Cam Moon watched the stands fill up at the ENMAX Centrium from his usual perch in the broadcast booth on a Red Deer Rebels game day, chatting with long time co-host Mike Moller as they waited for the Rebels and the visiting Kootenay Ice to take to the frozen surface. His notes were already sorted and spread out in front of him, ready for him to reference if he needed to.
This is one of Moon’s favourite parts of his role as the play-by-play voice of the Rebels – the anticipation.
“I like telling the story and I love that when you go to the game that night, you don’t know what’s going to happen. You have no idea,” said Moon, who called his 1,500th game on Friday night when the Ice were in town.
For 19 seasons, Rebels fans across Central Alberta have tuned in to listen to Moon describe what he’s seeing on the ice below him, from his iconic call of Doug Lynch’s overtime winner in the 2001 Memorial Cup final to his work at last year’s Memorial Cup tournament, Moon’s smart and informative play calling has made him a household name in Central Alberta.
That’s not to say that the veteran play caller seeks the limelight. In fact, outside of the context of his job as the radio and media relations director for the Rebels, Moon prefers to stay in the background.
“It’s all about how the game goes. That’s why I don’t like the attention because it shouldn’t be on me, it should be on the game. I’m just the guy telling the story about it,” he said.
That didn’t stop the Rebels from pulling out all the stops to celebrate Moon’s 1,500 game milestone last Friday, though. The team declared it Cam Moon night and presented the first 400 Rebels fans to come through the doors with a bobblehead depicting the broadcaster.
According to one Rebels official, the bobbleheads were gone in seconds.
They also honoured ‘Mooner’ in a number of other ways throughout the night, including video congratulations from a number of Rebels alumni.
“(Rebels Sr. VP of Hockey Operations Merrick Sutter) had mentioned that it was coming up this season. I don’t really count, but it had to be getting close. He said, ‘We’re going to do something,’ and I said ‘No, you’re not’,” Moon recalled, noting that no one else mentioned it after that.
“I had kind of thought, and hoped that he had forgot. And I was kind of sure he did!”
Even though he’s not a huge fan of all the attention, Moon said he appreciates the gesture.
The popularity of the bobbleheads just goes to show how popular the Edmonton product has become in Red Deer and how much of an impact he has had on the Rebels’ organization.
“He lives and breathes Red Deer Rebels and he’s an awesome broadcaster. I know that everybody loves listening to him. I’m pretty excited for him,” said Rebels Owner, Head Coach and GM Brent Sutter.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a true loyal guy and he throws everything into it, he puts a lot of time and effort into it and he does well at what he does.”
Moon, for his part, said he’s just having fun doing what he’s doing.
“I don’t consider what I do work,” said the 46-year-old, who got into broadcasting after spending three seasons as a goalie in the Western Hockey League with the Prince Albert Raiders, Saskatoon Blades and Medicine Hat Tigers.
“It’s gone really quick. It seems like the other day that I was moving here, you know? It’s fun and I expect it will continue to be fun.”