COURTESY: Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun
EDMONTON – At eye level to the left of where Bob Ridley will sit to call the game on CHAT 94.5 FM from the visiting radio broadcast booth at Rexall Place today, hangs Rod Phillips’s banner.
Under Phillips’s name is the number 3,542.
It represents the astounding number of Edmonton Oilers games he called in his career.
For the occasion today, someone should drape a 3,542 banner out of Ridley’s booth.
He’ll be calling the 375th playoff game in Medicine Tigers history. He’s also called 20 Tiger Memorial Cup games. And his total of Medicine Hat regular season games count is at 3,147. Add it all up and it’s … exactly 3,542.
Now, there’s no attempt here to diminish Rod’s record. Anybody who has ever been forced to sit beside Phillips on a plane knows the excruciating experience it was for him to fly, especially back in the days of the WHA.
But Ridley, 69, did it by bus.
And when Ridley works his way down from the booth after calling Game 2 of the WHL Eastern Conference Final today, he’ll go directly to the bus and take his seat.
The driver’s seat.
In his 44th year, Ridley is still going strong as hockey’s broadcasting bus driver.
The Medicine Hat Tigers have existed 44 years. Ridley has been The Voice since Day 1. And he’s been the team bus driver for the last 42.
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