I’m one of the few who are fortunate enough to not only get a second chance but, in some cases, a fourth, fifth and sixth opportunity. The Missouri Mavericks are the sixth professional sports team to call me their “voice.” I’ve left some, been the victim of management changes and two of my employers went out-of-business.
My position with the Mavericks has given me the opportunity to live my second childhood.
While growing up in Kansas City North I would beg, borrow or hijack my way to the American Royal Arena to watch the Kansas City Blues take on foes like the Amarillo Wranglers or Omaha Knights. When the Blues were on the road, I would listen as Lynn Faris described the action from wonderful sounding places like the Fair Park Coliseum in Dallas or the Fairgrounds Arena in Oklahoma City.
On weekends my friends and I played street hockey. We’d use old sticks……some nailed together, others heavily taped. Larry was the innovator in our neighborhood. He turned a saw horse and bed sheet into a goal and fashioned goalie pads out of newspaper, canvass wrappings and belts. The goalie would also use a baseball glove, catcher’s mask and a homemade blocker glove. Most of the time I was the goalie…….I’ve never been accused of being the brightest star in the sky.
As a pro hockey announcer I’ve been given the luxury of going back in time without the use of a DeLorean. Now I get the privilege of being at EVERY game home and away.
My career has taken me to buildings like the Will Rogers Coliseum in Fort Worth and the Tulsa Convention Center....arenas I pictured in my mind as I listened to Faris years ago.
I also get to shoot the puck again as I play pick up hockey with other adults...something a twelve-year old never dreamed he would do again at age 53.