New York Times Portraits of Grief

Marc Zeplin

When Marc Zeplin was 4, his father took him to his first Rangers game. There, he found his calling.

Throughout his childhood, his mother would come upon him in the living room, playing an entire hockey game by himself while calling the play-by-play. He would hit the puck and run to the other side of the room to protect the goal. Meanwhile, he would announce his moves at the top of his lungs. Afterward, at the dinner table, he would recap the game in his imitation of Howard Cosell's grating baritone.

When he went to the University of Michigan, he broadcast the games on the school radio station. His dream, said Leona Zeplin, his mother, was to be a professional sportscaster. But he was enough of a realist to know how slim his chances were.

Instead, he became a trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, entertaining clients with his sports chatter. He and Debra, his wife, had two sons -- one-year-old Ethan and three-year-old Ryan. He looked forward to sharing years of Rangers games and sports talk with them. Already, he was making plans to take Ryan to his first Rangers game.