The amount of attention and accolades Philips has received is for good reason. For so long he was the voice of the Oilers. TV commentators came and went, since the Oilers broadcasted their games across different networks, so there never was an attachment to a single individual on television. No other play-by-play man, aside from Phillips, could be considered “our” guy.
To me, Phillips was that narrator whose voice echoed the game. The game itself has so much going on, but you begin to rely on his judgment and interpretation of the events. After getting used to his tendencies and phrases, it becomes hard to imagine the game without him.
I think the attachment fans have developed with Phillips is because the narrative of the game is so important. Our experience, interpretation and understanding of the game is through narration. Phillips told a story each game to keep listeners informed and entertained. He never did anything that made him unique or irreplaceable. Yet he remained a highly influential person for fans because of his storytelling abilities.
Edmonton Oilers Legacy – Rod Phillips. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2011 from http://www.oilersheritage.com/legacy/contributions_announcers_rodphillips.html
MacKinnon, J. (2011, March 30). The Voice Part of Oilers History. Edmonton Journal. Retrieved from http://www.edmontonjournal.com/sports/John+MacKinnon+Voice+part+Oilers+history/4526619/story.html?cid=megadrop_story
McCurdy, B. (2011, March 29). Rod’s Retirement Roast: Fans’ Roundtable. The Copper and Blue. Retrieved from http://www.coppernblue.com/2010/6/10/1492529/rods-retirement-roast-fans.