My wife Colleen Moraga-Baker is an amazing woman. I am lucky man and know it. She took me on a trip for my birthday (which was last week) so we could get some one-on-one time before the season started.
The trip was planned back in April and at the time there was no way to know if there would be a lockout. Whether there is a work stoppage or not, getting away to a secluded island and beautiful place has been amazing.
While laying on the beach the other day she remarked that even on vacation I still talk about hockey and that I truly love the sport and am passionate about it. I guess it's in my blood and always has been, going back to playing hockey in my basement as soon as I was old enough to hold a stick, playing street hockey on Saginaw Crescent in Nepean, Ontario in the freezing cold, or skating on the outdoor rinks or Rideau Canal in Ottawa as a kid.
Then she asked me what I thought was the best part of my job. Being a radio hockey analyst is more of a lifestyle occupation that I happen to love. So here is what I came up with regarding why I have such an awesome job:
I love being around the game of hockey and one of my passions is teaching and trying to explain something that is difficult to do, sound easy. Everyday I learn something new about hockey and am always working on becoming a better teacher.
4. The San Jose Sharks
I fell in love with this organization when I came here in 1993. The people, the city, the fans, the name of the team, the colors, the logo, the mascot, and nothing has changed since. The Sharks are a class organization from top to bottom, and I'm glad to be a part of this organization from a historical standpoint and as a current broadcaster.
3. Watching the best coaches and players on a daily basis
The players in the NHL make the game look easy and at the same time they have to play with little or no time or space every shift, every night. It's fun watching the best players in the world play and watching the coaches find different angles and ways to get that little extra advantage in a very competitive League.
2. Dan Rusanowsky
Dan is the best! I often refer to him as Ruzzie or The Ruzzinator because we have been friends going back to our time at St. Lawrence University in 1985 when I was a wet behind the ears freshman on the hockey team and he was calling the play-by-play for the team. Since I took the job eight years ago, Dan has maintained his philosophy that our show be organic, meaning that while we both prepare for every show we don't plan segments or what we are going to say. It's organic, it's real, it's two guys who love the game of hockey and the San Jose Sharks.
1. The Fans
There is something different about us hockey fans, and yes, I still consider myself a huge fan. My goal as a broadcaster is to try and inform, entertain and educate hockey fans. Without knowing who is listening, it could be a hockey novice or someone who is well versed in all the intricacies that this awesome sport provides. Dan, Randy, Drew and I go into every game trying to offer something that everyone can grab onto and remember, whether it's a stat (inform), a story or joke (entertain), or a subtlety of the game they never thought of before (educate). Bottom line, we do this for you, and we think the world of all you dedicated hockey fans.
For The Daily Chomp Blog, I'm Jamie Baker.