TAMPA — If you’ve been around hockey in the past 30 years, you probably know Jack Edwards.
Maybe you remember his “This is SportsCenter” commercials — the shoe contract or the one with Roger Clemens, for example. Or maybe you know him from his sometimes noteworthy comments on the Bruins’ broadcasts.
Edwards has been NESN’s Bruins play-by-play announcer four 14 years. If you’re a Bruins fan, you probably love him; he’s known for his hometown perspective. If you’re not a Bruins fan, it’s likely not love.
Either way, he’s in town with the Bruins playing the Lightning on Thursday, so we took the chance to catch up with the legendary broadcaster.
What’s do you like about broadcasting with one team vs. anchoring SportsCenter?
I never really felt comfortable as a SportsCenter anchor because you have to have that mile-wide knowledge, only a quarter-of-an-inch deep. With the Bruins, the team I’ve followed since I was a small child, I can have a knowledge that’s an inch wide and 10 miles deep. My brain works much better that way.
Replay has been a hot topic in the league this year. Is it broken and do you have thoughts on how to fix it?
Offsides replay should have to be called within 30 seconds of the puck crossing the goal line. All reviews should have to be watched in real time. The rule was put in to stop egregious errors. The Bruins have had two goals called back this season by less than an inch offsides. At 30 miles an hour, nobody can see that. It slows the game down. On neither of the goals did anyone on the ice react like there was an offsides. If it’s egregious, yeah, you’ll see it in real time, no slow-mo, no stop action. We can watch it on the postgame show zoomed in and frozen and everybody can criticize the linesman, but it’s a real-time game. The offside review has really ruined it. Games are being decided by some guys who are in a hardened bunker 200 feet from the ice watching it on 4K screens not in real time.
We heard you’re a big skier, a pastime foreign to most Floridians. What was your best ski trip?
Val d’Isere, France, on assignment for CBS Sports. We were supposed to cover three races and it snowed 7 feet. They never raced a gate. But it was some of the most epic powder skiing I’ve ever done and the pay was really good.