Paul Houde | 1954-2024: The sports fan who knew as much as an encyclopedia

A man with a thousand interests for which he loved to share his deep knowledge, Paul Houde was particularly driven by an immense passion for sport. The fine communicator, died Saturday at age 69was a true sporting encyclopedia, underline with admiration his long-time friends, and also the athletes who worked alongside him throughout his long career.

Michel Bergeron worked with him during the broadcast of the Olympic Games, and the former Nordiques coach was not only marked by his knowledge of athletics, but also by his concern for preparation, which allowed him to stand out behind a microphone.

He was a genius! his friend praised him Bergie in interview at LCN. For me, apart from hockey, it’s zero. When I saw Paul talking about athletics, about artistic competitions, I was stunned. I told myself that it couldn’t be that a man was as knowledgeable in different sporting spheres as he was.”

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“Like Maurice and Henri Richard”

Rodger Brulotte had known Paul Houde, but also his brother Pierre, for more than four decades. A strong bond of friendship was forged between the three men at the time when they were all in radio.

The columnist at Newspaper believes that the duo of brothers is “the greatest that Quebec has known as sports commentators”, largely because they contributed to introducing the general public to sports that were at one time little-known (athletics for Paul, car racing for Pierre).

“They will have been like Maurice and Henri Richard,” he illustrated.

But Rodger also remembers the great kindness of his friend, who was quick to put on the pads to go play hockey in the street with children from his neighborhood.

One of the “funniest” Boys

And Paul Houde with leggings, it’s an image that will have marked an entire generation of Quebecers.

Because in addition to having been a memorable radio man – he started in 1975, at CKAC 730 –, having participated in numerous television projects, Paul Houde was of course “Fern”, Boys.

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“He’s one of the Proud Boys, one of the funniest in fact,” argued Marc Messier, who played the role of Bob Chicoine. We had lots and lots of fun. He’s a guy who knew the sport well, a statistician.”

“He was a bit like his character, actually. He was a good guy.”

Like a 500 page book

Producer of the film series, Richard Goudreau was also Paul Houde’s neighbor for many years.

He was marked by his friend’s knowledge and exceptional memory.

In fact, Mr. Goudreau holds the ultimate proof that Paul Houde was a veritable encyclopedia of sport.

“We often had dinners with Marc Messier on Saturday evenings,” he said. A game we played with him was that I opened the encyclopedia of Olympic records and made him guess performances at random.”

“It was incredible. It gave the correct name of the athlete, during which Olympics and in which year! We were laughing so much. There were about 500 pages in the book!”

A “too good” imitator

And another facet of the host which will have marked the imagination is his qualities as an imitator.

Réjean Houle, the former striker and general manager of the Canadian, can attest to this, he who was one of Paul Houde’s most memorable “characters”.

“I thought he was excellent. Too good even! laughed Mr. Houle. But he always did it delicately, even if he liked to pass on his messages. I never held a grudge against him, on the contrary.”

“Paul was a complete man,” he also complimented him. He was an exceptional being, in every sense. He had incredible intelligence.”

Former RDS journalist Chantal Machabée, who now serves as vice-president of communications for Le Canadien, was one of Paul Houde’s neighbors. She also praises the man’s intelligence, his kindness and his great ability to make people laugh, particularly through his imitations.

“I did a presentation with him and Max Pacioretty at the Gemini gala, and I remember I was laughing backstage because he did an imitation of us,” she recalled. I was walking towards the podium and I said to myself: “You must not have a fit of laughing! You must not have a fit of laughing!”

“He was truly a fascinating person. From [samedi], I see the testimonies passing by, and they are very significant of his greatness. They are very, very deserved,” she added.

– With Olivier Faucher, Laurent Lavoie and TVA Nouvelles

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