StribSports Upload

How about the folks over at Mariucci Arena, who had to contend with the "help" detailed in this video?

Before heading back to organized workouts, former Gophers Paul Martin of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Keith Ballard of the Vancouver Canucks showed off how they had been spending some of their time in the Twin Cities during the lockout. The fun video, first shown during the Gophers-Notre Dame game, was posted a day later on YouTube.

If you think that was a stretch, how about NBC hockey announcer Mike Emrick? According to the New York Times, Emrick found himself calling a girls 12-and-under game in Michigan -- at the suggestion of NBC News anchor Brian Williams.

Emrick found some help in his preparation from Minneapolis native, former North Star and 1980 Olympian Mark Johnson, now coach of the University of Wisconsin women's team who also coached the 2010 U.S. women's Olympic team. So what did Johnson tell Emrick? According to the Times:

What should he look for? Emrick asked. “A lot of smiles through wire,” Johnson told him. Also, he said, “Two or three on each team will be dominant; for that handful, the light has gone on, because they have the confidence and the skills.”

Emrick also found one main difference from calling a women's game vs. a men's: Sometimes, the ponytails obscure the players' numbers. His call was featured Thursday night on Williams' "Rock Center" show. Here's the segment: