Welcome to the 1-on-1 “Face-Off” segment here on Murph On Ice – where we bring you Murph’s conversations on a regular basis with some of the best hockey minds in the business!
Murph had the pleasure of chatting with a huge Rangers fan, a TV host and author, and American broadcasting icon recently for this feature. Enjoy his interview with Linda Cohn.
Linda Cohn is considered a pioneer for women sportscasters. She has graced television sets for over 18 years as one of the first full-time female sports anchors. Linda has been a constant mainstay on ESPN’s SportsCenter since July of 1992. Today you can see her regularly on SportsCenter and check out her book “Cohn-Head” at: www.lindacohn.net
Murph On Ice – Great to talk to you again Linda, thanks for taking the time from Bristol to join me here on the website!
Linda Cohn – My pleasure Murph, thanks for having me on with you!
MOI– Linda, when we worked together in Sweden I found out just how much you enjoy the NHL and the Rangers! What are your top three Ranger moments of all time?
LC – Sweden was a fun collaboration Murph! Number one moment – Rangers winning the Stanley Cup in 1994! Number two: Stephane Matteau’s double overtime goal against the Devils in Game 7 of the Eastern conference final in 1994. And last but not least, number three: There are about a million tied for this spot…but I’ll go with the return of Eddie Giacomin to the Garden on the night after he was sold to Detroit for just $40,000. He was my first favourite goalie and a big reason why I became a goalie. That was the one and only time I ever saw the New York hometown fans cheer for the opposing team and every save Eddie made… Ranger fans actually booed the Rangers when they scored on Eddie! The final was 6-3 for Detroit back in 1975.
MOI – The Rangers are having a pretty good campaign thus far, how crazy would New York be if this current group could go far into the playoffs and maybe even the Stanley Cup?
LC– Crazy would just be one of the ways to describe it if this edition of the Rangers go far in the playoffs and win the Cup. While there is a long way to go, this team has shown it has pieces it did not have before. Good leadership in Ryan Callahan, experience and skill in Brad Richards and role players who can all make a name for themselves on any given night. If it happens and the Rangers go far, NYC will be ready as always to celebrate!
MOI – You’ve had some pretty cool moments working in television, what’s your favourite interview or guest from the past few years on SC?
LC– Favorite guest as of late…No question there – when I got to interview Henrik Lundqvist following the Ranger games in Stockholm. I didn’t want it to end and I even made him laugh with my goalie expertise! (laughs)
MOI – That was a fun moment! Do you ever get nervous or ‘star-struck’ when you meet sporting celebrities? Any individual in particular?
LC – Hey I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t get a little nervous meeting some sporting celebrities! I’d have to say the time I met Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan the very same night at the very same party! I not only got over my nerves, but it was such a wonderful experience I wrote about it in my book “Cohn-Head”. www.lindacohn.net
MOI– When you are dealing with athletes from all the different leagues (NBA, MLB, NFL), what do you think is the main difference that sets hockey players apart?
LC – No question, hockey players are the nicest, most humble and most media friendly. Why? Because they haven’t been pampered since birth. They’ve always had to carry their own bags, play the game at all hours of the night or morning…and have even lived away from home to play the game they love, and it certainly shows.
MOI – Your trip to Sweden for the NHL Premiere was your first trip to Europe I believe, can we hope to see you on this side of the pond again – maybe for the NHL Premiere next season?!
LC – Loved my first trip to Europe Murph, seeing the Rangers open their season in Stockholm was special. How many people do you know who’s primary reason to go to Europe was to see the Rangers! I think my next trip overseas will be a little more well rounded though!
MOI – You’ve attended some big events in your career, what are your three favourite sports stadiums/venues in North America and why?
LC – Top three sports venues: Madison Square Garden – I love the place, followed closely by the old Montreal Forum, and finally the Glendale Stadium in Arizona where I saw my Giants pull off the most improbable upset, beating the unbeaten Patriots in Superbowl 42. That building will always be special because of that!
MOI – And finally, tell us you’re top three athletes of all-time and why?
LC – The number one athlete all time for me is Mark Messier, because nobody willed a team to win a Stanley Cup like he did with the Rangers in 1994. He also did it in Edmonton with and without Gretzky. Number two would be Michael Jordan for obvious reasons! Number three is a tie between all those pro athletes who were told they were too small, too weak, too slow or simply not good enough to make it to the big time. Its one of the reasons why I love sports so much…The opportunity athletes have to prove people wrong.
MOI – Well said. Thanks again Linda, this has been a pleasure! Enjoy the rest of the NHL season.
LC – No problem Murph, anytime! Stay in touch.
“Face-Off” is a regular feature here on Murph On Ice. Keep an eye out for Murph’s next 1-on-1 as he continues to bring insight from the greatest hockey minds around.
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