There are two things that blow my mind about Mike Emrick, NBC’s legendary hockey announcer who on Monday announced his retirement. The first is how awed other sports announcers are of him. There are a handful of people in the world like this, people who are not just good at what they do but who leave everyone else in their business dumbfounded and dazed. Richard Pryor or Mel Brooks in comedy, Prince or Aretha Franklin in music, Michael Lewis or Laura Hillenbrand in non-fiction writing, Jeffrey Wright or Patricia Clarkson in acting, their genius goes beyond the simple wonder of their work, the stuff that the rest of us notice.
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