Maybe it's in our DNA, but hockey play-by-play broadcasters don't like handing over the microphone to anyone. We take great pride in calling a game no matter what obstacles may land in front of us. If we are sick with a cold, we battle through it. If the flu bug makes the rounds, we suck it up. We all have stories to tell of how we were sick in the broadcast booth while calling a game but did everything in our power to grind it out.
My colleagues also take great pride in the number of games we've called over the years, and like the athletes who are praised for the consecutive game streaks they may hold, broadcasters puff out their chests with pride over the number of games they've called without resorting to someone else replacing them on the airwaves.
I've called 962 consecutive games on the radio for the Kelowna Rockets. I have witnessed every regular season, playoff and Memorial Cup game since the 2000-2001 season, yet that streak will come to an end this weekend when the Rockets' host the Portland Winterhawks.
The death of a spouse of a good friend of mine this week from Saskatchewan has me attending a funeral in Regina Saturday afternoon. With games against the Portland Winterhawks both Friday and Saturday night, there is no way I am able to attend those two games and make it to the funeral.
It just doesn't work.
So while the consecutive games streak will come to an end, I would hate to look back and regret a decision I made to chose a work commitment over my good friend in a time of need.
I will be with Del, likely shedding a tear, during a tough, dark day in his young families life.
I know for a fact, no matter what the circumstances, he too would do the same for me.