Live from the Booth by Jason Lockhart
From Coast to Coast
Hey Bulls Fans,
It’s Jason Lockhart, the new SF Bulls Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting. I’ll have the pleasure of calling the Bulls games all season long and traveling with the team when they take to the road.
Speaking of the road, I just drove all the way to San Francisco from Syracuse, New York—2,800 miles away—where I was broadcasting for the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL. For those of you who have done the cross country trip from coast to coast, you know what a journey it is, seeing places you may have never thought you’d ever witness.
The good thing about working in hockey over the past seven years is that you make many connections, and those connections paid off on my trek across the US.
I chose to break up my trip into five legs, driving between 330 and 750 miles per day. After watching a soccer match—I’m a big Bayern Munich fan—on Saturday, May 12, I made the “short” 330-mile drive to Cleveland, Ohio to stay with the current broadcaster of the Lake Erie Monsters of the AHL, Doug Plagens. It was good to catch up and re-live our ECHL days when he was in Idaho with the Steelheads and I was with the Bulls’ division rivals, the Bakersfield Condors. Don’t worry, I’m completely converted to being a Bulls supporter.
The following day I drove 660 miles to Des Moines, Iowa to say with our video coach with the Crunch, Brett Ferguson. Since it was my first time in Iowa, I elected to stay a full day and check out the hidden gem that is Des Moines. It was in fact a very nice city, and I highly recommend it. I also dubbed it the second most random city in the country behind Las Vegas. Driving to get to it, there is nothing around it, just cornfield after cornfield.
My next stop took me another 660 miles west on I-80—known as the Lincoln Highway—to Denver, Colorado. Along the way I stopped off at one of the original Pony Express Stations in Gothenburg, Nebraska. A quick history lesson: for 18 months from 1860-61, mail in the West was delivered by riders. Then, it became obsolete with Samuel Morse’s invention of the telegram. In Denver, I stayed with fellow Middlebury College alum before heading out the next day to Salt Lake City.
The 535-mile drive to Salt Lake City took me up to Wyoming—another first—to the highest point on I-80, 8,674 feet above sea level in Laramie. You can’t miss it, there’s a huge Abraham Lincoln statue. In Salt Lake, I had the opportunity to reunite with a current ECHL broadcaster, Adrian Denny of the Utah Grizzlies. After staying the night, the final stop was San Francisco.
The 12-hour leg took me through the very flat state of Nevada. Las Vegas and Reno might be fun stops, but I didn’t see much else. And if you get to a half tank and see a gas station, stop, because you may not see a gas station for another 100 miles. It was refreshing once I hit California because it was mountainous, picturesque and I knew I had crossed my last state line, having seen 13, total.
Thankfully, the good people at Parkmerced had my new apartment all set up when I arrived, which was a welcoming sight.
It was certainly an adventure making the move out to San Fran and I have people in the hockey world to thank for making it easier. I’m looking forward to getting started with the Bulls, and can’t wait to see the fans packing into the Cow Palace in October.
You can reach Jason Lockhart, the Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting of the SF Bulls at JasonL@sfbulls.com.