Monday, February 22, 2016

Miracle on Ice

Big hockey anniversary today...

John Landecker wrote about that day in "Records Truly Is My Middle Name"...

After Bob Sirott left WLS, I was moved into his afternoon time slot. After doing radio for more than ten years, this was the first time in my career that I was ever given a drive-time shift. It was a little bit different than nights. For instance, during the night shift, big news stories rarely occurred. During the afternoon shift, they happened all the time. Probably the biggest story during my stint in the afternoon slot was the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team.

The 1980 Winter Olympics was on ABC. At the time, WLS was an ABC station, so we were privy to all the network feeds. There was usually no reason to use them for anything other than news and sports reports; we were still a music station. The jocks didn’t mess with the feeds at all.

But on the day that the U.S. was taking on the Russians, the game took place in the afternoon, and the television network announced it would be played via tape delay during their prime time coverage. I suddenly realized that I could carry the last few minutes of the game on the air. I had the feed.

But who would do this on a music station?

I would.

I rolled tape on the last four minutes. When it was over, I went on the air and said, “Alright, we’re going to play you the last few minutes of the USA-Russia hockey game. If you don’t wanna know the score or who won, turn your radio off... BUT I WOULDN’T BE PLAYING IT IF WE LOST!”