Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Broncos Lose Classy Individual

The resignation of Eldon Moberg as assistant general manager/hockey operations of the Swift Current Broncos may mean little to the average fan, but the move is of interest to me.
I consider Moberg a friend/rival from our days as competitors at radio stations in Swift Current. Moberg was the sports director at the local FM station while I was on the AM dial at CKSW. I often envied Moberg's postion because it included calling the play-by-play of the Swift Current Broncos. Once Moberg left the broadcast booth following the 1994-1995 season to join the Broncos organization in a different capacity, the job opening created a chance for me to cut my teeth at the Western Hockey League level.
The first game I ever called was with Moberg by my side in Kindersley Saskatchewan when the Broncos faced Medicine Hat in an exhibition game. Moberg was my colour man on that night and while my memory is somewhat foggy of that broadcast (thank God), I do remember a compassionate Moberg who knew he was working with a raw rookie yet attempted to make my transition to the air-waves as smooth as could be humanly possible. In the back of his mind he must have been second guessing himself on why he left the broadcast booth with such an incompetent replacement, but again he didn't let it show. It speaks clearly of the quality person Moberg was and is to this day. Many broadcasters would feel intimidated to have an ex-broadcaster in the booth beside them as they tried to fill his shoes, but I felt like Moberg wasn't there to hinder my development but to make me sound better.
Some of my fondest memories was Moberg and I perched above the ice surface at the old Cranbrook Arena watching Chad Beagle fire laser beams at Kootenay Ice goaltender Dan Blackburn during a playoff series in the late 90's. It wasn't necessarily the tremendous action that I remember most between the two teams, but the frigid temperatures inside the building that had us both wearing winter coats and gloves to call the play-by-play.
Those are just some of the memories I take away from my time with Moberg, who I saw sparingly once I moved out West to join the Rockets organization. Now that Moberg has elected to leave the Broncos organization for a local accounting firm, I want to thank him for setting me on the path to a occupation I continue to love some 13 seasons after 'we' called our first game together in Kindersley back in the fall of 1995.
Somethings have changed and somethings remain the same. I believe I am a much better broadcaster since that dreadful day, yet Moberg remains the quality person he was when he guided me that night through my first hockey broadcast.

Thanks Eldon, and good luck in your new venture.

Here is a video taken last night in Vancouver with injured forward Kyle St Denis. I have received several e-mails from blog readers wanting me to add more of these as the season goes on. I'll do my best with the aid of camera man Gord McGarva:

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