Foley Banner belongs in the Rafters

Foley Banner belongs in the Rafters

One thing missing from all the accolades and outpouring of love Blackhawks play-by-play announcer Pat Foley was given in his final game and year with the team after 39 seasons. Well, two things as Foley wished his father was there with him. That other one thing is Foley watching a banner with his name on it being raised to the rafters of the United Center with other Blackhawks greats.

Foley was the one constant for Blackhawks fans throughout the years especially when they had to endure some really bad teams after a great run in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and before they won three Stanley Cups while leading up until today’s dysfunctional Blackhawks teams of the last seven years.

It’s not uncommon for a pro sports franchise to raise a banner or put up a statue in honor of the team’s play-by-play announcer, including the Chicago Cubs with Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse. And other teams have raised banners for their announcers, including the Los Angeles Lakers for Chip Hearn, Buffalo Sabres for Rick Jeanneret, Cleveland Cavaliers for Joe Tait, and the Los Angeles Kings for Bob Miller.


Ironically, Foley called his only championship game with the Chicago Wolves when they won it all in Foley’s brief time away from the Blackhawks organ-I-zation when the team was going another way. But the team heard the fans after Rocky Wirtz took over and brought back Foley to a seat inside the United Center, a seat not too far from where Foley’s banner should go.


Instead of ‘Cheers for 39 Years’, it should be ‘Cheers for going into the Upper Tiers.’

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  • Thank you for an intriguing idea. I remember that the first game I ever heard Pat Foley call was the night that Stan Mikita's no. 21 was retired -- the first number ever retired. He was the best announcer I had heard in ten or 11 years before that -- I started listening too early to stay awake for the ends of games, and it was only last October when I quit following the team, disgusted by the things revealed in the report.

    I respectfully disagree with your position. Banners should be kept for retired numbers, and Pat Foley never wore one on a Hawks sweater, at least officially. He has been in the Hockey Hall of Fame since 2014. That's enough for me.

  • More than one team has raised banners or put-up statues of their announcers, including the Cubs with Harry Caray and Jack Brickhouse.

    The Bulls raised banners for Coach Phil Jackson and GM Jerry Krause. And other teams have raised banners for their announcers, including The LA Lakers for Chip Hearn, Buffalo Sabres for Rick Jeanneret, Cleveland Cavaliers for Joe Tait, and the LA Kings for Bob Miller.

    So why not Pat?

  • In reply to Da Urban Rooster:

    Hmm, thank you for helping me think about this. I like the statue idea -- maybe near Stan Mikita's statue outside the building, since Pat's first game was the night Stan's number was retired.

    I admire Pat's work, and I miss listening to him, but I don't think his contribution to the Hawks is the same as Glenn Hall, Pierre Pilote, Keith Magnuson, Bobby Hull, Denis Savard, Stan Mikita, or Tony Esposito. Or Marian Hossa, next.

    I think it's his contriubution to us, the team's followers, that (as he'd put it) scooooores. That's why I think he ought to be honored differently.

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