Thank You Very Much and More ...
Arriving as a "stranger", doubts and dislikes were expected, having been in this business a long time, and having traveled around a bit. But I had some New England in my background and the adjustment was easy. Over the course of the last three years, the fans have been gracious, supportive, and have shown a lot of love. I got a note a couple days ago, that not only describes the path I have attempted to take, but nails down and verifies a few of the goals and expectations I had set.
Meanwhile, this season was not my best, it's been one of the most frustrating of my career, mostly for reasons beyond my control. I'm referring to game nights, which weren't up to my personal standards frankly, but I tried to get by by asking good questions. I apologize for my less than stellar overall performance.
The "Biscuit" meanwhile was entertaining and beyond very solid again thanks to our crew behind the scenes back at NESN. Todd "Sarge" Kerrisey, Kevin Newton, Jesse Gerner, David Luca, and our team of photographers (Chris Del Dotto, John Martin, Bryan Brennan, and Pat Gamere are the in-house). The program, based on feedback I receive from fans and from others in this industry around New England, has grown into something special, given the relationship we've developed with the people who watch and refer to it as "destination" viewing.
Despite potentially being on to something, I'm not sure the Biscuit (or myself) will be back: A lot of factors, and again, many beyond my control.
For those of you who disllike my/our efforts, or "hate" my presentation, well, that's why we have freedom of choice. I've only met a couple of you in person, and I appreciate that feedback as well. I'm a fan, I have broadcasters I dislike immensely on-air as well, for reasons real and manifested in my own mind. It happens and it's another reality of the business.
That all said, here's a note from a gentleman named Allan, one I appreciate a great deal, which sums up my experience here with the fans who have been so supportive. Other recent e-mails follow. I decided to take this opportunity now to thank you, since in a few weeks, I may not have that opportunity. So, thank you very much for your support. Here's hoping it's a long postseason for the beloved B's!
I am the type of person who always admits when they are wrong, well pretty much most of the time, but for the most part I usually do fes up. Here is one of those times when I will admit I was wrong. I remember when you first started on NESN doing the B’s games, and I said to the family, “Who is this guy, he does not seem to know that much about hockey, and he seems like a real dork”. Well sir, I was wrong. First I apologize for thinking those things. Since that time you have proved to be a real gentlemen and a great addition to the NESN crew covering the Bruins. I love your show Rubber Biscuit and wish it was on more. Your interaction with the players and everyone that you interview are real top notch. Second I look forward to your little stories between periods and when they cut away to you when you have found out some stuff during games. Also I have been to a few games and sat in the section where you stand between periods to do your broadcast, and every time you finish and walk away, you have been very receptive to everyone that stops you to shake your hand and say hi, me being one of them. Keep up the good work and I hope your stay here in Boston on NESN is a long one.
Upon further review, maybe the most bizarre thing about this recent experience is the lack of hockey coverage in this (dormant) hockey-mad region. I hope it's just cyclical because of the team's recent failures. I thought I'd be on a weekly radio show by now, or at least contributing once a week during what would be daily hockey talk. Everyone plays, everyone loves the game, why the detachment? (And yes, you have shared earnest theories, some of which I agree with but will not divulge at this juncture.) I write a lot, and I do a lot of hockey talk radio analysis (about the Bruins) in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. You know what: whoopee! They have plenty ... let's get it goin' here kiddees. I believe there's a demand untapped. I just hope those who present you the game(s) in future on whatever outlet and in whatever form, actually know it, and as important, sincerely respect it.
Surely I digress, and don't call you Shirley.
Hey Rob. Big fan of the B's and yourself. Particularly the subtle humor in your interviews. Seems like you and the players get along good. Sometimes during broadcasts a second or two is caught before your interview begins and someone is always laughing. Is there someone that you kid with more so than others? If so, who?
Alright, I know, two pro-Bobby notes is two too many, and I too, may get nauseous. But to answer your question: The lighter-hearted stuff is almost a lock with Shawn Thornton, PJ Axelsson, Andrew Alberts a bit and Milan Lucic. Wideman and Ward at times also, Murray on rare occasion, and Ference. Over the course of an 82-game schedule it's essential to lighten it up, change it up, and delve into the fun stuff that's still informative whenever possible. Its business, but it's a game, and it doesn't mean we take IT any less seriously or disrespect it. Personality is fun and these guys have plenty of it. We've built a solid relationship over the last three years with the foundation being trust and expectations.
Should Claude Julien get coach of the year?
He's at least top-three in the Eastern Conference. Bruce Boudreau came in and did a nice job in DC, Guy has obviously been good in Montreal. Out west, a lot of talk of Babcock in Detroit, and Wilson in SJ. You know what, and I don't kiss butt (one of my political weaknesses), but I honestly think Claude should at least be a Jack Adams finalist. Given the roster, given the year the team was coming off, given the injuries, given the discipline to, and the buying into his systems, it would be a crime not to hook this guy up. For his sake, and the organization's, I hope he's not overlooked. Nothing less than a great job getting this team into the postseason.
Postseason game placement on NESN. I heard from you. It's being addressed. Thank you for that and the other feedback. Enjoy the greatest game on the planet: playoff hockey. All the best.