A Maple Leaf Fan In Rough Shape

I lived in South Florida from 1997 to 2000 while attending law school. At that time there was but one all sports radio station, WQAM. Amongst other things, WQAM was the home of the Dolphins and yes, the Florida Panthers who got not much love from either the sports fans or the media.

There were a few who talked a lot of hockey, Randy Moller, Dennis Potvin on the hockey side, a guy who’s name escapes me used to talk sports betting from an offshore casino and Steve Goldberg were the main hockey guys.

There was one guy, who wasn’t a “sports guy” per se who not only talked hockey, but Toronto Maple Leafs hockey. He had a morning show that was “offensive”. He crossed every line imaginable. The only thing that could be said about him is that he was an equal offender. He ripped on everyone. Every religion (I’m pretty sure he was Jewish- but he ripped on Jews along with everyone else). He ripped hispanics, cubans, whites… He ripped on gays, lesbians and straights- in the most offensive ways imaginable.

The guys name is Neil Rogers. Rogers was in a word hilarious. As long as u could accept the fact he was going to rip everyone he was always good for a laugh. He talked hockey all the time. He talked Panthers hockey and Leafs hockey. As a hockey fan in a non traditional hockey market it was great to hear a leaf fan talking hockey. Many toronto fans used to call in when he was available on the internet.

I was fortunate enough to have access to panthers tickets and used to see him at games all the time. He wore a leafs jersey to many. He rarely missed a leafs panthers tilt.

Today the Florida Sun Sentinel is reporting that Rogers has been moved to hospice.

Its really too bad. Rogers spent a lot of time here in Toronto, in Florida and in Amsterdam. As offensive as he was on air, I just got the sense he was a good guy.

Neil, I loved listening to you when I was down there. I hope you get through this with as little pain as possible. Its too bad we didn’t get to see the buds get back to the promise land sooner.

For those curious about the legend Neil Rogers, google him, you’ll find a ton of material. If you don’t let me know and ill post what I can dig up.

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

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Daniel
Daniel
December 8, 2010 2:54 am

I’m sorry to hear that. I spent a lot of time in the Miami area in the early 2000s and also listened to WQAM and NeilGod quite a bit.

He was outrageous and hilarious. He had the kind of show that youd go out of your way to listen to. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I believe he’s openly gay as well(surely not a common thing on sports radio).

Funnily enough TSM, I have to say that Neil reminds me a LITTLE bit of Andrew Krystal. What do you think? I think one large difference is that Rogers barely talked sports, while Krystal talks nearly all sports with pretty low sports knowledge.

I heard him mention on air several times how much he loved the city of Toronto and what a great city this is. I wish him the best. As you say, he seemed like a good guy.

Daniel
Daniel
December 8, 2010 2:57 am

I believe Neil used to do his shows in the summer from a remote in his apartment in Toronto. Considering that, I used to wonder if The Fan or another station up here would ever make him an offer.

Hawaii Brad
Hawaii Brad
December 8, 2010 9:04 am

I’m deeply saddened to hear about Neil Rogers’ failing health. I was a truck driver in South Florida during the ’90’s & early ’00’s. While sitting in the gawd awful traffic, Neil’s humor is about all that kept me sane. It was Neil, several years ago, who encouraged me to retire young & come home to Hawaii. I continued listening to his show over the internet until the end in 2009. I had the opportunity to meet Neil several times over the years. Yes, he was openly gay. On air he was boisterous, crude, foul-mouthed, unapologetic & riotously funny. Off-air he is quiet, unassuming, even meek. It’s hard to believe that both personalities are the same person. Neil is already sorely missed on the otherwise vacuous South Florida airwaves. I love you Neil & “I’LL PRAY FOR YOU”. PS: “GO LEAFS GO!”

MEDIAGUY
MEDIAGUY
December 8, 2010 12:48 pm

Neil was openly gay and his brutal honesty was the main reason I enjoyed listening to him. But he was also an unabashed Leafs fan, having grown up in Rochester N.Y. and seeing a lot of Leafs when they were coming up with the farm team, the Rochester Americans. I once interviewed him on the radio and found him to be a real student of the game of hockey. The kind of a guy you’d want to watch a game with and have a couple of pops along the way.

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