Catch you on the rebound
By Curtis J. Phillips, Connect Contributor
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Confucius, Chinese philosopher.
During the recent Fort McMurray forest fire, the face-and-voice of Doug Roxburgh, in his role of video journalist/TV host with Shaw TV Fort McMurray, became more evident with his and Craig Momney’s compassionate features covering the historic event.
We had talked to Roxburgh prior to the May 3, 2016 evacuation about his journalism career, in which sports has played an integral role.
The story was placed on the backburner.
Now, it’s time to have a closer look at Roxburgh from our chat from many, many weeks ago.
“My job is fun,” said Roxburgh. “There are so many people in this world that have a job that they do not like. I get to do, what I love to do, every day. I get to be very creative and I get to laugh when I work.”
With the laughter, come long hours and a dedication in telling the stories within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) and Fort McMurray.
Roxburgh graduated from Brock University, while enrolled in sports management later returning to school for a broadcasting degree from Mohawk College.
He is also a sports junkie.
For Roxburgh, a native of Simcoe, Ontario the dream of a sports career came at a young age.
“As a kid growing up I would get Sports Desk revoked from my privileges if I had misbehaved,” recalls Roxburgh, 31, of the flagship television show, which was launched September 1, 1984 on TSN, later changing its name to Sports Centre.
“I always wanted to be the guy behind that desk or the guy that was doing sports play-by-play.”
Roxburgh was no wannabee athlete though, having played badminton, football, golf and hockey during his high school days.
“I’ve been on hockey skates since I was three years-of-age,” said Roxburgh, who would suit up for the Junior C Simcoe Storm and Junior D Port Dover Sailors. “Hockey is in my blood.”
His great grandfather, Jack M. Roxburgh, was one of the founding fathers of the Ontario Juvenile Hockey Association (the forerunner of today’s Ontario Minor Hockey Association), which was formed March 5, 1935.
Jack would later fill the prestigious role of president for the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. The Ontario Hockey League’s Juvenile C Championship Trophy is named in his honour.
Doug’s older brother John was scouted for Canada’s Under-16 national hockey team, but dreams were shattered, after breaking his leg while playing for the Hagersville Hawks (1994-1996).
Also branching out from the Roxburgh family tree are former NHL stars Rob Blake and Marty McSorley.
Add to the list the fact that his grandfather, John Roxburgh, was a radio personality for nearly 40 years and the current path for Doug was inevitable.
Along the way, including the last three years here in Fort McMurray, Roxburgh has interviewed countless Canadian sports legends and personalities.
He also had stints and cups of coffee with various Ontario-based teams be it in the NHL, NBA or CFL and was a familiar voice on Sportsnet 590 – The Fan.
He even babysat a NASCAR car?
For one year, soon after graduating from his first post-secondary stint, he traveled from coast-to-coast-to-coast with the No. 17 car of NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year (2000) and champion (2003) Matt Kenseth.
“I was part of the marketing team and we would attend different shows and showed off the car,” explained Roxburgh, of the No. 17 stock car, which with Kenseth at the wheel, captured the flag at two Daytona 500 races. “We also had to explain the facts about the car and NASCAR. I had always had a passion for NASCAR but just learning the ins-and-outs first-hand, was unbelievable.”
An avid fan of the NFL Buffalo Bills, “My family had season tickets since the 1970s’,” Roxburgh’s talents have been not overlooked as he joined Shaw TV’s national coverage of the Western Hockey League with sideline reporting.
Of his time to date in the RMWB, he states: “The great thing here, is that I have been able to do things that I would not have been able to do, say in Toronto or another major market. Here, I have been able to branch out.
“I no longer want to be just that guy sitting behind a desk reading scores. I don’t want to be pigeonholed into one area.”
His career goal is to host a prominent television program.
“You will see me host some particular program down the line. Maybe sports, maybe not. But it will be in some capacity down the line. It is going to be bigger than anticipated.”
I don’t doubt Roxburgh, for you see, stealing another quote that of baseball slugger Babe Ruth, and a quote that happens to be a Roxburgh’s favourite: “The ones who never give up, are always the hardest to beat.”
Catch you on the rebound.