The fans really bailed him out on this one.
Leo Welsh has been the Blue Jackets’ main anthem singer since winning a contest in 2003. He might be the most qualified person for the job, having graduated from Ohio University in 2003 with a voice degree and sung for Opera Columbus. But things went terribly wrong before Saturday night’s game against the Rangers.
Whether he forgot it or a staffer failed to give him one, Welsh took the ice without a microphone in his hand. He pantomimed holding a mic and then touched his chin quizzically, unsure how to proceed. But luckily for Welsh, the crowd in Columbus was more than happy to bail him out.
Welsh tweeted a thank you to the fans after the game.
Up until this weekend, Welsh’s biggest fear was forgetting the words to the Canadian anthem.
“So far I’ve been lucky,” Welsh told the Columbus Post-Dispatch in a 2008 interview when asked if he’s ever messed up the anthem. “During O’ Canada, I will read the words on the (center ice) scoreboard so I don’t screw them up. Friends tell me they’re looking forward to seeing me one day on SportsCenter. I really don’t get nervous.”
He didn’t even get nervous when he was missing his most important piece of equipment. That’s a real pro.