Tom Larscheid standing on bench, with buddies Laura Ornest,
Al Davidson and Jim Cox
Former BC Lions running back; colour commentator BC Lions and
Larscheid knows about cheap shots. He took
a few as a star running back with
``There's a lot of envy and jealousy in our business, but it's especially true in this market,'' he says. ``All we do is rip each other. It's bullshit.''
Jim Robson and Larscheid are opposite personalities and their marriage on the broadcasts, which took place in 1977, had a troubled honeymoon. Robson was used to working solo and was set in his ways. Larscheid is a free spirit. They held meetings before each game, worked out their differences, and gradually melded into what is arguably the best team in the business.
Larscheid describes him in two words: "Consummate professional."
Bella Restaurant on
'NW sports director and football play-by-play announcer J.P. McConnell never did acknowledge Larscheid's absence, except for a casual mention on the pre-game show that Giulio Caravatta would be his sidekick in the broadcast booth for the coming season. Had Larscheid been fired? Did he suddenly walk away from his football assignment because it was too much to handle with his commitment to the Canucks broadcasts? Did McConnell and Larscheid have another of their celebrated dust-ups?
Plasteras, 'NW program director, doubles as the
Larscheid concludes: "Of course, I'm going to miss football. But I've got to keep reminding myself to count my blessings. Where else can a guy who's 60 years old work eight months of the year at something he loves and take the summers off? For Plasteras, it was just another day and the extinguishing of another fire.
Coleman says he'll take great delight in being part of Tom Larscheid's
induction at the Football Reporters of
The Province 2003 Terry Bell
For 26 years, Tom Larscheid has been informing and entertaining Canucks fans over the airwaves as the team's colour man on its radio broadcasts
It comes out over the airwaves in a rat-a-tat-tat staccato, like an Uzi firing off a round of single syllable ammo.
Yep, there it is ... ha, ha, ha, ha, ha ... Tom Larscheid is unleashing his infectious, trademark laugh. And you just know that when you hear it the Canucks are either filling someone else's net or stoning guys in front of their own.
Larscheid, the former B.C. Lions running back turned radio broadcaster, has been providing colour commentary for Canucks games since he made his CKNW debut alongside Jim Robson at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1977.
Time has done nothing to erode either his enthusiasm for the game or the team he covers.
"Get on the telephone, Chubey has found his scoring touch!" he yelled across B.C. when the Canucks quiet Russian Artem Chubarov made some noise with a pair of goals to lead the Canucks to a 6-3 win over Columbus at GM Place last Tuesday.
"Oh, this is more like it, baby. The team is starting to play the way it can!" he told play-by-play man John Shorthouse as the Canucks rallied from a 3-2 deficit with a big third period.
Larscheid, who's in the first year of a new three-year deal with CKNW, makes no apologies about wanting the Canucks to win.
try to portray the joy and excitement in the game," said Larscheid when asked to describe his style. "It's
enthusiastic. At times it's opinionated. I try to call it the way it is. I want
people at home to feel what people are feeling here at
let's not be mistaken about this, I love to see the
think that's fine. We are the broadcasters for the
Larscheid isn't afraid to let the Canucks have it when they stink. He'll call a guy a bonehead after a bad play. He's more critical of the team he covers than many of his peers are.
But he's not malicious. He's never there with the shovel ready to bury a guy. Tough love, you might say.
the 3-1 win over the Kings in
"That was a very lazy shift and the Canucks paid for it," Larscheid said. "This checking people with their sticks."
And then this observation on Bertuzzi, who'd just drawn a penalty for levelling Sean Avery: "He has been asleep tonight. When he's not moving his feet, he's not very effective."
The players don't get mad. They know most times he's right.
"Tommy's always been a good guy, very respectful and a good guy to talk to," said Bertuzzi, whom Larscheid nicknamed "Babe" two years ago after he'd predicted -- in true Babe Ruth fashion -- that he'd score a goal.
"He's a good man. He knows a lot about sports and it shows in his broadcasting. He's been good to me and he's been a good friend."
Larscheid knows what it's like to be a pro athlete. That's helped him relate to what players go through on a daily basis and maybe given him a credibility in the dressing room that non-players might not have.
"It's a camaraderie that professional athletes have for each other," said Larscheid. "I think that helped me a lot as far as dealing with players on a day-to-day basis.
"I think players admire players who played in other sports and from that standpoint it carried me through a lot of the rough periods."
But there don't appear to be any rough periods now. And not just because the Canucks are off to a strong start.
Larscheid loves working with Shorthouse, a partnership that's now in its sixth season.
"I've never had more fun in the booth than I'm having right now," said Larscheid. "My love and passion for the game has never wavered. In fact, I think it's stronger now than it's ever been and maybe the reason for that is the partnership we have in the booth.
"We play off each other. We're a team. We have a lot of fun and that's important in this job because we spend so much time together over the course of a season."
Shorthouse and Larscheid have become good friends. This, of course, gives Shorthouse licence to mimic his colleague. Some of that comes on the long plane rides after games.
"Sometimes I'll get him going on the plane," said Shorthouse. "I'll play back a highlight and he just loves it. It's so funny. I'll cue up some of the off-the-wall stuff he said and he just loses it, he howls."
"It's infectious and it's at both ends of the spectrum," Shorthouse said of Larscheid's loquaciousness, throwing out a perfect "it's murrrrder" -- a favourite that rolls off Tom's tongue when times seem to be at their worst.
"I like him when he's at his highest and I like him when he's at his lowest. He's entertaining at both ends because he wears his heart on his sleeve. I'm sure, as a listener, if you tune in and you don't know the score and you hear him talk then you know how the night's going.
"I think that's just Tom," continues Shorthouse. "He understands the game and that shines through when it needs to but I think what he has that a lot of the colour guys don't have is not only an understanding of the game but also a really genuine understanding of the broadcasting business.
"It's not all about Xs and Os. It's about entertaining people and I think he does that better than anybody. It's a balance not only between analyzing and educating but also entertaining."
Larscheid still remembers his first game --
a 6-3 loss to the Rangers on
Of course, he laughs about the gaffe now.
remembers the best moments: Pavel Bure's
end-to-end rush at the Pacific Coliseum in his Canucks debut and Bure's goal in double overtime against
Larscheid almost came out of the booth on those nights.
And to paraphrase the man himself, "Didn't ya just love it!"