For 15 years, Eddie Olczyk was in the lead booth for the NHL on NBC with Doc Emrick. While Emrick is now retired and Olczyk is the lead analyst on TNT, that does not mean the lessons Olczyk learned from Emrick don’t still stick with him.
On the latest episode of The Block Party with Seth Kushner podcast, Olczyk mentioned one piece of advice Emrick gave him, saying it is OK to make fun of yourself when a mistake happens.
“Doc Emrick said to me a couple of times. Once you say it, it’s off to Mars, so you are never really getting it back,” Olczyk recalled. “If you make a mistake, it’s okay to own up to it. I think people appreciate humility, they appreciate honesty, and they appreciate people making fun of themselves. If I call a wrong penalty or a wrong goal, you own up to it. That’s kind of the mindset I always have.
“I miss him [Emrick] everyday. Hockey misses him for sure. He is at peace. He’s happy that baseball is back… I think that relationship with Doc, even more so out of the booth, is what I miss the most. He was great for me, for my family, and for my career.”
Whenever any aspiring broadcasters ask Olczyk for advice, he mentions something every good broadcaster should have.
“Humility is a great quality to have,” Olczyk said. “If you make a mistake on live TV or live radio, it’s okay to make fun of yourself and bring light to it. There’s no sense of hiding or running away from it.”
Since joining TNT, Olczyk hasn’t felt that big of a difference compared to NBC. Once he enters the arena, his main focus is to have fun, entertain the viewing audience, and help take their mind off what’s going on in the real world:
“When we are in the building, it’s just like anyone else that does their job,” said Olczyk. “You just get in the zone and you do your thing. However it is coming across on whatever network you are on, you are going to try to do the best you can and try to be the best analyst in hockey every night. Most importantly, have fun and entertain.”
“We all know what’s going on in the real world. All we have to do is turn on the evening news and realize what we are doing is entertainment and not take it too seriously,” he continued. “We want to be the best at what we do, but in the big picture, it is a very small part of the big world… We want to help people get away from the real world for a little while.
“My focus is to entertain, tell them something that they maybe didn’t realize, and when they turned off the game, hopefully they were entertained for a couple of hours.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.