Tevan honoured at funeral as the iconic Montreal sports figure he was
If Ted Tevan ever had any doubt of the impact he had on Montreal, his funeral Wednesday would have erased it in an instant.
A who's who of the Montreal sports broadcasting community was at Paperman's Funeral Home to pay their final respects to Tevan, the legendary sports talk show host who passed away of a heart attack Friday at age 78.
Tevan spent 34 years on Montreal's airwaves at various radio stations not only talking about sports, but touching people in a way few others have.
"He was a pioneer, he was doing things that no one else did," said Team 990 radio host Mitch Melnick. "It's important to know and acknowledge; many, many people listening to Ted were alone. But they never felt alone listening to him."
Tevan's impact on the current sports broadcasting scene was prevalent in the number of on-air personalities who came to honour his life Wednesday, on top of his contemporaries.
"I think the key word was character," Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster Dick Irvin said. "He was one of a kind, and the ones of a kind in this business are the ones that people remember."
Tevan's raspy voice and gruff demeanor on the air is how most of his listeners knew him. He had a notoriously short fuse with callers whose arguments were not particularly well thought out, giving them a "You're gone!" and hanging up on them as the sound of a machine gun rattled off.
"It was in the schoolyard the next morning we would all wait and gather and say, did you hear Ted last night?" said CTV sportscaster Paul Graif. "Did you hear him machine gun that guy and call him a mooch? Or did you hear him call that guy a straight arrow? Ted was such a big influence."
But behind that on-air persona was a kind-hearted man who was an incredibly loyal friend to those who got to know the real Ted Tevan.
"Very kind hearted, loving," said his daughter Stacey Tevan. "He'd give you the shirt off his back if you needed it."
His good friend Mitch Garber – a former broadcaster himself – said Tevan would have been filled with pride to see the turnout at the funeral.
"I think Montrealers need to remember the impact he had on this city, the fact that he called the Big O the Big O," Garber said. "Quite frankly, it would be one of his greatest moments to know that he is now referred to as an icon and that people like Dick Irvin and Mitch Melnick and Aaron Rand and Dickie Moore were at his funeral, and that tribute was paid to him and he has his rightful place in broadcasting history. I think he would be extremely satisfied."