Where do I begin? First and foremost, I consider it an extreme privilage that I had the ooprtunity to meet and work with Bob Chase. This man is by far the most unassuming and humble person I have probably ever met. In fact, his passion, work ethic and love for hockey and most importantly his committment and love for his beloved Fort Wayne Komets will never be matched by anyone. You see, I can say this because for over 7 years I had the privilage of listening, being interviewed and most importantly honoring Bob Chase. As the President/Commissioner of the United Hockey League for over ten years I not only got to know Bob and his beautiful wife and family but had the honor of having this great man call play by play for the Komets while they were in my league.
Bob's respect for the league and my entire staff along with the manner in which he treated me whenever he saw me was something very special. It didn't matter how many times I sat next to him up in the sky box being interviewed at away games and home games he always made me feel wanted and really listened and asked me questions regarding the league and my family. Here is a man that at his age defies all reason for retiring and just sitting around. He has more strength and energy of most men half of his age and continues to defy all odds. You know, as a Commissioner the position and the accolades that come with the job could never come close to the feeling and love that I have for this man.
Who will ever make the same comments, " Well here they go and there they are"? Or my all time favorite, " LOOK OUT!!!!!!" No one will ever call a game of hockey quite like Bob Chase and if anyone who has ever had the privilage to meet him or listen to him should be greatful that they did. There are so many stories about Bob Chase that I can't just pick out one to tell. However, I will never forget the night that the Komets were playing the Missouri River Otters at The Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. I was at the game and Bob Chase sent one of the interns over to where I was sitting and had them ask me if I would like to be interviewed by Bob Chase in between the second and third periods of the game. He also requested that I stay and do Color Commentary during the third period.
Well, obviously I showed up in the press area at the end of the second period to do the interview with Bob Chase. As always Bob was very gracious and appreciative that I agreed to be interviewed. I can't really remember what we spoke about during the interview but what transpired towards the end of the third period while I was doing color commentary I will never forget. The Komets were beating the River Otters quite handidly and the game was quite boring actually. There was about 5 minutes left in the game and the Komets were leading the River Otters 5-1 when Bob started putting all of his paperwork and other items away to help him get organized so when the game ended he could wrap everything up and get down to the team bus as soon as possible so they could get on the road for the drive back to Fort Wayne.
During the time that Bob bent over and started getting his stuff organized the Komets actually scored a goal to make it 6-1. However, due to most of the crowd leaving early there really wasn't much crowd noise when the Komets scored. Bob sits back up and starts doing his play by play again and says, " here we are at the family arena with 3 minutes left in the game and the Komets lead the River Otters 5-1". Well folks the scoreboard is wrong as it says 6-1 that can't be right. Just then I pointed down to the paper that the scorekeeper had dropped right in front of Bob which gave the time of the goal, who scored it and who assisted on the goal. What happened next was simply one of the funniest things I have ever heard a play by play announcer say!!!! "Well folks this has never happened to me before but by golly I missed a goal that the Komets just scored!!! it is 6-1 folks can you belive this!!!! Bob and I laughed for almost two minutes and he kept asking me why I didn't tell him. Truth be told, how do you tell a HALL OF FAMER and someone that you admire and respect that he actually missed a goal?
Anyway you choose to look at it, Bob Chase is still the best thing that ever happened to Hockey!! I only hope that the Hockey Gods continue to look down on this great man and his family and allow him to do what he has done longer than I have been on this earth, 53 years!!!!! I love & miss you Bob Chase!!! Sincerely, Former Commish of The UHL!!!!!!! Richard Brosal
I have to add, Richard does one of THE BEST Bob Chase impressions I have ever heard. It is fall-down funny.