NHL on NBC broadcaster gives advice to students

Written By Robert Berger, Staff Writer

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When speaking to a standing room only crowd in the JVH last Thursday afternoon, NBC’s Mike “Doc” Emrick explained to students that no matter what their dreams may be, they can be achieved with work and dedication.

“I imagine some of you want to hear stories about Penguins and Pirates… I would rather be of help to you,” Emrick said.

To begin his presentation, Emrick asked students what they have in mind for life after graduation. Upon hearing responses from fashion photography to ticket sales, Emrick concluded every student in the room was admitted to Point Park for a reason.

“When you get this far in your career one of the things that’s fun is hearing what kids have to say and what they’re interested in and remembering how excited you were that time of your life,” Emrick said. “I hope to add to that excitement.”

Emrick told the crowd he was 14-years-old when he decided he wanted to be a professional sports broadcaster. In 1969, Emrick got his first taste of professional sports while covering the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Beaver County Times newspaper. From there, Emrick went on to his first play-by-play job with the Port Huron Flags of the International Hockey League (IHL).

“Those are magical events [the 2009 Winter Classic] to be around, but it was very helpful to have been on all those bus rides in the minor leagues… it was weathering all of those things that helped me get where I wanted to,” Emrick said.

Then he took his first National Hockey League (NHL) broadcasting job for the New Jersey Devils in 1982. After spending time with a few different NHL teams, Emrick returned to the Devils for 18 years.

In 2011, Emrick obtained his current position as the lead play-by-play announcer for NHL on NBC and NBC Sports.

Emrick emphasized getting real world experience throughout the event, and told stories about his career working in the sport’s industry.

To Emrick, moments like calling the Winter Classic and Olympics are amazing experiences, but stressed that what college students can accomplish can be just as substantial, and he spoke on the importance of being driven and finding success as a college student.

Last year, a Penguins fan and friend of Emrick’s was diagnosed with cancer. Emrick’s friend told him that his wish was to take his son to a Penguins game.

Emrick then got in touch with Tom McMillan, vice president of communications for the Pittsburgh Penguins and director of the Center for Sports Media and Marketing at Point Park.

McMillan informed previous hockey legend and owner of the Penguins Mario Lemieux, who sent Emrick’s friend an encouraging letter and tickets to a Stanley Cup Final game. Opportunities like these are what has kept Emrick motivated.

“He was someone that got me into hockey when I started watching it,” sophomore broadcast production student Nicholas Kasisky said. “Seeing him in person was amazing, his words are just incredibly inspirational.”

This was Emrick’s second time at Point Park. His last visit was in 2012, and according to Tom McMillan, after the Penguins won the Stanley Cup this past June, Emrick asked when he could come back.

The Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing brought guests such as David Flora from PGA, Fred McLeod of the Cavaliers and ESPN’s Chris Eames.  Doc Emrick was the third and final speaker event the Center will be hosting this semester.

Emrick spoke to an on-camera class and a sports, arts and entertainment management (SAEM) class in the Center for Media Innovation (CMI). He took questions from students and spoke to students largely about one important message: success doesn’t come overnight.

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