Hockey team's secret weapon is fan with near-photographic memory
Published Thursday, January 28, 2016 9:30PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 28, 2016 9:59PM EST
A young Edmonton man with near-photographic memory and a talent for on-the-fly commentary has become an invaluable member of a local junior hockey team.
Robert Hall can rattle off the names of nearly every player in Edmonton’s Junior Hockey League simply based off their team and jersey number.
But his dedication to one team, the Junior “B” Edmonton Mustangs, has earned him a key spot announcing their every game.
“There’s nobody who would know who these players are better than Robert. Absolutely,” said Patrick Storms, the team’s former general manager.
The Mustangs’ coach insists that Hall fills an integral role.
“He’s at every event we have,” said coach Clint Wandler. “He’s one of the first guys to the rink at practice, one of the last guys to leave. He gives up Oilers tickets to come to our games. That’s how dedicated he is.”
Hall landed the commentator job three years ago after earning a reputation for his colourful commentary on the sidelines. A parent who’d seen Hall’s talent recommended him for the role, which was then held by the general manager.
That was when the team discovered his masterful memory.
“It is amazing,” said Storms. “That was the first thing I noticed about Robert. (He) was less than halfway done the first period and he put his program down and he knew every name of every kid on the ice.”
Hall is known as a man of few words, which makes his hard-and-fast delivery all the more impressive. Observers say his voice seems to change in pace and tone once the mic is turned on.
Speaking with CTV Edmonton, Hall said his delivery is fairly off-the-cuff.
“For me it’s just kind of natural,” he said. “It’s just something about being at the rink.”
And the opportunity with the little league has inspired him to shoot for the pros.
“The team I’ve always wanted to call since I was a kid was the Edmonton Oilers,” said Hall. “I wouldn’t say no to that.”
In the meantime, the Mustangs’ management say the young superfan is irreplaceable.
“How can you describe passion? He definitely has an affinity and loves the game,” said Storms.
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Adam Cook