Have Pat Foley and Eddie Olczyk lost their magic?

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Pat and Eddie

Cue the voice of Pat Foley in your head.

“He shoots, he scores!!!! Hawks win! Hawks win!”

As a child of Chicago’s south suburbs I was raised to love and cherish that phrase as well as anything else that came from the voice of Pat Foley. For nearly 30 years, Foley has been calling Chicago Blackhawks games on television and for a number of years simulcasting on radio. During his tenure famous former Hawks players such as Dale Tallon, Bill Gardner, Steve Konroyd, and most notably Ed Olczyk have manned the booth.

The pairing of Pat Foley and “Edzo” or “Eddie-O” appeared to be heading for regional stardom and near the top of the list of hockey broadcasters in the NHL. The past two seasons have all but erased any good Olczyk has contributed to broadcasts, and Foley has become a shell of the announcer known league-wide as the local boy living his dream of calling the Blackhawks.

Pat Foley, 59, has lost his ability to articulate and call a game as it happens. Mispronunciations, mistaken identity of well-known players, and a new found penchant for horrible catchphrases make majority of broadcasts unbearable to listen to.

olczyk-pat-foley

Olczyk, 47, is known as much, if not more for his broadcasting career than his playing career. The U.S. Hockey Hall-of-Famer won one Stanley Cup Championship with the New York Rangers, but most fans today under 25 probably do not know that. They know Eddie for his shtick quotes and pointing out teaching moments for youth players by saying “For all you young hockey players out there.” Writing that just made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

Broadcasts have turned into interrogations of opposing players, butt-kissing campaigns for Blackhawks individual player award campaigns (Duncan Keith can do no wrong), and the nightly announcement that there’s “Tree Turdy Tree!” left in the period. The former great Pat Foley even has his own parody account on Twitter capturing his inane sayings and absurd calls. Some have even speculated that Olczyk may be trying to butter the Wirtz family roll with the hopes that he could be the future head coach of his hometown team.

Whatever the cause or causes that have led to the demise of the Chicago Blackhawks broadcast, it has to stop or changes have to be considered down the road. We all know team president John McDonough loves to dictate what is said and how the Hawks organization is perceived by the public. Does the former Cubs front office man have his hands up the suit coats of his announcer(s) during TV broadcasts?

Is he tying the hands of the previously well-spoken Pat Foley?

I went to school for broadcasting with the intent of being the person to fill the enormous shoes of Pat Foley. The closer I get to those shoes, the smaller they appear to be.

Follow Jeff on Twitter @skcih_ffej for more sports and entertainment ramblings. If you play fantasy sports, check out The Fantasy Fix, where Jeff covers your add/drop/watch needs during baseball and hockey season, and does weekly podcasts, as well.

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Comments

  1. I couldnt disagree more….all you have to do is listen to another teams Home Broadcast to gain more of appreciation of Pat’s play by play….

  2. I could not agree more with David E. Have you ever have suffered through a msnbc show? A Blues broadcast? Pat is by FAR the best I have ever heard. I am 62. Ed is dragging Pat down with his keen sense of the obvious. My granddaughter asks me all the time if he is serious with his “for all you young hockey players” rants. She is 12. Eddie got too much praise too early on. He thinks anything that comes out of his mouth is gold as opposed to actually thinking before he speaks. Don’t get me wrong, Ed is still better than most, he just has to go back to the way he started out. Coach of the Blackhawks? That comment alone discredits the entire article. I will be very interested in how many posts you will get that agree with you. I’m guessing 5 to 1 with me and David E. thank’s to David E. for getting the ball rolling.

  3. Thanks Jax….and case in point, how about one of the most storied Hockey franchises anywhere “Montreal”…those announcers were terrible…me and my buddies were shocked they could be so bad….Pat is a Homer no doubt about it, but thats ok…I ask Jeff to listen closely to the next national bdcst where Pat has the mic (maybe tonight vs Det)…he is professional and has some good insight to the other teams players…brings energy, understands the game, etc.

  4. I totally agree. Foley will miss 3 minutes of exciting action going on and on about some player or event he is absolutely intent on droning on and on about. Then there’s the endless “shoutouts” to all the Wirtz and Blackhawk insiders that I do not know nor give a shit about–weddings, babies, hospitalizations like some small town gazette. It is absolutely embarrassing and annoying.

  5. I frankly love the Pat and Eddie team. I like their coverage of the game. I appreciate the family style of congratulating hometown birthdays, or well wishes to ill fans. The “for you young hockey players” are good, insightful tips for young players, and that is wise for a business that wants to appeal to *shocker* young hockey players!
    They cover the game. Their biases are never as bad as those I see with other live games in any of the other NHL games I watch, which is any that are televised when the Hawks aren’t playing. I love the “GOOD SAVE BY,” etc.
    Now… who I can’t stand… Mike Milbury. Steve Konroyd. People who were never good at hockey, don’t want to teach the game to anyone else, and pretend they know it all only to be proven wrong as soon as actual hockey begins again.

  6. Strongly agree!!! I love the Hawks but i watch my blackhawks games from the other teams broadcast because I can’t stand i anymoret.. I’d like to add that the broadcasts are also very biased. I hate to see a team on a hard offence on a play reguardless of who it is and the announcer is announcing the home teams (bad) defences positives. Or taking that moment to talk about something off of the ice.. The problem is he is a Team announcer not announcing the hockey game. This is something that the organization needs to be aware of. I found this article while googling “Eddie olyzcyk bad announcer”

  7. Of course there will be some bias shown by an announcer. Do you think fans of a team want that announcer to be neutral. I think Pat and Eddie do a good job of balancing their pulling for the Hawks with professionalism. They almost never complain when a call goes against the Hawks. On the other hand, I do find Foley’s voice and his enthusiastic but lame sense of humor grating. He should be criticized but not for the reasons some here are giving.

  8. fuck you

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