Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

With a large family, a dog and lots of sports gear, Rod Black's Suburban is a necessity. (Sarah Dea for The Globe and Mail)
With a large family, a dog and lots of sports gear, Rod Black's Suburban is a necessity. (Sarah Dea for The Globe and Mail)

Rod Black

Sportscaster Rod Black knows his Cups - but not his cars Add to ...

Rod Black

Profession: CTV and TSN Sportscaster

Age: 48

Hometown: Winnipeg

Notable achievements

Covered the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer and the 1992 Summer Games in Barcelona

Play-by-play commentating on TSN for Blue Jays Baseball, CFL, golf and figure skating, hosting duties on TSN for the NBA, and anchoring CTV's coverage of the Canadian Open, MasterCard Skate Canada and Canadian Figure Skating Championships

More related to this story

Honorary spokesperson for Foster Parents Plan of Canada

Upcoming

Charity work includes hosting a variety of fundraising events including a golf tournament for Sick Kids Hospital and hosting his own celebrity slo-pitch game for Plan Canada

*****

For nearly three decades, Rod Black - one of Canada's most recognized sportscasters - has covered every major sports event from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics to the Stanley Cup playoffs to figure skating, tennis and golf.

He may be a sports fanatic, but he's no sports car guy when it comes to his rides. He drives a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban and a 2009 Buick Enclave.

Why do you drive such big vehicles?

I used to be a sports car guy, but now I drive a Suburban and Enclave.

I'm not exactly environmentally conscious, but I've got lots of kids. If I didn't have either of these vehicles I'd probably have a yellow school bus because I have four kids, 11 and under. You can understand why we need space. They're both sports machines - they carry a lot of sporting equipment.

As much as we like the sportier vehicles, since we started having kids our whole mentality towards vehicles has changed - we wanted quality transportation, lots of space and somewhat of a luxury vehicle they can mess up so we can clean.

The Suburban has paid for itself over and over again even though the gas is ridiculous now. It keeps giving. I've got a little love affair going on - I keep throwing things in the back. I keep cleaning her. She talks back to me every once in a while, but she's my old maid, hanging in there.

What does an Enclave say about you?

It says I'm a pretty practical guy. I get to travel the world and be around these sports guys, but I'm pretty practical. I really am a transport A to point B guy.

I am on the road a lot so I rent a lot of cars - my rental cars are a lot sweeter than my own. I've had the Mustangs and the BMWs.

The kids are so young right now and kids are quite messy and if I had a really nice vehicle, I'd ban them from it and that would be selfish on my part. I think I'm getting to a selfish stage in my life so it might happen in the next couple of years.

I'd like to get a nice little Mercedes Kompressor - that's down the road for me. That's going to be my mid-life crisis vehicle. Some guys go for motorcycles, but I'm going for the Kompressor.

What else have you owned?

When I was younger I was like all the guys. I had hot rods.

My first vehicle was a Firebird. I loved that. I had a 'Vette for about two months, but I got too many tickets. I had a heavy foot.

I'm from Winnipeg originally so practicality is important. My mentality changed when I was in Manitoba and I did have sports cars. I realized I really couldn't drive them in the winter so that's when I went to 4x4s. I had a Jimmy and a lot of Jeeps. Then we went into the van craze -Montanas and Caravans because of the kids.

The Suburban is a guzzler, but quite honestly not too many other vehicles out there can handle the brood I have, which is big with hockey bags, baseball gear, my daughter's figure skating and dance stuff and their buddies. In the Suburban, we can fit eight - put a couple on the roof rack and that's 10! In the Enclave we can fit seven comfortably.

Have you owned any lemons?

I had three Grand Cherokees in the span of three years - I didn't like the way they handled. One of the Firebirds I had, the tires just kept blowing on me. I was in a suit changing tires all the time. I run out of gas a lot - I blame the manufacturer. I'm not watching that gauge very often.

I had an Eagle Talon and I had tons of problems with it. But that was a standard and it was probably me more than anything. I prefer driving an automatic with all the kids otherwise they'd be needing a chiropractor for their neck.

I was in Zurich, Switzerland, in a rental car and it was standard. I hadn't driven standard in a couple of years and my colour commentator, Cheryl, I'm sure has been in a neck brace for the last three weeks because I was driving. But after a couple of days I enjoyed driving it in Europe.

What's great about my job is you get to drive in the wildest places - I've driven in Africa and Europe.

What's your best driving experience?

The thrill of my life is driving an F2000 race car at Jim Russell's racing school in Tremblant. But I couldn't fit in it. You have to be a Smurf to get into those things. They had to tape my feet because my feet were too big. It was awesome.

The best car I've ever driven was a BMW in France and Norway. All the Scandinavian countries give you really nice rental cars, but you have to put sandbags in the back because of the roads. In Germany you go to rent a car - are you serious, you're giving me a Benz? What are you crazy?

When did you start driving?

I didn't get my licence until really late. I always had my buddies driving me around. I started my job when I was 18 in Winnipeg and then I had to get my licence. I was driving a CKY/CTV news cruiser around - that was the biggest lemon. I drove it for two years. It was an Impala - it was a lemon, but the cost was really good. It wasn't a good vehicle to pull up when you're going to a bar.

If I could bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?

Does the space shuttle count? I like convertibles.… I'm not really a Porsche guy, but I'd like a convertible Porsche. That would be one of my dream cars down the road. After the kids are grown up - they're 11, 9, 7, 5 - so jeez, I'm going to be old. By that time, I'll have a handicapped parking sticker.

Do you know what's under the hood of either vehicle?

No.

I could tell you every Stanley Cup champion from 1917. I could tell you every scoring champion from 1957 in the NBA. I can tell you everybody who has played every sport imaginable.

I am a geek when it comes to vehicles so I have no idea.

The interview has been edited and condensed.

pgentile@globeandmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

 

In the know

Most popular videos »

Highlights

More from The Globe and Mail

Most popular