Especially when the option for doing the later still isn’t even an option.
Emrick’s last call of an NHL game was proclaiming the Kings as the Stanley Cup champions last June, but all he’s had on his schedule since are NCAA games for the NBC Sports Network. That continues Friday night at 4:30 p.m. when the Hockey Hall of Famer finds himself in Omaha, Neb., joined by Pierre McGwire to do No. 13 Nebraska-Omaha vs. Colorado College.
Since the NHL lockout began months ago, Emrick has gotten around the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Association, the Hockey East Association and games involving Notre Dame and the University of Denver – hearing school bands playing fight songs and seeing cheerleaders in attendance that he’d otherwise miss in an NHL arena.
“I’ve enjoyed the college experience a lot – I just like any kind of hockey,” said Emrick, a 64-year-old waiting to call his 30th season of NHL play after receiving a Ph.D. in communications from Bowling Green in 1976, thus earning the nickname “Doc.”
“I’m waiting like everyone else on the NHL, but in the meantime you get to see some players who down the road that I expect I’ll get to see someday in the NHL.”
Emrick says prepping for a game is just as enjoyable for him as calling it, so he’s apt to start reciting new facts he’s come across – stuff he really couldn’t use in an NHL broadcast.
Such as, finding out that when Michigan State played Notre Dame in a hockey game outdoors in South Bend in the ‘20s, Knute Rockne was the tending physician.
“One of the Spartans got a skate in the ankle and bled crazy all over the place, so it was Rockne who took care of him,” said Emrick.
A Boston College-Boston University game this year led him to learn “that Alexander Graham Bell received one-year salary advance from the Boston College to do research, and during that year, he developed the telephone,” said Emrick..
“I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t been researching some of the college games.”
There’s proof that Emrick isn’t phoning in these assignments.