Broadcast legend Doc Emrick visits JVH auditorium

Written By Noah Bieniek, For The Globe

It was a long ride for Mike “Doc” Emrick in becoming one of hockey’s most prolific voices in the broadcast booth.

On Wednesday Oct.16, the Pittsburgh Penguins were playing the Colorado Avalanche in the Wednesday Night Hockey Game of the Week and Doc was calling the game. So, on the Tuesday before, the six-time Emmy Award winning play-by-play announcer partnered with the Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing in visiting and holding a conference on Point Park University’s campus for students.

This was Emrick’s third appearance on campus talking to Point Park students in his career. He held a 35 minute presentation of his favorite moments during his job and telling stories to students about his journey into the field of sports communication.

Emrick got his bachelor’s degree in speech from Manchester University, his master’s in radio/television from Miami (Ohio) University, and then received his Ph.D. in Communications from Bowling Green State University.

Getting his first job was hard, Emrick said as he sat in the corner of the rink during games filming himself commentating during the action. He sent his tapes to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Doc was notified he made the top three but did not get the job-Mike Lange did. 

“It made me feel good even though I didn’t get the job. It gave me encouragement that I had something if I kept working at it,” Emrick said to the group of students.

“Do what no one else will do,” Emrick said. “Go to newspapers and stations, carry a sample of your work and knock on some doors. They will say they don’t have time for you but just be politely aggressive. You will be turned down a lot, especially when you’re trying to get that first job, just believe in yourself and don’t quit.”

Emrick earned his first job in 1973 to be the play-by-play announcer for the Port Huron Flags, and from there he didn’t look back. Doc has spent time working with the Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, CBS, FSN, ABC, TNT, ESPN, and is currently the lead play-by-play announcer for national telecasts on NBC and NBCSN. In his career, he has called 40 consecutive Stanley Cup Playoffs, 20 Stanley Cup Finals series, 12 NHL All Star games, and numerous Olympic hockey games.

“Doc is one of my favorite announcers in all of sports,” attendee Tyler Bornschlegel said. “I enjoyed the time. Doc gave really good advice in how to prepare for life after college and stand out to employers.”

During the conference, Emrick mentioned that he loves and enjoys his job. He can hang around hockey teams while working, and there is no rule that says you must hate your job. He said he’s had some tough days, but he’s never hated his job. Emrick explained that you go to school so you can choose what you want to do with your life. Make sure you can enjoy it.

Emrick also listed to the students his best job interview tips:

1. “Leave the Phone”- It’s a distraction.

2. “Good Handshake”- A survey in England in 2014 said that 2/3 of managers consider a strong handshake as a great handshake, and it can either eliminate or keep that person in contention for the position.

3. “Eye Contact”- Eye contact is hard for every age group, but keep your eyes on that person, and make them look away from you.

4. “Always Overdress”- It shows respect.

5. “Be early, and stay after”- On the first day, all the workers will wonder about you, and before you go, ask your supervisor if anything else needs to be done.

“All this is about what the competition doesn’t do.” Emrick said.

“To have someone from his background to want to come back onto campus is awesome,” Dani McSweeney, the graduate assistant for the Pittsburgh Center for Sports Media and Marketing, said. “It’s not normal for a college student to be able to meet someone with as much job experience and someone who is calling the Pens-Avs game. It’s a great opportunity for all students.”

The Penguins knocked off the Avalanche in overtime 3-2 on Wednesday night to hand the Avs their first loss of the season. Sidney Crosby had two points and Brandon Tanev scored his first career goal as a Penguin in overtime to give the Pens the win, all with Doc on the call.