Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Why I Love Hockey - Part 2

Didn't think I was going to make it today, did you? Well, I have 24 minutes left in Wednesday so there!

Why I Love Hockey #2 - Rick Jeanneret
I grew up in Alabama - I'm really not going to mention that every single post, I promise - before the NHL was really in the south so when I moved to Buffalo after marrying my Buffalo boy, I had zero hockey knowledge. While I did love the scrappy little team we had at the time, I absolutely believe that part of the reason I fell in love with hockey is because of the incomparable Rick Jeanneret. He's very old-school in how much play-by-play he does, but I've never heard anyone else build drama and capture the emotion of a game the way he does. Listening to him and Jim Lorenz, I picked up the nuances of the sport - the way many goals develop long before the puck is shot, what part each player plays on the ice, how a guy who didn't show up on the scoresheet can be the most important guy in a game. I got lucky. If I watched my first NHL game on Versus, I'm not sure the love affair would've happened so fast because I swear, half the time those guys sound like they're not even watching the game in front of them. Jeanneret is excitable, enthusiastic, and extremely colorful. He has famous calls of big goals - "May Day! May Day! May Day!" and "Now do you believe? Now do you believe? These guys are good! Scaaary good!" just to cite a couple - but he can also turn a pretty plain goal in the middle of the regular season into a great call. My favorites this season - both involving Paul "Goose" Gaustad - were "The Goose is really honking now!" and "If you're out and about, give a honk for the Goose!" Does he get more excited about Sabres' goals than opponents' goals? Well, duh. He's the Sabres announcer! But I don't buy the argument that Jeanneret and Lorenz are homers. They will absolutely point out when the opposition is outplaying Buffalo and they will absolutely call the Sabres out when they're lacking. I clearly recall Lorenz using many colorful adjectives to describe our powerplay throughout the season - terrible, horrible, and atrocious being among them. There have been a few nights lately when Rick has gotten a little off-track and I'm sure retirement is coming soon... But hockey in Buffalo - heck, hockey as a whole - just won't be the same without him.

Something About Me #2
I'm a classroom aide at a day treatment program for emotionally disturbed kids. I work with 6th graders. Despite my complaints about it and numerous threats to leave, I've been there for five years now and don't really have any plans to go anywhere else. It is, as they say, tough but rewarding and I adore my tough, sad, funny, heart-broken, hopeful kids, most of whom have already been through hell. My second job - yes, I am a fool - is cashiering at a local supermarket where my shining moment was - here's where it all ties together, folks! - cashing out Jim Lorenz. Unfortunately, it was the express lane and by the time I decided I was going to say something to him, the transaction was completed so all I got out was, "Have a good night, Mr. Lorenz." But he was very pleasant and friendly and that made me happy. He bought asparagus and celery and now every time I see him on TV, I think of asparagus.


Schnookie said...

Oh my God! Because of that asparagus, Jim Lorenz's pee smells funny! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

When we choose which secondary (and tertiary and quarternary) teams we're going to watch and tivo along with the Devils, we more often than not pick them based on the quality of their broadcast team. I could never get behind the regular-season Ducks, for example, because their announcers are insipid idiots. So it's no coincidence that the Sabres were our second-favorite team this year -- RJ is our second-fave play-by-play guy (after Doc, of course)!

Meg said...

Thanks to you, I too will now think of asparagus whenever I see Jim Lorenz. I'm rather fond of asparagus though so I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.

KMS2 said...

I could never get behind the regular-season Ducks, for example, because their announcers are insipid idiots.

Damn straight!! Whenever the Kings play in Anaheim, I cringe because I have to listen to their announcers. Once I even muted the tv and put on the Kings radio but the static was kind of annoying...

Heather B. said...

Schnookie, that was not an image of Jim Lorenz that I needed but thanks for your input! I'm really going to have to find a way to catch Doc doing a Devils game some day because I have to admit, I don't usually enjoy him on Versus and I have a hard time imagining him NEAR Rick Jeanneret.

Meg, I'm sure Jim would agree that there are worse things to relate to him than asparagus. Maybe.