J. Paul McConnell Inducted into BC Sports Hall of Fame

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BC Lions broadcaster once tussled with Tom Larscheid in the booth

By Greg Douglas, Sports Columnist, The Vancouver Sun December 12, 2014
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Old voice of the Lions roars into B.C. sports hall

 Broadcaster J. Paul McConnell, seen here in 1986, launched his radio career in  1969, earning $5 per sportscast at CKWX.

 J. Paul McConnell was as far away as southern France, near the Spanish border, when his old football  broadcasting buddy Tom Larscheid introduced him Thursday in Vancouver as the latest media inductee into the  BC Sports Hall of Fame.

“We worked together for 20 years,” Larscheid said as he welcomed McConnell’s son and daughter, Scott and  Seanna, joined by grandchildren Finely and Hayden.

“Kids,” he said to the little ones, “your grandpa is going into the Hall of Fame!”

Nine hours ahead of Vancouver time at his home off the Gulf of Lyon on the western Mediterranean, McConnell’s  phone began ringing with congratulatory messages.

“I just never thought I’d be on that side of the podium,” he said Friday. “In fact, I had reason to think I’d never be  alive for something as special as this.”

The 69-year-old native of Ladner was referring to a 2009 stroke he suffered in his backyard at home in France. He  was flown by helicopter to the nearest hospital and was in intensive care for eight hours.

“Too many pre-game meals and post-game chicken wings,” he said. “My left carotid artery was 96 per cent  blocked.”

With wife Alix as his side, McConnell survived the scare and today has blood tests every month plus a scan and  MRI four times a year.

McConnell launched his radio career in Vancouver working for $5 per sportscast under Jim Robson at CKWX in  1969.

His football play-by-play debut with the Lions was on CFUN in 1982 before moving to CKNW two years later. Over the next three decades, McConnell was the voice of the Leos with Larscheid at his side for most of the run.

Today McConnell credits Larscheid with being the most influential radio person he ever met. Not that it was an uninterrupted love affair.

The two of them engaged in one of the most famous moments in the old Empire Stadium broadcast booth when they disagreed on an issue and wound up throwing punches and rolling around on the floor before startled media cohorts separated them.

“It was a draw,” McConnell joked Friday.

“Tell Tom I’ll be giving him a big hug when I’m home in May.”

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/voice+Lions+roars+into+sports+hall/10464876/story.html#ixzz3LnTwtfyZ

2 COMMENTS

  1. He has ” blood tests every month plus a scan and MRI four times a year.”
    His pension is obviously much better than mine!
    I have much respect for J. Paul. He was a professional!
    Congratulations J.P.

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