On Thursday night, the Washington Capitals captured their first Stanley Cup title beating the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5.
Calling the Stanley Cup Finals for NBC, as he has for so many years, was their longtime play-by-play commentator Mike “Doc” Emrick. When you listen to Doc broadcast the the game of hockey, you feel like you’re listening to the biggest fan around. He exudes excitement and energy when he’s behind the mic calling a game.
Emrick’s hockey broadcasting career began in 1973 calling minor league games. In 1982, he moved to the NHL and called games for the Philadelphia Flyers and then the New Jersey Devils, where he would remain for 18 years until leaving to call national games exclusively for the NHL on NBC.
His passion for hockey is evident when you watch NHL telecasts, but even more important to Emrick is his faith in God. In an interview on Hockey Ministries, Doc shared how the Lord is a priority for him, how he says a prayer before every broadcast to calm him and the importance of staying in God’s Word each day.
“I usually refer to one of these (prayers) before the game starts,” Emrick said. “The announcer should be calm and be able to focus and keep things off his mind. It does help put me in a good place. It’s part of living each day. I try also, ever since I’ve been in high school, I have devotionals that I do each morning and I also, when people ask me to pray for them, or I tell them that I do, I keep them in the back of a notebook.”
Emrick, 71, says it is important to pray to God and thank God, but at the same time, understand that His will and His answer to prayers aren’t always what we expect. But they are always evidence that the Lord is moving.
“God is not necessarily a butler,” Emrick said, “someone that you ask to come do things for you every day. But you do make requests, that things you have on your mind go well. And there are times that you just say thank you so much that there’s been a healing here and it makes you happy. It makes me feel like God is working whether the outcome is what people want or not.”
The belief and trust in God began for Emrick when he was a little boy of age 8 or 9 at church with his mother. When the Lord came into his life, he realized that he could still do the things he loved, including sports. But now he saw a change in how he viewed others and treated others.
“I think it does change how you relate to people,” he said. “It’s not perfect and you realize that sometimes you really do a bad job of it, but that’s a part of examining who you are each day and trying to be better.”
You can watch the entire interview of Emrick with Hockey Ministries here.
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