2011 Approval Ratings – Jack Edwards

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We wrap up what has been a “Bruins Week” with NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards.

A New England native who went to both high school (Oyster River High School) and college (UNH) in Durham NH, Edwards has had a long and varied career, broadcasting many different sports at many different outlets.

He’s worked at WMUR-TV in Manchester, NH, WRKO radio, WCVB-TV and WHDH-TV in Boston, as well as doing work for ABC’s Wide World of Sports in the late 1980′s.

In 1991 he joined ESPN and remained there until 2003, where he was a SportsCenter anchor, and did play-by-play for the Little League World Series, NHL games and soccer.

He’s found a home however, in his role on the Bruins telecasts, a role he began on a part-time basis back in 2005, and took over full time in 2007.

Edwards has gained notoriety on the national level with some of his outbursts and post game rants on the NESN telecasts.

He was the recent subject of a curious Saturday morning inquisition on WEEI last month, one which people are still talking about. (In this comment section, anyway.)

He’s clearly another guy that viewers either love or hate, and here’s your chance to say which side you come down on.

Jack Edwards 2011 Approval Ratings
View Results
  • Doc Michaels

    A terrific play-by-play guy who occasionally loses it — but even so, he's a lot more entertaining and lively than Don Orsillo's stiff, neutral announcing of the Red Sox, where there's never a point-of-view or real insight given into what you're watching. Love Jack or hate him, his passion and knowledge of the game is obvious.

    I also find it ironic that Kirk Minihane's mean-spirited, obnoxious interview with Jack (shortly after his post-game "Royals" speech) ended up galvanizing Edwards' fans and preceded his new NESN deal, not to mention served as the springboard for his numerous EEI appearances. It's almost like what Minihane hoped his trashing of Edwards and his condescending interview would achieve ended up doing the complete, total opposite.

  • Funkhouser

    I've gotten used to his quirky announcing style and his unabashed homerism. But he really needs to put more effort into finding a product that sucessfully whitens his teeth. I think he probably take some advice from Barry Pederson, who looks fabulous on every broadcast. Approve.

  • JTK

    There are two types of people…thos who get Jack and those who don't. I get Jack, I get his nonsensical rants. He cares about the sport, he cares about the team. Sure he is a homer, but he's better than that guy from Tampa.

  • Nicky B

    WOW, I just listened to that WEEI interview. These guys are on par with Feger as being such douchebags. Unreal how they expect a local home team announcer to not be biased towards the team he is paid to announce.

    • Lance_

      Yeah, me too. I thought Bradford was better than that but now I know.

    • Jack

      Ordway and Holley especially have rubbed Minihane's nose in it for that interview. I don't follow hockey, so I've only heard his "speeches" on other 'EEI shows. I have no opinion of him, but I have an intense dislike for Minihane so I guess the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      I think Bradford tried to protect Minihane. Bradford seems to be this twerp's mentor. He had him on a weekend show about a year ago and Minihane made some stupid remarks about Jim Rice. The listeners immediately pounced on him and Bradford spent the rest of the show apologizing.

  • J.R.

    As we all know, hockey is the most difficult sport to call — on radio or TV. Edwards is passionate, knowledgeable, and calls a VERY good game. Does he veer off into self-caricature sometimes? Sure. So what? Once upon a time we had a basketball announcer who was the same way.

    • tl;dr

      "Does he veer off into self-caricature sometimes? Sure. So what?"

      You're not supposed to.

  • NASCL

    My feelings towards this self-promoting tool are contained in four years worth of BSMW game threads.

    Would I knock back a few beers with him in the Penalty Box? Bleep, no. I wouldn’t even enter a strip joint in Calgary or Edmonton if he was inside.

    Vehemently “Disapprove!”

    • Nicky B

      Tell us how you really Feel. :)

  • latetodinner

    Can I please, please, please have my apathetic button. As far as calling a game goes I think Jack is fine. He is knowledgeable, follows the action (unlike say Gil and Gino who the game has totally passed by), and describes the game that is taking place. Taking away the fact that it is hockey and no one cares about hockey…if you really think about it he does not add to experience anything spectacular. I think Mike Gorman does a much better job with the Celtics (and I hate basketball). At best he is nondescript…that is until…

    He decides to leave the confines of play by play and become a commenter. Then he is horrid. Whether he is telling some bizarre story about Patriots from the 1700's or something else equally as inane he tends to forget that what he is supposed to be doing is calling the game. So if he is going to editorialize he better do it with superior knowledge and insight. I think what really grates on his detractors is the fact that he does not seem to realize how unprepared bordering on unprofessional he sounds when he does these things. Don't become the story Jack…stick to just describing it.

    • Winning

      Again, way off base. Don't throw a blanket statement "No-one cares about hockey" when in fact, you don't care about it. if you don't like Jack, thats fine. Don't speak for myself and other Hockey fans. Jack is an Excellent play-by-play man. Again he is calling for game for NESN, the BRUINS tv network, not NBC. While his rants are strange and often weird, he is good at what he does.

      Would you rather have a guy calling the play by play like the Redsox radio guy who followed Trupiano and preceeded Dale,Rish, and Dave o'Brien? That guy was so forgettable, I legit cannot remember his name.

      I have realized there is not a Boston media reported/play by play who will please you. You have entrenched your feet in mud. I suggest moving to another market, maybe San Antonio, and see how great things are there.

      • latetodinner

        Not true Winning. I like Dave O'brien a lot. I also did not like Bob Starr which is why he was replaced…well not because I personally did not like him but because he was forgettable. The issue is Edwards. My critique of him which I started when his extension was announced is that as an announcer I am apathetic towards him. I do not mind that he is a homer (I miss Johnny Most although I did often wonder what game he was watching) and like I said he calls an okay game. I think his real problem and the reason why I am apathetic towards him is when he steps out of play by play role and into talking head role. I think he sucks at it. His rants are mind numbingly stupid. His observations are basic and I don't think he adds anything to the conversation. The great thing about Johnny Most, Mike Gorman, Gino Capeletti (who I do think the game has passed by) or Dave OB for that matter is that they keep the editorializing outside the game to a minimum. Therefore you remember them for enhancing the game experience because they have not said anything to distract from it.

        By the way…the Bruins won one of the best non Olympic hockey games I have seenin the last 20 years. No fights, no penalities, up and down the ice, great goal tending on both sides….the type of game causal fans would absolutely hate/ignore/call boring in the regular season. I am sure the pink hats will be out in force and we will again hear how Boston is a hockey town. The ratings on Versus will be up and we will be subjected to another 2 weeks of hockey talk. I still say when all is said and done that no one cares about the Bruins because the Jacobs have completely abused the fan base for years, that nationally the sport has been marketed atrociously, and that even with this boost…if the Sox are in first place playing well on June 15 when the Cup finals are over no one will be paying attention. So that you do not feel too bad…the Celtics are quickly becoming the same after thought….eliminated from the playoffs, going to be an old team next year, impending work stoppage…absolutely no one talking about them.

    • Doc Michaels

      You really discredit all of your posts which are sometimes insightful with stupid, blanket statements like "nobody cares about hockey". Watch the ratings for this game tonight, the local TV stations that suddenly turned into Bruins post-game, the 17,000 fans who watched the game, the thousands who celebrated, and once again tell everyone again that "nobody cares about hockey."

      Don't confuse your own point of view with everyone else, which are certainly NOT one and the same!

      • latetodinner

        For 20 years the ratings were negligible. The Season ticket base had deteriorated. The local sports stations in Boston (WEEI, ESPN AM) and in Providence (WSKO) could not sell hockey programming or talk so none of them carried the Bruins or even talked about them…even when one of the announcers for the team (Dale Arnold) had a 4 hour shift to talk hockey. No one cared!

        Now all of a sudden the team makes a once in my kids lifetime run at the Stanley Cup and you want me to believe that Boston is a hockey town and people care. I spent two hours early this morning driving and listening to the national ESPN broadcast on WEEI (I was at the far end of the Cape doing errands and could not get 98.5). It was 2 hours of Heat/Mavs…arguably the worst NBA matchup in years. It was mind numbing.

        I don't buy it. The Jacobs did not all of a sudden become the Krafts. You do not have to agree with me but please do not try and lecture me on the strength of hockey fandom in Boston. This is a fluke. I will say this about the Bruins…they have awesome timing. They make a run at the Cup in a year with Football stopped (quick question what do you think would be getting more attention the Stanley cup finals or a Pats mini camp?), the Celtics get bounced early in the playoffs and no one sees a bright future for them with a work stoppage on the horizon, and the sox start the season 2-12 thereby letting the Media focus on the positive Bruins story when it looked like the Sox were a joke (turns out they were just in a slump…if they had started 12-2 and continued playing at .750 pace the Bruins would not be getting nearly as much coverage as they are.

  • MassholeSports

    Jack Edwards is everything you want in an announcer. I dont understand why he is such a polarizing figure. All I know is Id rather be polarizing than irrelevant…like Dale was.

    • Jack

      I think some of the problem is that his homerism histionics are relatively new. I don't follow hockey, but I do know some of the names. I never heard of this guy until he made his Patriots Day speech last year. Isn't he the guy who replaced Dale Arnold just a few years back?

      Johnny Most took a while to get to what we heard at the end of his 35+ years with the Celtics. I remember listening to him in the 50s and he was excitable, but a lot closer to impartial. Tommy Heinsohn has been associated with the Celtics since 1956. Anyone who saw Tommy play or, especially, coach, knows that he's not putting anything on. With Jack Edwards, I have to ask if he just decided to try the Felger approach and become outtrageous to get attention. As I said, I don't watch the Bruins, so he can swing from the chandelier for all i care..

      Also, there's an Oscar Mayer ad on my screen that wont go away. Add them to the list of products I will never buy again..

  • mandb97

    Edwards can be a little confounding at times. I do believe his rants can be over the top and a bit unnecessary. That being said, he does do a good job at the nuts and bolts of play-by-play. He respects all players, including the opposition. A good example is P.K. Subban of Montreal, one moment Edwards will criticize Subban for diving which is justified and the next, he will laud him for his puck movement and terrific shot. He looks at each moment individually. He has improved quite a bit and gets a solid approve.

    P.S. Jack has been talked about in the new ESPN book. He does not hold back his disdain for the worldwide leader.

    P.S. II. Kirk Minihane and WEEI better take notice. I listened to WEEI Sports Saturday this past weekend. It was only Rob Bradford and John Ryder. It was very good radio. When Minihane is on the show, it suddenly sucks. Speaking of Minihane, he may be the most thin-skinned media person I have heard from in a long time. Minihane hinted around that Danny Ainge should be fired because he has not done anything since 2008. When callers thought he was wrong, he would scream them down and call them names. Stay classy Kirk, and remember your station is starting to get waxed in the important demos. You are VERY expendable.

  • Winning

    Do you know what happened to Perrault? Was he canned?

    • Jason_Coyote

      Don't think so – he filled in for Ryder one night, but it's possible he may have lost his regular hosting gig on Saturday mornings. Entercom will probably keep him around as a fill-in because he comes cheaply, although I've heard more of Butch Stearns on weekends lately…wonder if that means anything.

      It's ironic I've been late to comment on all of these approval ratings, because I am so glad that Bruce decided to bring these back and couldn't wait to give my critique. Having said that, the rest of you have summed up Edwards pretty well – great play-by-play skills, don't mind him being a homer but could do without the obnoxious soliloquies.

      • Guest

        When your relegated to filling in for a fill-in like John Ryder, it may be time to rethink your career path. Here's to hoping Perrault gets canned permanently.

  • NutCracker

    I think Jack Edwards is great. We should be so lucky to have him calling the Bruins. The dude knows hockey and if he's the Tommy Heinsohn of the Bruins; so be it. If you listen to hockey games in other cities, all the announcers are major homers. Jack's our guy.

  • JohnnyApps

    Pretty interesting drive home today. With the Bruins playing their biggest game in years and everyone in their cars driving places for the long weekend, today's a big ratings day for the afternoon drive. So what does WEEI do? Same old story… Ordway is on vacation … while on 98.5 Felger's been taking calls and talking all things Bruins all afternoon. I didn't hear any of this contrarism crap all you people bitch about… just straight Bruins talk… many callers calling in. You'd think Ordway would WANT to be on the air today with game 7 tonight… but WEEI still makes little effort in trying to win over fans. Dale is a solid fill in, especially for hockey… but it's still an example of WEEI's cluelessness with running a radio station in a competitive town.

  • Classless

    I approve of his raging homerism only because I love Tommy Heinson and therefore would be a hypocrite if I didn't. I hate the Bruins, but respect the enthusiasm Jack brings, even if he's silly once and awhile. At least he's memorable, unlike Don Orsillo or the Patriots senile team.

  • suckitCHB

    approve. but someone needs to buy him a new shirt. buttons on the collar?!? really?

  • Callah

    I tend to think interview that Bradford and Minihane did was sort of a preamble for Jack Edwards to be on WEEI more, i.e. Mike Adams locking holding the station hostage for a job schtick. Create a dispute, Jack puts them to shame in the interview, so he becomes a credible guest.

  • Angry Old Bastard

    BRUINS WIN!…..let "Hockey Talk" continue!

  • Lefty

    Let's see….Minihane doesn't like him, Dennis doesn't like him, Callahan doesn't like him, Metergerbil is practically digesting his own internal organs because he's so full of envious bile because of the attention Edwards is getting…..with all that going on, how can you NOT like this guy?

  • wandering _bear

    who is bradford to call out homerism in anyone? he wrote a book on the 2007 red sox – Beckett and Lowell – you know the team he covers for a living!

    the real issue with weei is no one can discuss or break down a hockey game and they have no interest in it eithier, so fans have moved to 98.5. they also have to protect Dale's feelings from being dumped by nesn

  • Tony

    I grew up listening to the Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin of hockey play-by-play guys: Fred Cusick (TV) and Bob Wilson (radio), so I'm incredibly spoiled and anyone who's try to follow in their footsteps has had an impossible mountain to climb IMO. That said, Jack's enthusiasm for the game and for the Bruins is obvious, and that's a good thing. I also have to say that he's introduced a hockey term that I don't ever recall hearing any hockey announcer, local or national, mention before Jack started mentioning it on B's telecasts: "kick-plate"–that yellow rim that runs around the bottom of the boards. I had never heard anyone use that term to describe that part of the rink before Jack started using it. How is that possible? Anyway, I'll give Jack a thumbs up, even though the rants sometimes cause me to make that face that Brad Pitt makes at the end of "Seven" when he realizes that his wife's head is in the box.

  • Kirk Minihane

    Guys, I'm fine with whatever you want to say about me regarding the Jack interview. I agree that it was too negative in tone and too long by half. For me to be offended by criticism after that kind of interview would be offensive at best. No problem at all. But I never suggested — at any time — that Danny Ainge should be fired. Quite the opposite, I said and have written that he's the best GM in the league. And I didn't "say some things about Jim Rice." I said Derek Jeter was a better player. He was.

    • Jason_Coyote

      Kirk, if this is really you I am glad you are admitting to the error of your ways during that Edwards interview. I hope the experience has taught you a valuable lesson of what not to do in broadcasting. Used to enjoy listening to you on weekends when you were paired up with Mutnansky and would like to see you get back to that style instead of feeling the need to bully interview subjects or callers on the air.

    • Jack

      I seem to remember that you said "Jim Rice couldn't carry Ricky Henderson's jock". And then we learned that you are too young to have ever seem Jim Rice play.

    • mandb97

      Sorry Kirk, your tone came off like you believed that Ainge could eventually be fired because he has not done anything since 2008. You may believe Ainge is the best GM in basketball but it sure did not sound like it when I was listening. When someone called you out on it, you took the D&C and Ordway approach of backing up your argument which was to shout down the caller. It was frankly immature and a major reason why your station is beginning to get smoked in the major demographics. By the way, I have listened to your show three times. The first two was the rude and lousy Edwards interview and your take on Ainge. The third time you were not there and it was good radio. Maybe you should listen to Johnson and Flynn on your competitors station. You could learn what good radio actually sounds like. As I said in an earlier post, your station is not going to put up with poor radio. They have made numerous changes including changing the host of your show, much to the better I might add, do not think for a second you could not be next.

      • mandb97

        Kirk I do have to give you credit for responding. Many in your profession do not bother because readers or listeners are beneath them and are not nearly as intelligent as they are( see Massarotti, Tony). The fact that you do respond at least shows that you care. Now you need to take to heart what is being said and change your on-air performance. The fact that I listen to the dreadful Bertrand and Gasper show more is all you need to know about how much improvement you need to make.

  • Jon

    Jack wins me over with his saucer passes, muscular defending and cocking and shooting.