For the past 18 seasons, Devils fans have known one consistent voice that held the position of color commentary behind the broadcast microphone. It's the familiarity that makes the broadcasts feel right. However, that familiarity will need to be built from square one again as Glenn "Chico" Resch has decided to step down from his broadcasting duties to pass the torch on to Ken Daneyko.
It was his passion for the game and love for the Devils that made Chico the endearing figure he was in Devils' lore. Not only was this the case in his broadcasting years where he may be most recognizable to fans of this era, but his dedication to the franchise during some of its most difficult times also made him Devils icon that he is today.
Resch was traded to the struggling Colorado Rockies in the spring of 1981. After finishing out the season and the following 1981-82 season, Resch was a critical player that moved with the organization to New Jersey in the summer of '82 to endure some of the most difficult years for the franchise as they searched for their identity.
Chico was the backstop during their 17-49-14 inaugural season. He was the net-minder during the Oilers' 13-4 shellacking where Wayne Gretzky referred to the Devils as a "Mickey Mouse organization. And despite playing in perhaps the most criticized position in sports, not once did you ever hear a peep from Chico about his dissatisfaction with the organization. This is part of the reason why he was so loved here in Jersey.
Early in his career, Resch never had a losing record as a starting goaltender. However, Chico went on to endure five losing records with the Rockies, Devils and Flyers once he was traded from the Islanders, but it was his dedication to his team that made him such a respected character.
Chico's broadcast career began after a short coaching stint when he would be paired with Mike "Doc" Emrick for the next 15 years.
The rest is history.
The two developed instant chemistry and the two would be the collective voice of New Jersey Devils broadcasts before Steve Cangialosi relieved Doc of his duties so he could focus on his national broadcasts. Despite the changes taking place around him, one thing remained the same: Chico's infallible personality.
Perhaps one of his more recognizable broadcasts skits that skyrocketed to fame rather quickly was his segment entitled Chico Eats where he would visit many of the different food vendors at the Prudential Center where hilarity ensued.
Who wouldn't love a guy like that?
From those on the outside looking in, you may have heard Chico on your team's away broadcasts and immediately preferred to mute the television. To others, he may have seemed like a homer with weird sayings that turned you off to his style. I can respect that, but you also have to respect the fact that as a Devils fan, he was ours. He was our homer with nuances and sayings that made his broadcasts feel like our broadcasts. It was his recognizable voice, approachable personality and endearing passion for the New Jersey Devils that became one of the many factors that contributed to my love for the game.
Doc Emrick may have said it best during his recent interview with Tom Gulitti of the Bergen Record when he was asked to reminisce about his time with Chico.
"Chico was certainly outgoing. He was a positive person, all these things everybody else has told you about him, but people came up to him because they knew they could. The greatest compliment I think anybody can pay somebody is: 'I went up and I met him because I knew I could.' And I think that's what happened. There were always people that wanted to see (Chico)."
I want to thank you, Chico. I wish you all the best in your retirement and you should know that Devils broadcasts will never be the same without you.