Rick Jeanneret’s death caught everyone by surprise and left me down. From the heart, this is what the Buffalo Sabres legend meant to me.
It still doesn’t feel real. I couldn’t believe it. I was getting ready to settle in for the night and play some video games. Then I saw my phone light up. It was a text from my brother and when I clicked it, my heart dropped.
When I saw that Rick Jeanneret passed away, time stopped. I was at a loss for words. One hour later, tears were dropping from my eyes. For the next 20 minutes, I was crying like I lost a family member.
That’s what Rick Jeanneret meant to me. He was more than a commentator. Whenever the Buffalo Sabres were on, his voice was always with me. After missing two decades of his voice, I was very blessed to hear it for the next two.
I was born in 1997 but didn’t start watching the Buffalo Sabres until the 05-06 season. Obviously as a young kid, I didn’t understand the sport like I do now. What I did remember, hearing RJ’s voice calling the games.
From Danny Briere scoring the game winning goal in Game 1 of the first round, to Brian Campbell laying out RJ Umberger, to Jason Pominville sending the Sabres to the Eastern Conference Finals. None of those goals matter if it weren’t for RJ.
Rick Jeanneret’s epic calls made iconic Buffalo Sabres moments legendary
Sure all of those moments were important for the team but as a fan, Rick’s calls for those moments stand out to me. During that time, Buffalo was a very good team and were in the playoffs.
Even with the team not in the postseason, hearing RJ’s voice would always make me happy. Then, I met him myself. I was absolutely starstruck when I met him and he was an absolute gem of a man. RJ meant so much to me.
As I mentioned earlier, RJ was so much more than a commentator to me. He was like part of my family. What he did for 51 years was nothing but great moments and memories for Sabres fans all around the world, including me.
“May Day, May Day, May Day”, “Legion of Doom”, Who Else? Who Else?”, “LA LA LA LAFONTAINE”, those are just a few moments that we will never forget. I sit here writing this article still depressed that an absolute legend is not on this Earth anymore.
So I’ll leave you with this. Even though he is not here anymore, his voice and the person will never be forgotten. I was so blessed to go to RJ Night and see his banner hang in the rafters. He may not be here but you can guarantee he will be there in spirit and it’s comforting knowing his banner will be in the rafters forever.
Rick Jeanneret is the Buffalo Sabres. He made my childhood awesome and gave everyone memories that we will never forget. My condolences go out to his family and it’s a sad time to be a Buffalo sports fan with this tragedy. He is a legend in so many ways and his legacy will be around forever.