Puget Sound Radio / SportZone / He Aired Davis Cup Tennis & NHL Hockey on Same Day
Posted by: mikedup, February 11, 2012, 2:58pm
TV producer Isaac shares yarns of tennis tournaments past
By Greg Douglas, Columnist, Vancouver Sun February 11, 2012 2:25 AM
SCENE & HEARD: Local television sports producer Larry Isaac has grown accustomed to working behind the scenes. He's been in the game for 40-plus years and has collected enough awards to fill a moving van. A freelancer, Isaac won the IOC Olympic Bronze Rings TV Award for Beijing Host Broadcast coverage in 2008. He was the coordinating producer for the 2010 Games in Vancouver, introducing all the ground breaking domestic Olympic coverage never before seen by Canadians. His NHL coverage has spanned 32 years and he has been a driving force in the production of PGA and LPGA Canadian Open tournaments across Canada.
"But when you break it all down," Isaac said, "I think tennis and an array of Davis Cup assignments have provided me with some of my greatest thrills."
Not the least of which was 20 years ago at the PNE Agro-dome when an upstart Canadian 19-year-old named Daniel Nestor beat the great Swede and No. 1 seed Stefan Edberg when Canada hosted Sweden in the World Group.
"I was producing tennis for TSN and hockey for CBC on the same day," Isaac recalls. "Nestor's shocking singles upset over Edberg was an international story. I remember wrapping up the tennis coverage at 5 p.m. and racing across the rainy slick parking lot to the Pacific Coliseum before breathlessly sliding into the CBC Hockey Night in Canada truck with the Canucks game already underway."
Isaac arranged to have young Nestor interviewed by Ron MacLean and Don Cherry during the first intermission. As MC Tom Mayenknecht recalled, tongue in cheek, at Wednesday's Davis Cup dinner: "It enabled Cherry to extol the accomplishment of yet another Canadian beating a Swede!"
HERE 'N' THERE: Isaac is producing the Davis Cup cover-age from UBC this weekend for Sportsnet, which includes the international feed to Europe. Sportsnet has parachuted its tennis A-team into Vancouver: Rob Faulds, play-by-play; Robert Bettauer, analyst; Arash Madani, courtside reporter; Brad Fay, host and Damien Cox, analyst.
Bettauer, former Canadian national champion and a veteran of Davis Cup wars as a player, manager and commentator, stole the Sportsnet show during Friday's opening matches with his brilliant insight and knowledge. Bettauer is the CEO for the Pacific Institute for Sports Excellence in Victoria.