Longtime CFL analyst Jock Climie: Chris Schultz was ‘the most popular member’ of the TSN panel

Photo courtesy: TSN

It’s not widely known but Jock Climie and Chris Schultz were teammates for two games with the Toronto Argonauts, however, the two were together for much longer with TSN.

Schultz joined the CFL on TSN panel in 1998 and Climie was added in 2002 following the end of his playing career. The former offensive lineman and receiver were broadcasting teammates for well over a decade.

“As popular as that panel was, there’s no question that Chris Schultz was the most popular member of that panel. Every time we stepped out on the street, Matt [Dunigan], Dave [Randorf] and I, and Milt [Stegall] when he joined us, were reminded of that very quickly,” Climie said on TSN radio 1200 in Ottawa.

“What I’ve told people over the years, you thought we had fun on the air, you should have seen us off the air. When that red light went off, and it was just the four of us in the studio, talking, laughing, tears would be streaming down our face as we told each other stories.”

“Schultzy was such a huge part of that. He had that bigger than life presence, infectious sense of humour, very quirky guy, but an incredibly private guy.”

The gentle giant seamlessly transitioned to broadcast television post-retirement, becoming a fan favourite for his unique brand of insight and humour. Schultz established himself as one of the faces of the game for an entire generation of fans.

“Chris Schultz takes an emotional approach to the game and there is no question what fans are drawn to. If more people were drawn to Schultzy because of his emotional attachment to the game and the way he projected that, fantastic,” Climie said.

“Schultzy had that way to connect with your passionate, every day football fan. He never talked over anybody’s head, he never gave you the sense that he knew something that you didn’t, and he made you care about what was happening on the field because he cared so much.”

The 61-year old was a household name to football fans in Canada, spending more than 20 years covering both the NFL and CFL after becoming a mainstay on the CFL on TSN panel in 1998. Schultz most recently served as colour analyst for the Argos radio broadcasts.

“This is somebody I spent 15 years with, hundreds of hours a year within five feet of him, and yet we all laughed about how there was so little we actually knew about Chris Schultz and his life. We all knew him the man, he just wasn’t big on sharing what Chris Schultz did away from the studio,” Climie said.

The six-foot-eight, 277-pound Schultz took being a pro seriously, whether it was playing football or analyzing the game he loved. Schultz wanted everything to be perfect or as close to it as possible in a live television environment.

“Matt Dunigan, and Chris and I had some unique dynamics. You can’t work together so closely with people without there being some friction at times, and some challenges,” Climie said.

“We were like brothers, it took a few years but we finally realized we all have our roles, we all have our lanes, and what makes this panel unique and so popular is that we’re so different.”