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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thanksgiving is about family and friendship and these friends know each other so well they call hockey games– with one friend seeing through the eyes of the other. While he can’t see the players score a goal, Matt Wallace, blind since birth, calls the games for Penn’s women’s ice hockey team.
Sam paints the pictures, Matt provides the color commentary. Their friendship began years ago at Temple University. They bonded over what else, hockey.
“We always stayed in touch even after we graduated we would always message each other, ‘hey it’s the start of the hockey season,” said Wallace.
Sam Fryman continued his dream of calling games for various hockey teams around the country and when he landed the job back in Philadelphia at Penn, he wanted Matt to be involved.
“After a couple of games I said to myself, ‘you know what? I’m having fun doing this with Matt could help a lot. ’So I think he adds a good element of spark to the broadcast,” Fryman says.
“Sam usually gives me really good lead-ins, so I can say something and also gives me very good cues as to when I need to shut up because something is going to happen,” said Wallace.
And according to the coach, he’s the team’s secret weapon.
“I always write down my game thoughts in the middle of the game and happen to ask Matt what he thought we needed to do between periods and verbatim every note I had taken Matt had listed. It is tremendous to see how knowledgeable these guys are and how they are able to impact our program,” said Coach Samantha Pulley.
Matt grew up listening to all four major Philadelphia sports teams.
“My first broadcaster that I really listened to and grew an appreciation for radio broadcasting was Harry Kalas, Tim Saunders, and Tom McGinnis. Philadelphia has been fortunate to have some of the best broadcasters in their collective sports,” Wallace says.
It became his passion and now he’s living his dream. One game, one play, one call at a time.