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.’