CTV Video of Cornwall Hockey Family Goes Viral
Cornwall Ontario - Thom Racine is no stranger to hockey. The recently-retired long-time Cornwall Police officer has long parlayed his passion for the sport into gigs covering the local Cornwall junior teams on TV Cogeco.
He is quickly becoming known to the viewers of CTV Ottawa for another series of hockey broadcasts – ones in which he provides play-by-play coverage of his nephew’s Junior A games for his brother Scott – who just happens to be blind.
CTV Ottawa’s Terry Marcotte caught wind of the story and covered it in a poignant 3 minute story entitled “Brotherly Love” which aired on December 3. You can watch the video here.
Thom and his brother Scott grew up in Cornwall with younger brother and sister Leeann and Bruce. Their father is Moe Racine, one of the greatest kickers in the Canadian Football League with 4 Grey Cup rings.
Scott was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes when he was 3 years-old. He began to have issues with his eyesight when he was 23-24 years old and despite surgery to prevent further degradation, he completely lost his eyesight six years ago.
His blindness would become a unique barrier when it came to following the progress of his son Hunter, a draft pick of the Peterborough Petes who is currently playing as a 16 year-old rookie with the Ottawa Junior Senators of the Central Canada Hockey League.
“The kid’s good and his Dad can’t see just how good he is,” says Thom.
A few years ago, when Hunter was still playing PeeWee, Thom took some equipment from Cornwall’s radio station to a game in Maxville. The two sat in the stands, with Scott wearing earphones and Thom beside him with a mike, calling the play.
Scott listened to the game intently, being able to experience the arena environment and the gameplay as it happened. It was an emotional experience for both brothers.
Fast forward a few years, and Hunter has progressed to Junior A hockey and his father still attends all of his games. As often as they can, Uncle Thom and his grandfather Moe make the trip up to see Hunter play (after all - its all about family). Thom sits beside Scott and provides the play-by-play.
It’s a skill Thom has honed over the years covering Cornwall hockey, and he continues to broadcast the televised games for the Cornwall Colts.
“Its fair to say that I know the league well and so calling the games for Scott is something I am comfortable with,” says Thom.
“He’s quite good at it,” says Scott. "Even some of the people around say, who is that guy calling the game for you?"
CTV’s video of Thom and Scott has gone viral on Facebook and within a few hours of its broadcast Thom’s email inbox was swamped with messages from people who were touched by the story. Still, Thom sees it as simply something families do for each other.
“I wish I could come up every time and do it for him,” says Thom. “It’s a special time in his life, and a special time in the kid’s life.”