When I look back at reasons I was a Chicago Blackhawks fan outside of just growing up in the south suburbs, one of the biggest reasons has to be the way Pat Foley described the action night in and night out.
The phrase BANNERMANNNNNNNN gets overblown sometimes when it comes to Pat Foley, but it is the way I was introduced to Chicago Blackhawks hockey.
Before the days when every game was on TV, and you had to have SportsVision to watch the Chicago Blackhawks road games, the only way to get to know what the Blackhawks were doing was on the radio. Pat Foley was the voice on the other end of the radio from Chicago Stadium. For kids today, this is just a crazy idea of no TV or live streaming, but that’s how I got to know Denis Savard and Murray Bannerman.
When you look back at some of the best Pat Foley calls, it’s pure excitement about doing his job and doing it well. Of course I was very naive when it came to announcers, and I didn’t understand why Gary Thorne did the Stanley Cup Final games when I thought Foley was the best around.
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I still believe that Foley is at his best when it’s a rivalry, there is a lot of hitting, and there are some real NHL fights! You almost feel like he missed his calling and should have been a fight announcer for HBO.
The Chicago Blackhawks let Foley go, but luckily Rocky Wirtz knew the mistake his father made and put Foley back in the booth shortly after he took charge of the organization.
Of course, since he’s returned the Chicago Blackhawks have won 3 Stanley Cups, but sadly he has been behind the mike to call any of the championships. He has made some great calls early in the playoffs with this call of the Toews OT goal in St. Louis being one of his best.
Of course these days sometimes he gets a little too carried away with his tree turdy tree and soft serve ice cream, but he’s a Hall of Famer and I’m glad I grew up listening to him call games!
What are your memories of Pat Foley behind the mike?
Only 25 more days until the season kicks off from the United Center!