I admit it. I’m a bit odd. For someone who loves sports as much as I do, I almost never watch games on television. I only get two or three channels on my tv and don’t subscribe to any online television services. I probably only turn my tv on once a month.
I love listening to sports on the radio or online. I listen to every single Cubs game, and the Red Sox when the Cubs aren’t playing. During the winter, I fall asleep every night to a former Black Bear playing in the NHL. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without being able to listen to games.
I was very disappointed when I heard recently that Dan Hannigan has stepped down as the voice of the University of Maine hockey team. A Maine hockey game without Dan behind the microphone is just not the same. I admit that I am a bit biased, as I worked with Dan for many, many years while I was at UMaine. Dan called Maine’s second national championship. What Maine hockey fan doesn’t remember him yelling Marcus Gustafsson at the top of his lungs in overtime in 1999? For 23 years he was synonymous with Maine hockey. He was a consummate professional, always representing the University of Maine with the utmost of professionalism.
I’d argue that hockey is one of the hardest games to broadcast. The action is fast and at times it can be nearly impossible to tell who got a stick on the puck. Believe me I know. In recent years, Dan has done all the road games solo.
Years ago, Maine traveled to Alaska to start the season. Following practice on Thursday, we got a tour and learned area history from our team bus driver. It’s a good thing that Dan was listening. I think that he recited the entire presentation back to Maine fans the following night when shortly into the game a piece of glass broke and it took the rink staff nearly 30 minutes to get it replaced.
It will be possible to replace Dan as the voice of Maine hockey. I hope that the University of Maine looks far and wide to find the best replacement that they can. I think that it’s impossible to underestimate the effect that a broadcaster can have on a game. I’ve turned off far more games because I could not stand listening to the broadcaster than because of the score.
Best of luck to Dan. You will be missed!