Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley Get in the Spirit of Awesomeness This Holiday Season
December 19, 2008 1 Comment
Now, it’s no secret that, if you’ve read this blog before, we like to have a bit of fun at the expense of Bruins play-by-play man Jack Edwards. But that’s all it really is. Just a little fun at the hands of a guy who is CLEARLY having tons of fun himself.
So, in the spirit of Christmas non-denominational holiday, we’d like to pay tribute to something that Edwards (along with partner Andy Brickley) did last night that was just, plain awesome.
It all stemmed from a blog posting Edwards wrote up at NESN.com, where he saw a couple of cancer patients getting a chance at calling a Montreal Canadiens game:
“What the heck,” I thought, “we can do this because we have the world’s greatest cancer treatment center right in Boston.”
We brainstormed the concept at last summer’s telethon with Jimmy Fund executive director Mike Andrews, and he was totally supportive. NESN’s executive vice president of programming and executive producer Joel Feld greenlit it from the get-go and pushed everyone to get it done. Senior producer Brian Zechello, director Rose Mirakian-Wheeler and my broadcast partner Andy Brickley all volunteered their full endorsements as soon as we brought up the idea. To the very last man and woman in our production team, there has been a Bruins-under-Julien type of buy-in.
We went to Jimmy Fund patient activity coordinator Lisa Scherber with a plan: We would need her to identify patients/candidates, then we would introduce them to our techniques, prep them with a visit or two to our Garden booth during Bruins games, and let ‘em rip alongside Brick on game night. She picked it up and skated the plan forward like Phil Kessel rushing up the wing, then banged bodies like Milan Lucic to achieve the goal.
Uh, sure, just like that Jack. But in all seriousness, a pretty sweet gesture. NESN.com did a write-up about the two kids.
On Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008, NESN and the Bruins invite two young cancer patients from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to take over for Jack Edwards during the middle of the first and second periods, respectively, and call play-by-play alongside NESN color analyst Andy Brickley during NESN’s live coverage of that night’s Bruins game against the Maple Leafs.
Eric Miller and Caroline Fries met Jack Edwards this past summer. Edwards came up with the idea to have these two Bruins fans call part of a Bruins game. NESN and Bruins management embraced the idea and the Bruins Jimmy Fund Jr. Announcer Night was born.
Fries, 17, was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a cancer of the soft tissue, in October 2005. The cancer recurred in June 2007. Miller, 20, was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma on his right tibia in May 2008. Both are in active treatment for their cancers.
Since the beginning of the season, both Caroline and Eric have made multiple trips to TD Banknorth Garden to observe Jack and Andy during a game and learn what it takes to be an NHL play-by-play announcer. They have been preparing for this game in between treatments at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and now will get the opportunity of a lifetime in the broadcast booth.
Pretty cool stuff. As a college student who dreams of one day standing behind a mic at an NHL game, kudos to both of you. Good luck with your fight. Kudos as well to Messrs. Edwards and Brickley, for displaying the gift of giving that we should all have this time of year.