Doc Emrick: The Musical

One of the great joys of the Stanley Cup playoffs has been Mike Emrick’s call of them (especially Bruins-Capitals and Rangers-Devils).

From the Boston Globe’s Bob Ryan:

There are many great sports announcers in our midst. But the one whose amazing ability to synthesize the action with graceful use of the mother tongue while providing insight and the requisite amount of emotion in a volatile sport, and who thus stands a bit above the pack, is the irreplaceable Doc Emrick. Hockey is lucky to have him. Truth be told, we all are.

(For dissenting voices, see here.)

Regardless, now come the Finals with Doc in fine fettle, as this New York Times piece (literally) notes:

Hockey’s Highs and Lows From a Maestro of the Mic

They are verbal sprints. Or marathons. Or marathon sprints.

Whatever one calls them, Mike Emrick’s precise, exhilarating, loud and exhausting play-by-play hockey calls are memorable for their accuracy, inventiveness, honest emotion, fluidity and speed.

He has done a few thousand games, starting with the minor league Port Huron Flags in Michigan in the 1970s. If he fears anything, it is the damage a cold can do to his voice, not the effects of frantic action. And he can deliver minutes of unbroken narrative, his tenor rising steeply at the hint of a goal.

They are Emrick’s arias: dramatic tales of passes, shots, checks, crashes into boards, saves, interceptions, goals and line changes accentuated by the sound — “OhhhhHHHHHHH!” — of his internal thermostat rapidly heating up, as if close to exploding. He hits his highest note with variations on a single word: “SCORES!”

And the Times has transcribed one of Emrick’s calls into a musical score:


All that aside, Emrick just loves the game.

You can hear it in every word.

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12 Responses to Doc Emrick: The Musical

  1. Did you write this piece with 100 seconds left in the period?

  2. I can’t find this aria on the NYT site anywhere; do you have a link?

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Sorry, no – I had to go to the New York Times Replica Edition (sub. req.) to get it.

      • I’m a NYT’s subscriber; WTH is the Replica Edition?

        “100 seconds left in the period” is an Emrickism; he often says it with 1:40 to go.

        Larry, if you’d had a lobotomy, would you know? Seriously, though: hockey is kind of a college thing; it’s not for everyone, so don’t worry. The games are on NBC, btw, which is a television network.

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        It’s an electronic version of the newspaper with the ads and all.

        Go to the Times home page, and check down at the bottom of the left-hand column under Subscriptions. Click on Replica Edition and you can sign in with your Times ID.

        Have fun.

  3. Laurence Glavin says:

    In previous posts, I said that you might as well forget discussing NHL playoff games on this blog, because once the Broonz have been eliminated, interest in ice hockey in the Boston area diminishes to the vanishing point. Since I’ve never had a lobotomy, I don’t watch hockey on TV or listen to it on the radio, thus I didn’t know whether this guy was a TV play-by-play guy or a radio p-b-p guy. I had to read one of the links to find out. I guess it wouldn’t make sense to comment on a hockey p-b- guy heard only on radio, because with the Broonz gone, NO BOSTON RADIO STATION IS CARRYING THE GAMES, NOT EVEN 98.5! Here’s the list of radio stations provided by the NHL: (The station listed being the Boston outlet, WTPL, is located in NH, northwest of Manchester. Duh).

  4. Laurence Glavin says:

    If I had watched the opening game on Wednesday instead of Dr. Maddow, I would have been in a distinct minority:

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