It's Pat Foley night! In celebration of his special night, here are five things about the legendary Blackhawks broadcaster that you need to know.
1. The “BAANNER-MAAAN” call. Watch it. Know it.
It’s one of Pat Foley’s most famous calls. Make sure you’ve listened to this beauty.
2. Foley’s big break came not at an internship or college broadcast. Instead it happened at his father’s car dealership.
Luck helped Foley land his dream job, but as Blackhawks Team Historian Bob Verdi writes, “luck is the residue of design.” Bob Foley, Pat’s father, owned an automobile dealership, and “as then-Blackhawks Vice President Michael Wirtz drove away with another Buick, he noticed that it came with a tape of Pat’s work, free of charge.” The rest is history.
3. Before his NHL calling days began, Foley was an accomplished "T-Shirt Night" promo organizer.
Here is Pat's account of the evening: "One night I looked up to check the time at our home rink, the Stadium Arena, and the scoreboard was spewing smoke. In a wooden building. Lots of fun in those days. The broadcaster did everything — public relations, sales, promotions. Can you see me trying to organize 'T-Shirt Night'?"
4. Foley and Denis Savard share rookie years.
Foley’s first broadcast for the Blackhawks came on October 19, 1980. Foley took to the airwaves on the sixth game of the 1980-81 campaign, the same season rookie Savard began his Hall of Fame career with the Blackhawks. October 19, 1980, happened to be the night Stan Mikita’s jersey was retired at Chicago Stadium.
5. The veteran broadcaster has found success in his hometown. And he's thankful for every moment of it.
“It’s not supposed to go so smoothly in this business,” says Foley. “For a hometown guy to broadcast for the hometown team for so long, to talk about the greatest sport there is to all these terrific Chicago fans…I’m the luckiest guy in the room.”