Another reason why the Hawks..
blow ass. These guys stink, the management stinks, the team stinks and as an original 6 team they should be embarrassed. What a TOTALLY classless, clueless pathetic team this now is. Dollarbill Wirtz REALLY needs to sell this team to someone that gives a frack...
Hawks create more static
Withdrawal of contract offer to popular announcer Foley likely to further anger fans
By Bob Foltman
Tribune staff reporter
May 20, 2006
The Blackhawks, who have watched their popularity drop consistently in the last decade, withdrew their contract offer Friday to longtime broadcaster Pat Foley.
The Hawks did not make a formal announcement regarding Foley, who had broadcast for them 25 years, instead sending out a news release Friday evening.
The last paragraph of the release states, "Due to recent circumstances, the Blackhawks today have withdrawn their contract offer to Mr. Foley."
It's unclear whether Foley, who did not return a phone message Friday, rejected the Hawks' offer or made a counteroffer.
"Those circumstances are personal between Pat and the Blackhawks," club spokesman Jim DeMaria said.
It's also unknown whether Foley has been negotiating with other teams. His contract with the Hawks expired in April, at the end of the 2005-06 season.
Efforts to reach Hawks general manager Dale Tallon were unsuccessful. Tallon, a former Hawks player, was Foley's broadcast partner for 16 seasons.
This likely will be yet another public relations problem for the Hawks, who announced earlier in May they were discontinuing simulcasts and will have separate radio and television broadcasts for the upcoming season.
From the time of the announcement, the indication was Comcast would hire a TV play-by-play announcer and analyst and that Foley would not be part of the TV team.
The Hawks said they wanted to retain Foley for their radio broadcasts on WSCR-AM, where they purchase the time. According to Friday's release, the Hawks made Foley a contract offer May 9.
"We spoke with Pat directly, and he understands why we did what we did," DeMaria said.
There was speculation of a possible rift between Foley and the Hawks this season.
It wasn't lost on Foley that there was no acknowledgement by the Hawks of his 25 years with the team, especially after being in Los Angeles earlier in the season when the Kings held a grand pregame ceremony for their TV analyst, Jim Fox, marking his 25-year association with the organization.
Many also were struck by Foley's comments after the final game of the season, in which he said on WSCR-AM he was never more uncertain regarding the future of the broadcasts.
It is also a move that likely will alienate an already disgruntled--and shrinking--fan base.
Foley wasn't a player but was just as popular as Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios and Ed Belfour, whom the Hawks jettisoned just before their current downward spiral.
As Harry Caray was during his time broadcasting bad White Sox and Cubs teams, Foley was a primary reason for many fans to pay attention to the Hawks.
The decision to take Foley off the TV broadcasts angered many fans and went against the norm for sports teams, who usually have their most popular announcers do the TV broadcasts.
A graduate of Loyola Academy and Michigan State, Foley, 51, was the dean of Chicago broadcasters and was inducted into Chicago Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
He began his tenure in Chicago at the age of 26 after calling games for the Grand Rapids Owls of the old International Hockey League.
He was recommended for the Hawks' job by the late Michael Wirtz and began his career as the solo radio voice before the Hawks began simulcasting their broadcasts.
That was the likely plan for Foley this season. Until Friday.