Thursday, March 08, 2007

Tommy Thinking About Calling It A Career

Ed Willes has a nice piece in today's Vancouver Province about Tommy Larscheid and the possibility that he might hang them up after this season.

It's been on his mind for a while now. Tom Larscheid is about to turn 67 and there are days he feels it. There was a time when he had friends in every town in the league. Now, those friends are disappearing and that makes the road a lonely place.

Sure, the juices still flow and he's never lacked for enthusiasm once the puck drops. But after three decades, he's starting to think it's time to let some kid take over the chair next to John Shorthouse.
I suppose this was inevitable. At the end of last season, after Shorty and Tom's last radio broadcast on CKNW, Tommy made a rather emotional farewell on the air. I didn't realize until then just how long Tommy's been in the business.

If he decides to hang them up, it'll be the end of another era in Canucks history. Much like a previous generation of Canucks fans associated with Jim Robson, there are a lot of us that associate with Larscheid. If you are in the group who only watch the games on TV, you are truly missing out.

In his 30 years on the job, Larscheid has come to be associated with the Canucks as much as any of the team's stars.

He is an original, a true Vancouver treasure who, like any great broadcaster, has created a style of his own. That style might not sell in another market. In Vancouver, it's gold.

I mean, who else could sell a line like, 'Bingle, bangle, bongo, that's Roberto Luongo!!!!' Who else could call a game as if he'd bet a large sum of money on the Canucks? Who else could come up with half the things Larscheid comes up with and get away with it because he makes it sound so genuine?
And that's exactly why I like Tommy. He's a fan first and a color man second; he connects with the team's fans like very few do in the business.

He does this by saying exactly how he feels at certain points in the game. When he yells out "bullshit" on air, chances are every other Canuck fan watching the game thought the exact same thing. Same thing when he praises Roberto Luongo and bashes Jan Bulis. He's about as real as it gets and we love him for it.

He really is that excitable. He really is that effusive. There is something intensely likeable about Larscheid -- he's the only man on the planet who could get Todd Bertuzzi to smile consistently -- and that fairly jumps out of the radio. The broadcast booth might hide some things but it will expose a phony in a heartbeat and his audience has always recognized there is nothing contrived about Larscheid.

This is who he is. He isn't afraid to feel things. He celebrates and suffers along with the fans. That is why they connect so deeply.
And when he decides to hang them up, we'll miss him just as much.

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:23 AM


At March 08, 2007 9:31 AM, Blogger Rinslet said...

:( I'll miss his kiddy like laugh and awesomest catch phrases.

At March 08, 2007 9:44 AM, Anonymous superreggie said...

The funny thing is, I think this has been his best "season". He seems to be more Larscheid-like than ever I'm heard him (and I've been listening for years).

I think people take for granted the stress of all the travel these broadcaster folks do. Touring and travelling for work is very stressfull, and after all these years, I'm sure it's taking it's toll. Sometimes we forget, when that voice comes into our livingrooms over the radio, that it's the voice of a 66 year old man staying in some sterile hotel, eating restaurant food for the millionth time. Shaking hands of yet more new people he's never met, and will probably never meet again.

Easy to forget, because he sounds so fresh and inspired. We'll miss you Tommy…

At March 08, 2007 11:56 AM, Blogger Kel said...

Speaking of Jim Robson, there's a blog entry about how the Jim Robson Gondola at GM Place became Team 1040 Gondola. It's a disgrace.


At March 08, 2007 12:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a second I was excited cause I thought you meant Santala... then I remembered that's "Tommi". Dang.


At March 08, 2007 5:29 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

I will most certainly miss him if he does decide to retire after this season !!

He's been with the team longer than I've been a fan,

It will def be a shame to se ehim go!

I'll never forget his comments on jan bulis in the dallas game :)

"he's just a dumb guy - a dumb hockey player - yadda yadda yadd :D

too funny

he truly tells it like it is at times! :D and you can tell he love it !

At March 08, 2007 5:39 PM, Anonymous GZ Expat said...

He is corny...and that can be hard to swallow from time to time. But, it is times when he goes after poor or lackluster play when he redeems himself to me.

Unlike most American radio broadcast teams which are employed by the teams and are gagged from criticizing the team they work for...Larscheid is not afraid to go after a player when they deserve it (hello, Jan Bulis!)...and he isn't afraid to back down from those comments when a player comes back and works hard (hello again, Jan Bulis).

A 'kid' that might take over would nearly have the guts to say the things Tommy says...because he'll be fearful of his job. It won't be the same.

At March 09, 2007 7:09 AM, Blogger hoopsjunky said...

You know, I hope the Canucks make a good, long playoff run before he leaves. Would love to hear him call the postseason one more time.

kel - I totally forgot that they had renamed the Jim Robson gondola to TEAM 1040. Shame really.

gz - Hear, hear. Much like Shorty had when he took over for Jim Robson, whoever takes over for Tommy will have to fill in some pretty big shoes.


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