Boston Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards is one of many parties affected by the ongoing NHL lockout. It’s hard to tell what he’s been doing with his time because he uses his Twitter infrequently, but he has been trying to raise money for area charity efforts–efforts that may also be adversely affected by the lockout.
However, as someone who is known for his ability to wax poetic about the ins and outs of hockey–see also his famous or infamous wrapup of the 2011 quarterfinal series against the Montreal Canadiens–the lockout provides Edwards with an opportunity to flex his artistic muscles and tell the NESN audience how he really feels.
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-He mentions the fact that fans are going through tough financial times but still manage to scrape together a way to enjoy the game they love. Those efforts added up to the NHL’s record $3.3 billion profits last season.
-Combining that with the feelings hockey evokes in fans, this is labeled ‘it’ and ‘it’ is something that Edwards says the officials on the league side of things simply do not understand.
-He points out the timeline of events leading up to this lockout: “business as usual in March…record revenue and growth in April, then in July [the owners] doomed the start of the season by asking players to give back 24 percent of their earnings.”
-Acknowledging the fact that the faithful fans will return–something Gary Bettman is fond of saying and framing as the league having the best fans in the world–Edwards raises concern that someone may eventually point out that what happens after the lockout ends justified the work stoppage.
-Edwards is not a fan of that train of thought. “A returning fan is not an endorsement of this act of betrayal,” he said.
He closes by talking up the souls of players and the spirits of fans, traits he finds admirable and wants to share again.
Sometimes Edwards can be a divisive figure. Fans of the Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks probably aren’t his biggest devotees. But in this case, he advocates for the players and fans, not just specifically the Bruins and their fans, by using his soapbox. Considering NESN was just named the ninth most valuable sports business in the world, he’s got a big soapbox.
I just personally wish he’d ended by quoting Edward R. Murrow and saying “good night and good luck.”