Neil Macrae



Born: September 13, 1951


Neil Macrae - All nights CJVI Victoria 1969-79; CHWK Chilliwack circa 1970; late night sports/host The Blazer Report CJOR Vancouver 1972; CKWX Vancouver 1973-78; sports/talk host CJOR Vancouver 1978; sports/talk host then Whitecaps colour commentator CKWX 1980-83; sports CKNW New Westminster 1983-current and sports comment mornings CFMI-FM Vancouver current; Vancouver Province sports columnist






CKNW sportsman Neil Macrae, 42, tells a neat story from years ago when he started operating for an open-line host at another station. Neil was still unfamiliar with the equipment. A caller used an obscene word . . . Neil's hand shot toward what he thought was the kill button . . . and buzzed the station's front door open.






 My gift for John McKeachie is a thesaurus containing words of no more than one syllable, and how to pronounce "thesaurus." - Neil Macrae






Colorful and controversial sports broadcaster "Big" Al Davidson has been fired by the radio station he worked at for more than 30 years.


In a written statement issued Friday, CKNW station manager Ron Bremner said Davidson, 62, was terminated "effective immediately."


CKNW program director Doug Rutherford said on advice from legal counsel the station would not release its reason for terminating Davidson.


"We had to make a difficult decision," Rutherford said, "and certainly as far as I'm concerned it's final."


In an interview between periods of Friday's Vancouver-Edmonton hockey game, Davidson said he was fired over a "misunderstanding" between himself and fellow CKNW sports broadcaster Neil Macrae.


He said a joke he made to Macrae during last Wednesday's Vancouver-Boston game was misinterpreted as a physical threat and that Macrae subsequently contacted police.


"It was no threat at all," Davidson said. "The man's 30 years younger than me, for Pete's sake."


Macrae refused to comment.


Davidson said no one from the station had talked to him about his termination and that he learned of it through his lawyer Friday morning.


"They haven't told me a thing," he said. "After 30 years with an outfit, you expect a little more than this."


Davidson, who spoke to reporters on the Coliseum mezzanine because his press-box pass had been revoked by Canucks management, said he likely would join another unspecified radio station "very soon."


Rutherford said Dave Hodge will take over morning sports with Macrae doing the afternoons "until things cool down and we decide who should be doing what permanently in the sports department."





1989 Archie McDonald


 ALTHOUGH the story has received circulation on Neil Macrae's radio station, it is too good not to share with the rest of the world.


Macrae is the one on CKNW with a voice that booms like a snare drum in the mornings, at noon, and at Canuck home games. It has a pitch that makes even the most trivial sporting statistic sound like a declaration of war. He leans towards long, noisy tirades illuminated by brilliant flashes of silence.


Anyway, some young woman was smitten by the sound of his voice and a mutual friend arranged a blind date. Since Neil had also had a life long romance with his tonsils this rendezvous promised to form a breathless admiration society.


He was to pick her up in West Van, take her to supper, and let his sweet talk do the rest. He spent a long time getting ready, making sure his curls were coifed just right, his beard was in perfect trim.


He double checked that the heavy gold chain around his neck was not obscured by the dark fleece sprouting from his chest. The piece de resistance was a three piece suit, blue with a pale green stripe, which he had bought in Greece. It formed a symphony with the snakeskin boots.


His only fear was that the young lady might faint at the sight of him and be rendered comatose the rest of the evening. Oh well, it was a risk he always ran.


He stopped at the Esso station at Burrard and Davie, filled up his brand new red Honda, and paid with his charge card. It took less than a minute.


He walked back to the pumps to find his vehicle had disappeared. He figured maybe he was dreaming. "Did I just drive in here in a red car?" he asked the attendant.


Between the disbelieving attendant and the stunned Macrae they reached the inevitable conclusion: Sure as hell the car had been stolen.


The police were summoned. A couple of red Hondas were pursued but turned out to be look-a-likes. Macrae, you see, wasn't absolutely sure of the license number. When he had filled out the charge receipt he had just guessed. Why worry about facts.


As he took a taxi back to his Kitsilano home the hopelessness of his situation struck him. He couldn't phone the girl because her name, Kim something, her address, her phone number, were in the stolen car. He couldn't look it up because her phone was unlisted. The friend who had set up the date had gone to Hawaii.


He couldn't pay the taxi driver because he had no cash. He couldn't get into his house because the key was on the chain he had conveniently left in the ignition.


He found a ladder, slipped in through a window and dashed downstairs to disconnect the burglar alarm in the 20-second grace period before it went off. He scrounged enough cash to pay the cabbie, and went about repairing the damage to his bruised ambitions.


He phoned John Skidmore, manager of Langley Honda to find the license number. Skidmore leases Macrae the car in return for some advertising and the privilege of being disturbed at home on a Saturday night to be asked to go down to the office to call up numbers on a computer.


Anyway, the car still hasn't shown up despite Langley Honda's promise of a trip to Lake Tahoe to anyone turning it in. The police figure it is in 100 parts by now.


Macrae is heartbroken over the loss of 20 tapes which were in the car, including the prized Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits. This girl might have the world's second greatest voice.


He still hasn't found Kim to offer his apologies and stammer an excuse which she probably wouldn't believe anyway.


BC Radio History