Posts Tagged Mike “Doc” Emrick
Last night, during NBCSN’s pregame coverage of Game 2, NHL on NBC Play-by-Play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick and Inside the Glass analyst Pierre McGuire took a visit to Pittsburgh’s Strip District and visited the icon of Pittsburgh food: Primanti Bros. Opened in 1933, this restaurant, home to the famous stuffed sandwich, has fed a lot of native Yinzers and visitors alike for over eight decades. The stuffed sandwich concept began when truckers wanted a meal on the go. And so, sandwiches come in all sizes, but all come with fries, vinaigrette slaw, and tomato slices between the two slices of Italian bread. In the clip below, Doc and Pierre have their unique take on the Pittsburgh icon:
It’s officially the offseason, which means hockey has taken a backseat to vacation and baseball. Now just before Major League Baseball breaks for the All-Star Game in San Diego, the Chicago Cubs take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three-game series between these NL Central rivals at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. If you’re not from Chicago or Pittsburgh, you’re going to get a treat. Back in March, NHL on NBC main play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick took a break from calling hockey to call Pirates Spring Training games. Well, on July 8, MLB Network is gonna let the voice of hockey in the United States and life-long Pirates fan call a game with NBC Sports host/MLB Network play-by-play announcer Bob Costas. (The reason I wrote “if you’re not from Chicago or Pittsburgh” is because blackout restrictions DO apply for the Friday night game) Here’s a few quotes from The New York Times on the upcoming telecast:
“I just want to make sure that what I do is at least MLB Network level. Maybe the bottom of the bar they set, but I want to be halfway professional.” – Mike Emrick
“He’s a lifelong baseball fan and follows the Pirates so closely, he’s not going to be asking, ‘Which one is Andrew McCutchen?’ And he’s an obsessive preparer.” – Bob Costas
“I don’t have a home run call. Whatever happens, happens.” – Mike Emrick
For more information about the upcoming broadcast, check out this article from Awful Announcing blogger Ken Fang.
UPDATE: Here’s the best of Doc Emrick calling the Cubs-Pirates game: http://www.mlb.com/video/v912623983
We know NHL on NBC lead play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick is good at calling hockey games. But he did call other sports, like the NFL in the early 1990s, water polo at the Olympics, and even figure skating during the 2012-13 NHL lockout. Now Doc gets his hand to call something different: call selected Spring Training games for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It’s no surprise he loves the Pittsburgh Pirates, but surprisingly, the 2008 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award has called a baseball game only once, while he was in college at Kent State. To prepare for this, Doc has spent the last few weeks at the Pirates’ Spring Training home in Bradenton, Florida, getting to know the team, and calling a simulated game with Root Sports Pittsburgh lead announcer Greg Brown. Take it from NHL/PBC on NBC/NFL/MLB on FOX play-by-play announcer Kenny Albert, who filled in for Doc calling NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry games the last few weeks: transitioning from sport to sport is not that easy. The NHL is fast-paced, whereas MLB is much slower than the NHL and usually has filler-material between pitches and at-bats. And that’s where Doc fits in. Not only is he a great play-by-play announcer, but a great storyteller. He talked about the time former Pirates closer Kent Tekulve dropped the puck at a Penguins game just days after he had heart surgery. So in the words of Greg Brown, clear the deck — Doc is coming.
Over the summer, I talked about how hockey fans in the United States got their “hockey fix” during the Olympics by listening to NHL on NBC play-by-play announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick call water polo matches. Well, during the NHL lockout, the “voice of hockey” had a lot of time on his hands. Besides calling the occasional college hockey game for NBC Sports Network, Doc did something different in October. He called the 2012 Hilton HHonors Skate America, an ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating event, for NBC. Here’s a sample of Doc calling the free dance of 2010 Olympic Silver Medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White:
Well, since the Pro Bowl is gonna be held on January 27, and there’s no NHL on NBC Game of the Week that week, Doc will call the 2013 Prudential U.S. Figure Skating Championships alongside Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic, and Tracy Wilson live on NBC that weekend from the CenturyLink Center in Omaha, Nebraska. There’s no waffleboarding in figure skating, but there is careening in a triple axel or a driiiive on a quad toe loop. Hey, it’s not like the worlds of hockey and figure skating come crashing together constantly. Look: in Canada the show “Battle of the Blades” was once a big primetime hit, and Barb Underhill also teaches hockey players to skate better. Still, on that weekend, you just might see how versatile Doc Emrick’s voice is outside of the hockey rink.
3000+ games called, 11 Stanley Cup Finals, 6 Winter Olympics, 2 World Cups, a recipient of the Hockey Hall of Fame’s Foster Hewitt Memorial award and the first broadcaster to be inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame. There are a lot of achievements in the career of the legendary Mike “Doc” Emrick, but with nothing to do until October, the folks at NBC Sports Group asked Doc to do something he has done only one other time in his career: call water polo matches at the Olympic Games in London this summer. In my opinion, this is better than rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
You see, water polo’s like hockey, except you trade in all of your equipment in for a Speedo. And instead of 60 minutes of intense action in a 200′ x 95′ rink, it’s 32 minutes of intense action inside a 30m × 20m pool. There are some similarities that water polo and hockey share. Fo rexample, if a major foul is occurred, the violating team is sent off for a “man down” situation. Their version of a power play lasts as long as a hockey shift: 20 seconds. And if a major foul is occurred within the 5m zone, a penalty shot is awarded. But most importantly the one thing water polo and hockey have in common is that some Doc-isms can be used in water polo, such as “jostling the ball into the corner” or the ball “knifed away” from the offensive zone, and my personal favorite: “Hit the post with the shot!”
And why not? Both the U.S. men’s and women’s water polo team are legit contenders in the Olympic tournament. The men’s team, led by head coach Terry Schroeder and star players Tony Azevedo and Merrill Moses, are trying to unseat the 3-time and defending Olympic champions from Hungary. The women’s team, led by head coach Adam Krikorian and star players Jessica Steffens and Brenda Villa, are trying keep the trend of winning an Olympic Medal going. They are the only nation to medal at every Olympics since women’s water polo was introduced in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
As for the remainder of the NHL on NBC staff, the only people who get the summer off is lead analyst Eddie Olczyk, #2 analyst Brian Engblom, studio analyst Mike Milbury, studio analyst Keith Jones, and studio analyst Mike Keenan. Besides Doc calling water polo, other NHL on NBC staffers will work the London Olympics for the NBC Sports Group. NHL on NBC studio host Liam McHugh will host Olympic coverage on NBC Sports Network alongside Access Hollywood co-host Michelle Beadle and MSNBC’s Willie Geist. NHL on NBC‘s #2 play-by-play announcer, Dave Strader, will call games with NBC Sports NBA analyst Donny Marshall and ESPN women’s college basketball analyst Carolyn Peck. And for once, “Inside the Glass” analyst Pierre McGuire won’t report from between the benches, but instead contribute from the NBC SportsDesk.
I know it won’t be long before the new hockey season begins, but at least for the time being, we can only imagine and watch as history is being made in the capital of the British Commonwealth.