BUFFALO, NY (MB) — Rick Jeanneret’s title now hangs amongst Sabres royalty, high shelf the place mama hides the cookies.
A bought out crowd has been laborious to return by this season, however Sabres followers descended on KeyBank Middle hours earlier than the puck dropped Friday night time to have a good time Rick Jeanneret’s legendary profession.
“I simply have a look, and see my title up there with all the different fellows, and assume wow that is actually one thing,” Jeanneret stated.
When RJ appeared on the large display screen for the primary time, followers cheered for a number of minutes, interrupting the remarks from proprietor Terry Pegula. In his emotional speech his to followers, Jeanneret remembered 51 years of “stunning noise,” however not in the way in which Neil Diamond wrote. RJ’s is completely different.
“My stunning noise is the roar of the gang,” he stated in his pregame speech.
It was the one place followers needed to be in Western New York — alongside a sports activities broadcasting icon. The world was filled with followers from throughout the area sporting their favourite Sabres gear. For a lot of, they selected not their favourite participant or quantity, however their favourite announcer.
“Man it appears like sport seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Everybody’s right here. It is packed, able to go, able to social gathering,” Nicholas Hostetter of Welland, Ontario stated.
A number of followers stated that RJ is the the voice of the group and represents not simply the workforce, however the complete metropolis. They referred to as it bittersweet to bid farewell to a person they’ve welcomed into their houses for greater than half of a century.
“You’ll be able to’t all the time get the Sabres video games on tv the place I’m, however you’ll be able to all the time take heed to the radio,” Adam Ujvari of Cleveland, Ohio added. “And they’d broadcast Rick’s voice his, and it’s virtually such as you ‘re watching the sport.”
For a lot of, it’s Jeanneret’s voice, vitality, ardour and calls that formed recollections that can final a lifetime. Whereas there are such a lot of to select from, followers Minus Better spoke with stated amongst their favorites are: “Might Day”, “Who Else?” and “High Shelf The place Mama Hides the Cookies.”
Jeanneret’s recollections are somewhat bit completely different. In truth, they’re the reverse. He remembers the crowds chanting “Ooh, aah, Sabres on the warpath” and counting the variety of targets, saying “We would like extra.” He remembers the Aud and the KeyBank Middle bustling with cheers for large video games within the Queen Metropolis.
“I’ve solely three phrases. I really like you,” Jeanneret stated to followers.
A scary good profession may solely finish on this legendary means.
Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the Minus Better workforce as a reporter in 2022. She beforehand labored at WETM in Elmira, NY, a sister station of Minus Better. You’ll be able to observe Tara on Fb and Twitter and discover extra of her work right here.