Friday, July 12, 2013
Broadcaster of the Year...A humble THANKS....
However - considering that this is the first time the winner has been selected by a vote amongst BCHL Broadcasters...at the risk of sounding cheesy...it really does mean something special. It means a lot to me to have the respect of my peers and my colleagues.
For what its worth, and I know it may sound hollow if you were really hoping to win this thing...you certainly have my respect and admiration for what you do. I know the hours, the grind, the pressure and critiques that come with the job. I also know that we do this because we love it, we love the game, we love the fans and the roar and the horn...not for shiny things!
After a survey of all broadcasters in the league, Alberni Valley Bulldogs play-by-play man Evan Hammond has been named the 2013 BCHL Broadcaster of the Year.
Now in his 10th season of Bulldogs hockey, this is the third time Hammond has won the award. Since this is the first time the league broadcasters have voted among themselves, Hammond says it makes the honour that much more special.
"It means a lot to me to have the respect of my colleagues," said the Flin Flon, Man. native. "All the broadcasters, in my opinion, are worthy of the award but for them to recognize me makes it especially sweet."
The 33-year-old calls Bulldogs games for 93.3 The Peak in Port Alberni where he is also the morning show host. In addition, he runs the popular "Hammer's Bulldog Blog" website which tracks team news as well as stories from around the league.
Hammond's efficient and often-electric broadcast style ensures Bulldogs games draw a loyal audience both in the 93.3 The Peak listening area and online. Hammond's thorough preparation and initiative make for entertaining intermission features with Bulldogs alumni and personalities from around the league making frequent appearances.
"Anyone who has heard Evan call a Bulldogs game can understand why he's won this award three times in 10 years," said BCHL communications director Brent Mutis. "The effort he puts into his broadcasts brings fans right into the action and his professionalism showcases the league in outstanding fashion."
This past season, Hammond took Bulldogs fans along for the ride as the team embarked on a thrilling playoff run to the Coastal Conference finals. He'll be back behind the mic for the 2013-14 season.
I know I posted this already at the end of the season, but for those that missed it, it's pretty relevant again right now as I'm not winning this without everyone else and everything that they do to help me, motivate me, teach me, support me, ETC!
So many people to thank...I'm sure I'll miss some but here goes nothing!
This is for everyone that either wasn't at the banquet or missed the final "Sign off" on the Postgame show from the final game. I always try my best on the final broadcast to thank everyone top to bottom. I heard some great feedback that Bruce and I did a great job with it - thanks, that means alot!
My family, and everyone that supports them. It's not easy with how the schedule is to be gone for extended periods, to be on the road, to have almost every single weekend booked from September through March - or in this case, into April. Thanks to Theresa and Griff for their support, and to everyone that supports them in my absence.
My work family - everyone at The Peak that makes the broadcasts happen from a sales and operations standpoint, and covers for me when the team is on the road - David, Wanda, Diane, Brian, Jolie, our production staff, and our Broadcast Operators and Producers Nick, Brendan and Paul. I get to have all the fun, they do a ton of work behind the scenes.
The sponsors - the broadcasts don't happen without people investing in them. Without you, there is nothing. THANKS.
Bruce MacDonald - His first full year doing colour and analysis. He brings an unbelievable amount of passion to the job, and I think he grew in leaps and bounds throughout the year with how he called the game. The committment he made to calling the games home and away was something else. Keep in mind it's a side job for him, and he took a lot of time away from running a business and being with his family to make the broadcasts what they were. He's a great guy to hang out with in the booth and on the road on the bus and in the hotel. I think we are due to a hang out on the golf course though, where no one is listening to us and we don't have to always measure what we say, haha!
Dan Tisserand - I don't even know how many years it has been now for Dan being the Official "stats man" on the broadcasts. We were both talking about that at one point this season and Dan said "thanks for giving me the chance to do this" and my response was something along the lines of he shouldn't be thanking me for ANYTHING! Talk about dedication and committment - he lives in Nanaimo, every game is a road game for him except those at the Frank Crane, and he doesn't miss many. He's travelling on his own most of the time, he's home late, he's working the next day. The stats bring a lot to the broadcasts that I know everyone appreciates from the fans to the players to the parents to the Coaching Staff. Thanks again Danno! I would love to have a mic on Dan and Bruce sometimes when they go back and forth on things during breaks!
The Bulldogs Organization - TOP TO BOTTOM - Coaches and Staff, Players, Office Staff. They all are great guys and gals. It's not always easy not working for the team, but working in such close association with the team. It's also not easy when you have to constantly walk the fine line between being truthful and unbiased, and also supportive and positive. The Coaches were amazing to deal with, and are a couple of great guys. Same can be said for the Players and the support staff - Jamie and James, Will "the thrill" and the Office Staff and volunteers. Miss all of you already!
Billets/Volunteers - Hockey at this level doesn't exist without Billet families to take these guys into their homes, and without volunteers at so many levels to make the team and the games run, in the Office, around the rink on game day - public address and music, scorekeeping and score clock operating , penalty box attendants, goal judges, security personnel, the volunteers at the front of the rink, the members of the Booster Club. Thanks for playing such a huge part in this being such an amazing place, not just in hockey but in day to day life! Quite simply, there are lots of incredible people in this city.
The Port Alberni Junior Hockey Society - What a year to make the Dogs community owned! I don't think anyone could have anticipated the incredible run the team would go on when this endeavour was undertaken last spring. THANKS to everyone involved for stepping up, and showing no fear and refusing to say NO! Just like the people that first brought this team here, you showed the same Port Alberni mentality. Thanks for dreaming big, thanks for all your time and efforts away from your families, your jobs, your priorities. Incredible story written this season from the community side of things.
Blog Readers and Supporters - Thanks for giving me the incentive to keep this blog up and going throughout the season. It takes way more work than most people realize. Thanks for the positive feedback, and thanks for the donations through the link on the right ------> (DON'T BE SHY TO CLICK IT!!) that keep me going and give me a kick in the butt when I'd rather take some down time or time with the family. The donations go a long way in not only making me feel like the time I put in is appreciated, but they also go a long way in making the blog what it is - new computer, new phone/camera, online hosting fees for audio, etc!
Ok, so who am I missing now? Oh right, the FANS! None of this happens, and this team isn't here without your generosity and support. Second to none not only in the league, and in the country. Your support of the broadcasts, and of the team, is incredible. You packed OUR rink, you invaded THEIR rinks, you pushed the team into the second and third round of the Playoffs. You made the Dog Pound how it used to be - over seating capacity. It's your hard earned $$$, and I thank and respect you for your mind blowing support!
Thanks as well to the BCHL, for giving us great hockey to watch at a great price. Thanks to the opposition, you can't have games without them. Thanks as well to the Officials - often maligned, never appreciated or commended enough. It was nice to see over the Coastal Final that things tightened up and the Officiating wasn't a factor. Maybe that's a credit to the Eagles and the Bulldogs and how they played, maybe it's the Referees in question, maybe it's a bit of both. I know Bruce and I both said at the conclusion of Game 4 against Surrey how good the officiating was. I was happy also to hear that Manny Gialedakis went into the Officials Dressing Room after the game to offer his thanks for their efforts and all that they put up with in a thankless job.
I think that just about does it for the THANKS! If I forgot you, accept my humble apologies - the list is just wayyyy too long. Like every alum says when I interview him and ask him if there is anyone he wants to say Hello to, or anyone he wants to thank - you can't thank everyone, you will most likely miss someone, and that right there is what makes this place to amazing...the support you get at all levels is out of this world!