Ever since Sam Rosen was hired to be the New York Rangers’ full-time television play-by-play man in 1984, he’s been a tristate sports fixture. And while he’s most readily associated with both teams that call Madison Square Garden home, the Stuyvesant High School/CCNY alum was employed by ESPN from 1979 to 1988 and also broadcast play-by-play duties for NHL Radio, the NBC Sports Network and The NFL on Fox.
Rosen shares a few of his most memorable moments from his illustrious career.
“The Rangers winning the Stanley Cup in 1994 will always be number one. That was the highlight and the greatest moment. For me to broadcast that game was so memorable because it was the last year the team’s broadcasters could stay with the team through the Finals. After that, the Finals became exclusive to the television network that had the rights. That was the greatest moment and of course as a Rangers fan, the end of all those years from 1940 to 1994.”
“Game 7 Rangers and Devils Eastern Conference Final may have been the best game that I ever broadcast because of the tension involved and the nervousness of how close the Rangers came to winning it in regulation. They were 7.7 seconds away and then the Devils tied it. Then they went to a second overtime. That game is known for, of course, Howie Rose’s fabulous call of ‘Matteau, Matteau,’ I think that my call with J.D. was pretty cool. It won’t be memorialized. Howie’s was special and just captured everything at that moment.”
“I didn’t broadcast, but I was at the Knicks two championships. I was the statistician for the Knicks Radio Network and I was at both those championships—1970 and 1973. I remember Willis Reed in 1970, walking out onto the court and hitting two baskets. I also remember that one of the greatest playoff performances ever took place in that Game 7 with Walt Frazier. He had one of the greatest playoff performances ever. Everybody remembers the excitement of Willis Reed coming out, but Frazier took the game over and the one that literally carried the Knicks. But being there as a statistician was great.”
“I was more of a sideline reporter for ABC when Wayne Gretsky played his last game ever and that was at Madison Square Garden. [I remember] watching Wayne give sticks to different people—people on the training staff of the Rangers. Sticking around in the locker room and not taking his uniform off after the game for a long time because that was the last moment.”
To read a full feature on Sam Rosen, see Sam Rosen: A Life In Sports.