Chal­lenge Cup soc­cer: ‘Gord-Cast’ puts Dun­phy back in the game


Jo­ce­lyn Dun­phy is a reg­is­tered nurse and she had a sug­ges­tion for her No. 1 pa­tient.

“I’ve gone through a hard or­deal the past two years with some ma­jor med­i­cal is­sues,” said Gord Dun­phy, Jo­ce­lyn’s hus­band. “My wife, who gives me great sup­port, felt the best ther­apy was to do some­thing I like.”

There was no doubt that some­thing had to be soc­cer.

Dun­phy has been in­volved in the game all his life and the St. Lawrence na­tive had been com­mis­sioner of the Mol­son Chal­lenge Cup provin­cial se­nior men’s league be­fore health con­cerns, in­clud­ing back prob­lems — he’s had one surgery and will need an­other — forced him to re­sign from the po­si­tion af­ter last sea­son.

But his wife’s pre­scrip­tion got him think­ing about how he could get back in the game.

Fif­teen years ago, Dun­phy be­gan do­ing colour com­men­tary on CHCM’s ra­dio broad­casts of Chal­lenge Cup provin­cial and na­tional play­off matches. He had also taken univer­sity-level cour­ses in mul­ti­me­dia and had been cov­er­ing soc­cer, in par­tic­u­lar Chal­lenge Cup, in an on-line blog since 2008.

He de­cided to bun­dle all of that ex­pe­ri­ence and know-how into a live-stream of Chal­lenge Cup games on his Face­book page (www.face­ dun­phy).

“With the tech­nol­ogy of to­day, I felt (the live-stream­ing of games) might be just the thing, es­pe­cially since it wouldn’t be too de­mand­ing,” he said.

His first call was of a game at the Gushue Com­plex be­tween Mount Pearl and the Canada Games team.

“It was so foggy, I couldn’t see across the field,” Dun­phy noted.

But it be­came clear his on-line broad­casts were just the sort of tonic he needed.

“For some rea­son, when I get to the field, my spirits get lifted so high I for­get about my ail­ments,” said Dun­phy, who con­cen­trates on contests in­volv­ing the Games team — “They are the fu­ture of New­found­land and Labrador soc­cer” — and his beloved Big Blue, his home­town St. Lawrence Lau­ren­tians.

“That’s where my true colours are… and my heart and soul,” he said un­apolo­get­i­cally.

“Now that I’m not the (Chal­lenge Cup) com­mis­sioner and not tied in with the NLSA (provin­cial soc­cer as­so­ci­a­tion), I can re­ally show my true colours.

“The other thing is that there is no other fan­base at the Chal­lenge Cup level in this coun­try big­ger than the one for the Lau­ren­tians. It’s na­tion-wide, and in some cases, even ex­ists out­side the coun­try.

“We are of­fer­ing a ser­vice for those peo­ple. I have to say that I think that be­fore this, there’s been a bit of a dis­con­nect, for the sim­ple rea­son that in St. Lawrence to­day here are only about 1,000 or 1,200 peo­ple. There are so many Lau­ren­tians fans liv­ing or work­ing else­where. Now, they have a way of get­ting some ex­po­sure to their team.

“At the same time, I have to say that op­po­nents of the Canada Games and Lau­ren­tians are get­ting more ex­po­sure, too.”

Dun­phy of­fers a short pre-game show and car­ries his cov­er­age through the half-time in­ter­mis­sion, some­times adding guests like Rick Far­rell, with whom he’s worked on the CHCM broad­casts.

“I’ll bring some­one in if I think they’ll be com­fort­able do­ing it,” said Dun­phy, “and as long as there is noth­ing said out of line.”

Other than that, though, it’s a one-man show, done through his phone and us­ing his own data plan.

“You’ve got to mul­ti­task and that can be tough,” said Dun­phy who has been ap­proached ask­ing if he was in­ter­ested in a spon­sor­ship.

Ar­ti­cle con­tin­ues af­ter ad­ver­tise­ment

“But I’m not do­ing this as a money-mak­ing propo­si­tion, I want to do it for the right sea­sons. I want to do it for soc­cer and the love of the game.”

And for his view­er­ship, which — ac­cord­ing to re­sponses — stretches to the Mid­dle East in Qatar and Egypt.

“I’ve re­ceived noth­ing but pos­i­tive re­sponses, from fans and play­ers, too.

“And I don’t think it is in­ter­fer­ing with the fan base who nor­mally at­tend games. Af­ter all, ad­mis­sion to Chal­lenge Cup games is just $5 and chil­dren un­der 12 get in free,” he said, not­ing some peo­ple who at­tend games fol­low his com­men­tary on their phones.

But he says it’s mostly for those who can’t get to games, in­clud­ing those con­fined to hospi­tals.

“I like to think peo­ple like my com­men­tary. It’s not all se­ri­ous. I have some fun with it and hope­fully, I’m bring­ing some per­son­al­ity to it as well.”

Part of that per­son­al­ity is ex­pressed in the hats Dun­phy wears on his broad­casts. At the sug­ges­tion of fan Made­line Kelly, he wears a dif­fer­ent one ev­ery game.

Think Don Cherry, but with head­gear in­stead of suits.

He even has a sou’wester ready to go. And there is a good chance he’ll need it, given that the only Chal­lenge Cup venue of­fer­ing a shel­tered broad­cast lo­ca­tion is King Ge­orge V in St. John’s.

The hat busi­ness has be­come such that his fam­ily has made it a habit to shop for new cha­peaus for use on what’s be­come known as the “Gord-Cast.”

Dun­phy’s hop­ing they might ex­tend that search to other items.

“I am look­ing at big­ger and bet­ter equip­ment (for the broad­cast), but I’m leav­ing that to the kids to get me that for Christ­mas and birth­days,” he said with a chuckle.


Gord Dun­phy

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.