What is it about hockey announcers that are so bizarre? Earlier this year there was Howie Rose and his dissing of the Islanders and incredibly awkward on-air apology, there's Don Cherry (just re-signed by CBC in Canada) and his crazy suits and crazier opinions, Randy Moller and his incredible pop culture references, and then there's the craziness of guys like Jack Edwards. However, this may be the creme de la creme of bizarre hockey announcer stories.
From Puck Daddy comes the story of Mike Hickey, announcer for the Springfield Junior Blues of the NAHL. Who knew they even existed, right? As the PD article explains, things got a little chippy in a game between the Jr. Blues and the Topeka Roadrunners. That's where things only begin to get interesting. Hickey became enraged with some of the tactics of the Roadrunners and unleashed these gems during his broadcast (unfortunately no video/audio)...
"In the middle! With the long hair! Jerk! Greasy little punk!"
"Oh, c'mon, you can't hold! [Silence] Oh, boy. That's one way to get around him: Hold your opponent until your teammate can get by. This game is deteriorating into a love-fest. Typical Topeka game. Let's go Blues."
"We got another period of this. And with Topeka's history, it's only going to get worse.
"They're disgusting. You heard it here first. They're disgusting. But the Junior Blues will take care of business, I gar-run-tee."
Even at the Junior Hockey level, crimes against blatant announcing homerism are noticed quickly. Apparently, Hickey and the Jr. Blues got plenty of complaints from Topeka fans about being referred to as disgusting. Hickey then took the remarkable step of suspending himself from broadcasting for his comments during the game! Maybe that's how things work in minor league hockey, can't say that I'm an expert. I don't recall a broadcaster at any level suspending himself for homeristic comments made during a broadcast (yes, I might have made up a word), but hopefully this sets a trend throughout sports broadcasting. When watching your team play in a road/neutral game, there can be nothing more annoying than an announcer who is an insufferable homer. Sure, Hickey's comments were probably out of line, but it's a noble action to suspend yourself and realize when your homerism goes too far. Then again, maybe at 67, Hickey should have known where the line was drawn in the first place.
What do you think, do you like your home team's announcers to play the aggressive homer card? Or, do you prefer the straight down the middle perspective with a tiny slant towards the home team? Let us know in the discussion below and the poll on the main page. At least this story gives me an excuse to the most entertaining bit of homerism I have ever seen!