In July, NESN premiered a new series, “On Course with Andy Brickley presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino.”
The core of the program has NESN’s Bruins color analyst Andy Brickley hitting the links and conversing with local sports and entertainment celebrities. New episodes air Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. Additional times vary as they are positioned after Red Sox postgame.
“Playing golf is never just about golf,” says Brickley. “It’s the conversations and laughs that happen between the shots.”
Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice was Brickley’s inaugural guest at The International in Bolton, MA. Rice discussed a wide variety of topics, including how he almost chose football over baseball and how he met his wife.
“We also talked about my background in baseball,” says Brickley, an All-American hockey player at UNH who also played baseball for the Wildcats.
“Jim told me that the hardest thing for him to do in baseball was following Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski in left field for the Red Sox. The pressure was really tough. These are the kinds of things we talk about on the show.”
A native of Melrose, MA, Brickley has served as NESN’s Bruins game analyst since 2000. He spent four seasons with the Bruins (1988-92) and retired from the NHL in 1996. From the ice, Brickley jumped right into broadcasting, starting with WBZ Radio and then at UPN38 where he served as a Bruins color analyst for two seasons.
“On Course” takes viewers to many of the top golf courses in New England including Blue Hill, Pinehills, Kernwood, Plymouth, and Granite Links. Foxwoods is the show’s presenting sponsor, and a couple of episodes will be shot from Foxwoods Resorts’ Lake of Isles Golf Club.
Says Brickley, “We want to make our guests feel comfortable and have a good time playing golf. I don’t really consider it a golf show only. Golf is the vehicle through which the show’s conversation happens. If the show gets traction this year, we may feature a foursome of guests next year.”
“On Course” is a perfect fit for the glib, talented, and affable Brickley, a true golf maven. He relates, “I have a lot of respect and love for the game. I have always believed that you learn about people by playing golf with them. Golf shows a person’s integrity, and is a great meeting place. I just love to get out there play while learning about other people.”
This is exactly what “On Course” offers viewers and Brickley himself. He states, “In my work as a hockey broadcaster, I very rarely go into the team’s locker room. I have access to it, but I have always believed that the locker room is the players’ domain.
“This show allows me to get to know my guests on a more personal level. When we had (Bruins’ defenseman) Torey Krug on the show, I learned that he left school early to play hockey, but went back and got his degree because of a promise he made to his mother.”
Brickley sees “On Course” as a group endeavor. “You have to have a good team whether it is television or hockey. I really like the informative pop-ups that our producers have incorporated into the show. They provide a lot of interesting information and some fun trivia. We have a tremendous team of quality people working on this program.”
“On Course with Andy Brickley presented by Foxwoods Resort Casino” has been a hole-in-one for NESN’s summer lineup and Brickley has been a club champion as host and interviewer.
He states, “Golf is universal, and the golf course is a place where people share a common bond in a stress-free environment. We want viewers to see athletes out of their comfort zones and learn about their personal lives and challenges. Everyone’s journey is different.”
John Molori is an author and columnist for numerous publications. Like him on Facebook at John Molori, Twitter @MoloriMedia. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.