February 12, 2009
Even though we watch the Florida Panthers with
measurable indifference a keen eye for detail, we were unaware that radio play-by-play man Randy Moller was in fact the Randy Moller, former defenseman for the Quebec Nordiques, the New York Rangers, the Buffalo Sabres and the Panthers. Which is pretty cool.
Moller and Dan Le Batard, who hosts a sports-talk show on 790 The Ticket, conspired on a little experiment this season: Callers to Le Batard's show would suggest pop culture references for Moller, and he would then use them during his goal-calls for Panthers games. The following video put together by Le Barard's producers shows just how far this experiment has gone, and how hilarious its results have been:
Contrived, you say? Killjoys. For those keeping score at home, and in no particular order, we've got references to "Forrest Gump," "48 Hours," "Anchorman," "Old School," "Wedding Crashers," "Dumb and Dumber," Fozzie Bear, "Rounders," Def Leppard, "Se7en," "Kindergarten Cop" and "The Terminator" among many others.
From Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald last December, the inside scoop on Moller's goal calls:
Moller takes suggestions from listeners during a crossover with Le Batard and Weiner on nights of Panthers games, jots down the best, and uses them at moments he deems appropriate. He saves some that he likes but has no opportunity to use that night. He said hundreds of fans have e-mailed him with suggestions, including some from Western Canada who hear the broadcasts on satellite radio.
"We're having a blast with it," Moller said. "I take the position very seriously, but I don't take myself too seriously. But if we're down 5-0 with two minutes left and score a goal, I'm not going to do something. It doesn't fit the situation."
The Panthers have been supportive -- team president Michael Yormark "knows I won't go over the line," Moller said -- and Moller is careful to show restraint. "I absolutely stay away from anything that could be perceived as controversial or racial or derogatory," he said. "And I don't think we need the goal calls to become bigger than the goal itself. I don't want it to become a sideshow. If the mood and timing are right, I will continue this."
If he's still taking requests: "The Princess Bride." Preferably something from the Sicilian.