening autoimmune disease, its a disease that only a hand full of children get and it was her wish to see the Blues win the cup and sure enough they fought for her to the end and then the best part was, she was there at game 7 and even went on the ice to touch the cup, so good for her, it is one of those feel good moments that you just don’t get often. Now Boston took the loss and trust me they might be crying but the Boston area sport fans have been spoiled with championships.
With Championships Golden State Warriors have been reigning kings in the NBA, this year has been no different except they had to finish second instead of first. The biggest story to come out of this year finals was the Toronto Raptors fans. the team right now is celebrating the first championship in franchise history with bunch of throw away players but the fans stole the show but not in a good way.
There has been an unwritten rule in sports that you just don’t do and that is cheer at someone who just got injured, now I get you sometimes you can get caught up in the moment after all this was the championship but when Kevin Durant went down you knew something wasn’t right. There was no denying the cheers from crowds were loud when Toronto scored but then there was a pause and when the crowd saw Kevin down they got even louder then when their own team scored. At that moment we didn’t know what injury he had, considering he just came back from a calf injury, many thought he was rushed back but even Kevin said he made the choice to come back, we now know that he actually ruptured his Achilles which for what he does, this alter his career.
In the end this just didn’t look good for anyone and you know it is bad when the players on your team tells you to calm it down, even if they try to deny that, it was clear they were unhappy by there fans. At the end as well this is just a game and we have to understand that and the people that we root for and boo are people as well and Basketball like many other sports are just games. I am sure this black eye on the fan base will be a learning experience in which we will have to wait and see next season!