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T O P I C    R E V I E W
The 4th Line Banger Posted - 04/03/2011 : 19:44:23
If you have been to Edmonton in the past 37 years then you have more than likely heard that unmistakable call across the radio. Each time a goal was scored by the Edmonton Oilers since 1973 that call was made by Rod Phillips. That's a total of 3,542 games for anyone who is keeping score. I would believe that most of the folks here on Pick-Up Hockey were yet to be born when Rod Phillips began calling hockey games for the old WHA Edmonton Oilers.

Although he formally retired last season, he did another 10 games during the 2010-11 season as a farewell tour called, Rods Classics. When someone says that Rod Phillips has seen it all, he really has. He missed a grand total of 9 periods of hockey between 1973 and 2008 when he was forced to miss a 7 game road trip due to his doctors not allowing him to fly. Of those 9 period of hockey he missed, 3 periods were missed due to on-ice ceremonies at the start of the game. That has to be some kind of record.

Even more amazing than Rod Phillips ironman-like resume is his passion for Oilers hockey and he displayed that passion through his voice with every call. Regardless of a goal being scored or a call being missed, Phillips bombastic voice would describe the action so passionately that often people would feel as if he was climbing through the microphone right into their radio. Many people in Edmonton would turn off the sound on their TVs and listen to the radio rather than the guys on TV to hear the game from that unmistakable voice.

What many of the younger generation may not appreciate is just how little hockey was available in Edmonton on TV. Up until the mid-90s, Edmontonians were lucky to get 15-20 games each season on TV. Before that time there was a dozen locally broadcasted games and maybe another 8-9 on CBCs Hockey Night in Canada. Remember folks, there were no double headers back then so most of us had to listen to the games on the radio. Many of us grew up learning the game of hockey not by sight but by imagination. Rod Phillips made that image clear through his voice and very few have that talent today.


Rod Phillips did his final farewell call last week. Hes in the Hall of Fame. He is one of two non-players in Oilers history to have a Cup ring given to him by the team (the other being Joey Moss). He truly is one of a kind and the likes of him will never be heard again.

Happy Trails Rod Phillips, its been a treat.


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