Pierre McGuire is an 18 year veteran broadcaster yet, nobody likes him. Here’s why.
Pierre McGuire is a name occasionally heard when referencing hockey. It’s not because he’s a player or a historic icon, it’s because he is a commentator for NBC. Those of you who already know the name probably had a strong reaction just reading it but, for those who are unsure of who he is, let me fill you in. He is one of the most (perhaps of all time) DISLIKED sports commentators known to man. You may not hear many complain about him because this country is still working on increasing its hockey fan base. I grew up a hockey fan and have come to love the sport more as I grow older. I DO NOT like Pierre. Before you think I’m a big bully, hear me out. I am confident a majority of you who don’t know him will also dislike him after reading/watching this.
Pierre McGuire was born in New Jersey in 1961. He spent his childhood in the Montreal area but moved back to Jersey in 1977 where he played football and hockey in high school. During his college years, he played hockey, football, and baseball for Hobart, but really stood out as a defenseman on the ice. After that, he played a season of hockey in the Netherlands before attending training camp for the New Jersey Devils. Much to his demise, he did not make the team. So, Pierre moved on…
Coaching became his new venture. Pierre started his coaching career at Hobart college, his alma mater, in 1984. The next year, he became the assistant hockey coach at Babson College and would stay there for three seasons. Then from 1988 to 1990 Pierre assisted in coaching at St. Lawrence University, which is where he met Scotty Bowman. (Remember kids, networking is everything). When Bowman became Director of Player Development and Recruitment for the Pittsburgh Penguins, he offered Pierre a job as a special assignment scout. Then, once Bowman became interim head coach in 1991, guess who was named assistant coach…
Pierre was apart of two Stanley Cup championship teams as an assistant coach, once in 1991 and again in 1992. Then he moved on. He had a number of other positions, mostly with the Hartford Whalers. Most notable of which was his year as head coach. At age 32, he was the youngest in the NHL. Unfortunately, it only lasted six months. What do you expect with a 23-37-7 record. A few other jobs with a few other teams later, Pierre jumped into broadcasting in 1997. When TSN re-acquired the Canadian national cable rights to NHL in 2002, he became their lead hockey analyst. Pierre joined NBC Sports in 2006 and became full time after the 2011 NHL draft. Hockey fans everywhere have been enduring him ever since.
With such a background, he certainly knows what he’s talking about. It’s the many quirks he has that makes him such an unlikeable person. For starters, his name isn’t even Pierre…it’s Regis. Regis Pierre McGuire. Why did he decide he should be called by his middle name rather than his first? Who knows… but it’s ridiculous. Only superstars can get away with such a thing and that’s because they’re almost all crazy.
His hockey knowledge is seemingly endless. In fact, it’s too much. Pierre can rattle off almost every player’s college and juniors team. Also, he loves to add random facts about a players’ personal life. Because he gets so used to hearing his own voice, he often fills milliseconds of dead air with useless commentary. Just straight dribble you don’t want to hear.
Since he talks so much, he has developed some repetitive phrases. They come in the form of, “fine young man” or “big body presence” and so much more. For someone who knows so much about hockey players, he seems to struggle when it comes to knowing alternative adjectives. Honestly, just the sound of his voice is brutal. There are many commentators who just don’t have an appealing voice and I consider myself very forgiving in this factor. Pierre is one I can’t look past. He also has this quirk where he feels the need to try and mimic an accent based on a players ethnicity, most often with French players or words. As I mentioned, he was born in New Jersey. I believe most people are understanding of an individuals ethnic origin, therefore understand individual accents, so I’m unsure why he tries to speak unnaturally.
Hockey is an exciting game. It’s easy to get out of hand once in awhile. Key words here, once in awhile. Pierre goes overboard WAY too much. It could be as simple as a check to the boards and WHAM! He explodes with excitement about the play. A play many will forget about before the end of the game.
What is most irritating is his incessant need to interrupt. Pierre constantly interjects during the broadcast, mostly adding irrelevant facts. There is nothing worse than diving into a heated moment then shuddering to the sound of a rude interruption. Believe me, there are plenty of comparisons I could make…many aren’t appropriate. This quality of his is probably the number one reason people don’t like him. Pierre’s chiming takes away from the play-by-play announcer (they have that job for a reason). Sometimes its with a simple ‘penalty’ or ‘that’s a penalty’ which is normally announced by the PBP. He also loves to mention when ‘that’s that right call’. How refreshing it is to know that the referee hired is doing his job properly. His commentary addresses the audience in a ‘you don’t know anything’ fashion, which is extremely infuriating.
With all the interruptions it’s easy to see why fans and other announcers don’t like him, but players aren’t a fan of him either. That could be because of many reasons, but one would be he loves to tell players things about themselves, without being quoted. Let me explain.. he will tell players they lost their confidence, when they never said that (example in video). It’s not just them, he will tell fans what they should be excited about and what a coach or the league should do based on his own opinion. In Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year between the Penguins and New York Rangers, Pierre flipped out when Steve Downie cross-checked Mats Zuccarello saying, “Total lack of discipline. Can’t have it. He should not play in Game Two, I’ll tell you right now.” For those of you who saw the play, I’m sure you can agree it was a rather typical cross-check. There have been so many more brutal plays in this league that actually warrant such a comment. Downie was back for Game 2.
When it comes down to it, Pierre is a creepy guy. He makes people uncomfortable. No one likes that! When you work in the media and fans witness that social awkwardness, it puts people off. The word I would choose for him, is Goober. According to Urban Dictionary, a Goober is a kindhearted goofball. That’s probably a more fitting description than most.
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