Outside of Rod Gilbert, there aren’t many people who have been continuously around the Rangers longer than me and Sam Rosen. One of the few is Bobby Lewis, whom you very likely don’t know, except that he was a major reason MSG Network’s Rangers coverage was the industry standard for so long.
Lewis, who was the director of those game productions since 1982 and began working Rangers, Knicks and various other broadcasts at the Garden in ‘72 – when Bill Chadwick and Sal Marchiano were in the booth, before Jim Gordon returned – is retiring.
As I said, the guy’s been around, from Steve Vickers’ rookie season, through 23 different coaches and some of those (Emile Francis, Phil Esposito, Craig Patrick and John Tortorella) more than once.
While I know the quality of his work, the thing I’ll always remember most was long nights post-game on the road, trying to find a late supper and then close establishments mere hours before morning flights. Actually I spent a lot more time with Bobby Lewis and Joe Whelan and the MSG crew on stools after road games, and in airports waiting out delays and cancelations, than I ever did at the arena.
Before I stopped traveling in 2002, those were the more pleasant times on the beat. Pre-twitter, pre-blog, newspaper story filed, work night over. It was always good to kick back with those guys.
Good luck, buddy.
Great event for a great cause, and kudos to the players and hockey people who make it happen every year.
Ice Hockey In Harlem, in its 26th year, works to improve the social and academic well-being of boys and girls from the Harlem community. According to the organization, thousands of kids have participated in the program, many of whom are now adults and raising their own children in Harlem.