Monday, October 26, 2009

Bill Chadwick Dead At 94. A Part of Many Ranger Fans Childhood Dies. Including The Mouth's

The Big Whistle died on Saturday October 24th 2009. He was 94. The man lived a rich and full life. He was larger than life not just in stature but in voice and in demeanor. Bill Chadwick was a character on and off the air.

I remember him telling me in 1983, that Phil Esposito as an announcer “Didn’t know his ass from a hole in the wall” as we talked after his local cablevision show. I was 18 and here the “The Big Whistle” was talking to me like I was an adult sitting in his living room.

Bill Chadwick could spin a yarn and drink you under the table. I don’t say that out of disrespect. I respect it more than you know. The school he came from, the old school., I revere. He was a character and as time passes and as everyone assimilates the world has less and less of them.

The Following clip was taken from a Rangers/Buffalo game on February 25th, 1981 at MSG. The Clip is a great example of how much unadulterated fun Bill Chadwick and his telecast partner Jim Gordon had during the broadcasts.

I know it sounds corny but now with both of them gone, a part of my childhood has died.


  1. Hey Mouth, I'm Bill's grandson. I just wanted to say thanks for posting these clips of him, and for your obvious regard for a great man. Your anecdote about him telling you his thoughts on Espo is spot on - he used to talk to me that way too!

    Thanks again from all Big's friends, fans, and family.


  2. Matt Your Grandfather was an all-time great man on and off the ice. On behalf of all ranger fans my condolences. But with that said we will have a lifetime of memories and he will be eternally part of our Ranger hearts and minds

  3. well said mouth..coudnt put a number on the amount of times him and Jim Gordon entertained via "fly by the seat of yer pants" prep...

    beautifull tribute my friend

    Hi C

  4. Jim Gordon & Bill Chadwick and the physical rivalries of the 70's/early 80's are what captured me as a Ranger fan. When you talked hockey as a kid, it was about the physical play, players protecing one another or failing to do so and Jim & Bill's broadcast. I liken it's popularity to pro wrestling, but with real sport & athletes and the big whistle serving as the grand wizard. Sam Rosen is a good guy, but he does not understand what hockey fans like me want. Hey Mouth - let's travel back to 1978, Rangers v. Flyers and I'm bringing George McPhee & Joe Kocur! Man I hated the Flyers - and so did Chadwick. You gotta love the guy.

  5. I had the privilege of sitting next to him and Milly during a playoff series against the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum for 2 games.. Brad Park was still a Ranger at the time and my favorite player.. The 2nd game I was given an autograph and picture thanx to Bill.. He is a hockey icon and one I will never forget.He was as entertaining as the game itself..Great man

  6. To say a part of your childhood has died doesn't sound corny at all...I feel exactly the same way. From when I started following hockey in 1968 at age 9, through my college years Bill was a constant part of my childhood as much a personification of what it meant to be a Ranger fan as any player. One of my treasured possessions is a program both Bill and Jim Gordon were kind enough to autograph at a 1979 Rangers - Bruins game I attended when visiting friends in Boston.

    I'll always remember his interviews between the periods, expecially with King Clancy and his insight, wit and candor as a broadcaster. When I visited the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto in 2002, visiting Bill's plaque was my first stop.

    He was truly a Hockey as well as a New York City icon and provided a lot of great childhood memories which I hold to this day. R.I.P. Big Whistle. They don't make 'em like you anymore.

  7. Couple of quotes I recall as a kid...

    "This goalie can't stop footballs"
    "Looks like a cat in a marble hallway"
    "He's got Zuke all over him" (Mike Zuke from St. Louis I think)

    I got to shake Bill's hand once during a NY Fire VS Police game. Awesome!