â†µJeremy Roenick is a polarizing figure on TV. Some people love his raw emotion and passion for the game and others think he makes everything about himself. Chalk this moment up – well, after the Chicago Blackhawks hoisted the Stanley Cup and near the end of NBC's coverage Wednesday night – as a little of both. (Video grab via Crossing Broad.) â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"For the kid who was there in 1992 who was crying when I came off the ice after we lost Game 4 in Chicago Stadium … you waited 18 years. I hope you have a big smile on your face. Congratulations." â†µâ†µWell, gosh, that's about as touching a moment as you can ask for. It sounded like one of those fake political speeches that Presidential candidates always give – "I spoke with Johnnie Johnson of Aurora yesterday, now a working father of two. But back in 1992, little Johnnie was just a bright-eyed young hockey fan, who cried about the lack of a championship for the Hawks. Today isn't just a victory for Johnnie Johnson ... it's a victory for America."
â†µThe only difference between J.R.'s moment and one of those sympathy-grabbing speeches, of course, is that Roenick's was real. Too real if you ask Mike Milbury. â†µ
â†µWhen Dan Patrick asked Roenick (who played for both Chicago and Philadelphia during his career) why this moment was affecting him so much, he could only muster, "Chicago Blackhawks man. I didn't get to do that, it's pretty unbelievable," before the eyes welled up and the tears started coming down his face. Enter Milbury for the assist. â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥"Well I didn't get to do it either, but I'm not gonna cry. Way to go kid, you had a hell of a career anyway." â†µâ†µThe best part, of course, is the hug which led to the awkward "don't fall apart on us, man, you're on live TV" pep talk about his 21-year career and blocking shots with his nose. That's great stuff. â†µ
â†µFans of hockey, no matter which team they root for, always wait to turn off the TV until after the Stanley Cup is presented. It's tradition. It looks like NBC may have just started a new post-Cup tradition last night – the ex-player who never won having a breakdown on national TV. Just as long as Milbury's there for the annual hug. â†µâ†µ
This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.