by Patrick Hoffman on 03/04/10 at 12:56 PM ET
Back in the mid 1990’s, I would listen to WFAN New York Sports radio prior to going to bed. My favorite show to listen to at the time was “Ferrall on the bench” because despite being a sports show, he talked about hockey for a good portion of it. It was excellent as he knew his stuff and cared about our great game.
I was lucky enough to recently reach out to Scottie Ferrall and book an e-mail interview with him. Scottie was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to talk about how he got into hockey, sportscasting, and his thoughts on what’s currently going on in the National Hockey League.
This was by far my favorite e-mail interview out of everyone I have done so far so please, enjoy it puckheads!
PH: How did you get into hockey?
SF: After the 1980 Olympic Gold win in Lake Placid, my dad took me to see the Pens and Mark Johnson play the North Stars at the Igloo. Never looked back—became a huge fan for life!
PH: Growing up, who was your favorite team/player?
SF: Pens and Lemieux of course! Saw his first and last shift in league and also became friends with him.
PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be involved in sports from the radio side of things?
SF: I wanted to be Howard Cosell when I was 5.
PH: Name some of the outlets that you have worked for.
SF: Covered Indiana basketball from 83-87(National Championship vs Syracuse), KQV (CBS) Pittsburgh, SEN(Sports Entertainment Network, ONE on ONE Sports, Sporting News Radio), CNN Radio, KNBR San Francisco, Westwood One(Ferrall On The Bench-nationally syndicated in 200 markets-48 of top 50), Atlanta Thrashers-Turner Sports, SportsFan Radio Network, WFAN NY, ESPN 1050 NY, WNEW FM NY, WQAM Miami, Q101 CHICAGO, Clear Channel FM TALK Atlanta 105.3 FM, Fox Sports Radio-Premier and 5 yrs at Sirius XM Radio-HOWARD STERN CHANNELS(101)—-also did television work for MTV, SPORTSCHANNEL, BATTLEDOME ON BUENA VISTA and Columbia TRI-STAR, ABC in Miami,CNN and TURNER SOUTH, COMCAST SPORTSNET NY, PHILLY.
DAVID MAMET (REDBELT 2008)
ROBERT SIEGEL (BIG FAN 2009)
PH: Who do you currently work for and what do you try to bring hockey fans that tune into your show?
SF: FERRALL SHOW on HOWARD 101-SIRIUSXM from 8p-12a est from NYC across North America—I have hundreds of NHL stars on the show regularly, as well as broadcasters, GM’s, coaches, writers and bloggers. We talk hockey every night and lots of it. As far as the U.S. marketplace goes, no one can touch our show when it comes to talking and promoting hockey ANYWHERE! I also work for the NHL and so does my Executive Producer, Lou Pellegrino. Everyone that loves hockey listens to us because we LIVE for hockey-literally!
PH: Tell us about what it was like to be a radio hockey broadcaster.
SF: Being the Thrashers first play by play voice in their expansion season of 1999 was very difficult. They lost every night and misery loves company. It was frustrating, but I loved calling the games. I was too controversial and intense for the organization, but maybe one of those geniuses running the team might have considered that before giving me a guaranteed 4 yr deal. My reputation going into the job was that of being the rowdiest announcer in sports. What did they expect, for me to be born again? I called it like I saw it—never missed a game or a goal and thought I was good at it in the end! I could call a game tonight! I thought I was very entertaining and so did Atlanta(fans). Don Waddell (who I do like) couldn’t handle me, or any of the players wives. That’s because when a guy sucked—I said it! “WHAA—Ferrall’s being mean to my husband—WHAA”.
I also broke all the rules, including drinking beer at games like Harry Caray. Hockey and beer go together, similar to hot dogs with buns ! I also talked during games about super hot chicks in the stands and what they had to offer. It really was a beautiful thing! I set the standard for entertaining hockey fans on the air and am untouched to this day by any announcer when it comes to making fans laugh and love the game at the same time. My fight calls were unequaled. I did FAKE fights if the Thrashers were losing by more than 3 goals—that’s good stuff. I enjoyed the fact that most other announcers in the league were mad that I got the job and hadn’t paid my dues. Harvey Schiller hired me bacause he knew I was the only guy that could sell hockey, $200 jerseys and season tickets to a bunch of rednecks in the deep South. Simple as that. He thought outside the box. Smart guy! I can’t believe 11 yrs later-the Thrashers still BLOW, but everyone in hockey still comes on the FERRALL SHOW because we RULE when it comes to pucks !
PH: Now for some actual hockey talk - which teams/players have been a surpise this year? How about disappointments?
SF: I think in terms of surprises: Phoenix, Colorado and the Kings in that order. I can’t believe how quickly Steve Stamkos (TB) has become a bad ass. I love the numbers Patrick Marleau is putting up nightly. Jonathon Quick has emerged as a winner in Lipstick City with the Kings.
As far as disappointments: Columbus after last year, Anaheim, Detroit (fell hard), Boston, Carolina and the Rangers. I still think the Red Wings can turn it around and the Bruins & Rangers can still be playoff teams but are NOT winning anything that matters.
PH: If you had to look into your crystal ball, which eight teams from both the Eastern and Western Conferences do you see making the playoffs? Why?
SF: East: Wash, NJ, Ottawa, PITT, Buffalo, Philly, NYR, Montreal
West: Chicago, SJ, Vancouver, LA, Phoenix, Colorado, Calgary, Detroit
I think the Flames made some moves and their big guns will come through during the stretch. I still believe the Wings have the talent to get in again, as usual. The Bruins don’t deserve to be in, so the Habs steal the last spot. Longshots: Dallas and Nashville in the West, Tampa and Atlanta in the East. I doubt it for all four though.
PH: What are three words you would use to describe USA’s Silver Medal in hockey at this year’s Olympics?
SF: GOOD NOT GREAT!
PH: Any words of wisdom for readers here at Kukla’s Korner?
SF: Always put Hockey first in your life—it makes things simple! That includes family. Oh, and go to SCOTTBEATSTHEMAN.COM or FERRALLRADIO.COM for all my hockey winners nightly and while you are at it—drink cold beer and always get the Center Ice Package before food, water, gas and girlfriends. Don’t date women that don’t like hockey-very simple rule to live by! Always remember to SHAKE IT UP and keep your elbow’s up! If they get rid of fighting in hockey—someone shoot me!
PS. GO TO TORONTO and see the HALL OF FAME and party at Gretzky’s.
PPS: SID RULES—you lose OVIE! Crosby has everything and you have the hardware that people forget about sitting on your fireplace. Oh, and you’re ugly !
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.