Hockey from the Blind Side, Our First Show

Let me first start this off by thanking Gary for inviting me along to join him on the radio show for Sports Radio New York. I have done podcasting for the last few years, but this was something entirely different and even more exciting. I really couldn’t even fathom it being “real” until I was sitting in the booth with Gary and we were going live.

If anyone had told me just a few years ago that I’d be writing on a hockey blog and also helping to host a live sports radio show, I would have thought them insane. Then again, I still can’t believe that I do two podcasts related to my business which are heard all over the world. A lot of this has been surreal stuff for sure. In particular, however, Sunday night was probably the most unbelievable adventure I have started over the last several years.

Without a doubt, , our first show was very much like an out of body experience for me. Particularly when we got to speak to Jiggs McDonald. Having heard him as the voice of the New York Islanders throughout the cup years and for many years after that, I felt like I was an observer to myself. I automatically found myself wanting to just sit back and listen to him speak as if I was listening to one of the many games I heard in the past with his play by play sounding like an old friend.

I had read material written by Brad Kurtzberg, and had been familiar with his name. It was, though, amazing to speak to a guy who knows so much about the game of hockey and who can present his thoughts so clearly and with enthusiasm. It is even more rewarding when I found that many of my own opinions and thoughts on the questions we asked him were validated by his responses.As with Gary, when Jiggs came onto the air with us, it calmed my nerves entirely. Like I said, it was hearing the voice of an old friend, and I had to fight the temptation to just …. Listen. His insights are just as accurate and amazing as ever, and I found his thoughts about the current Islanders and the job Garth Snow is doing to have been impressive. The man still keeps his finger on the pulse of this hockey team, folks, and I was not exaggerating or such when I told him how much of an honor it was to speak to him.

Yes, it is no small thing to say that he was my “eyes” for the game of hockey for many years, as was Barry Landers. Without them, I would have never gotten to understand the game or come to appreciate and Know the sport so well. They, in fact, helped me gain the excitement and love that I have for the game of hockey and the New York Islanders, and are probably a big part of the reason why I am here now writing on this blog.

It was also an honor to have spoken to Brad as well. This is a guy who knows the game of hockey. I was very interested in hearing his thoughts about realignment and the off season. It is one thing to have read his work, but to ask questions and receive his opinions was quite rewarding. I would highly recommend looking him up and reading his contributions.

Here are a few “blind observations” that I have taken from the show and the interviews we were able to do:

• Again, I cannot aptly express my gratitude to Gary for asking me to join him. We may have faces for radio, but in listening to the recording of the show, I think we worked extremely well as a team. It’s hard to believe that we have never done a show together before.

• My thanks to Rob and WGBB, as well as our engineer, Brian. I think this is going to be an amazing experience as time goes on.

• JT as the captain? I am in full agreement with Jiggs. The Islanders are handling the process quite admirably. Let the boys vote on who should wear the C, but I believe JT will be the man.

• Looking at what the Isles have lost and gained during the off season, I agree with Jiggs in that the additions out weight the subtractions in the overall picture.

• Gary and I have discussed how great of a job Garth Snow has done as GM of the Islanders and how he is completely overlooked by the NHL “experts”. It was interesting to hear Jiggs talk about that lack of respect, and point out the moves Garth has made and how he has patiently built the current team.

• Brad’s assessment of how the three local teams have done in the off season is pretty much along the lines of my thinking. However, hearing it from a guy who knows the game so well only made me happier to be on the same page as him.

• Some may not like his opinion about the outdoor games and they did seem to conflict with how Jiggs feels about the outdoor venues. To be honest, I am up in the air about that myself. I really want to see how the NHL handles these games and how they are received by the fans before my jury comes back. I will say, though, that Brad’s comparison of the idea being like “chocolate” in that too much isn’t good for you is something that concerns me about the value of the Winter Classic.

Well, as Gary said, our first show is in the books. I am very much looking forward to the next one on September 8. I really hope our readers will take the time to listen to us.

You can follow me on Twitter, @hockeyblindside

This article has 1 Comment

  1. John – I could not have imagined how this show would have worked, if you were not involved. If there was one thing your brother-in-law did good, was to get us to meet. I am proud to not only have you as a friend, but my co-pilot on this venture called WGBB. Cheers!

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