By Ami Angelwings
4pm hour – Listener calls with Bob McCown
- Calls are about the NHL labor situation and Rogers not spending money on the Blue Jays
- Bob tells callers if they are frustrated at the NHL, they should stop going to games and buying jerseys, etc
- Bob says that Rogers may not want to spend more because they won’t make a profit on the Jays
5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Damien Cox, Stephen Brunt and John Shannon
First segment: Should Rogers be blamed for the Jays failures?
- Brunt thinks that Rogers will spend when it’s time
- Shannon notes that management and ownership are always targeted in Toronto by the fans, not the players
- Cox thinks that the team has been mishandled and ownership should be partly to blame
- Bob thinks that the Jays should have spent money this past off-season while there were free agents to be had, Brunt counters with the Burnett/Ryan signings being failures
Second segment: Should the Jays trade manager John Farrell to the Boston Red Sox?
- Brunt thinks they should if Farrell wants to leave, Cox thinks they should regardless of if Farrell wants to leave if they can extort a good deal out of the Red Sox
Third segment: Discussion of the NFL suspensions of Saints players being overturned
- Brunt thinks this is a good day for the players because it shows that Roger Goodell does not have absolute power
6pm hour – Roundtable continues
First segment: Discussion of NHL labor negotiations and possible lockout
- Shannon thinks fans will return because they love hockey, Cox says it’s because they’re sheep
- Brunt thinks the players’ goals in this CBA is to show the NHL that they won’t roll over
- Bob thinks that the NHL needs to deal with its failing franchises, Shannon and Cox doesn’t think its anything but the owner’s problem, and that Bettman has been good at saving bad franchises
Second segment: Discussion of the 1972 Summit Series
- Bob thinks there won’t be another event with the same cultural significance, Brunt thinks the 2010 Olympics had a similar impact on Canada
- Bob wonders whether Paul Henderson should be in the hall of fame just for scoring the winning goal, Cox points out that his stats aren’t that far off from some people who are let into the HoF
Third segment: Discussion about Bill Clinton’s DNC speech
- Brunt leaves after the second segment, Bob, Cox and Shannon talk about Bill Clinton and what a great orator he is
I found this roundtable to be fairly boring and not very entertaining. Cox was doing his usual thing where he disagrees with any strongly held opinion just to oppose it and sometimes he hasn’t thought out his opinion particularly well.
I was surprised by how strongly Brunt was defending Rogers and the Blue Jays when last year he was among those really disappointed by the Jays for not spending money.
Bob didn’t tie his argument about the NHL having teams in bad places very well with the CBA negotiations and it ended up allowing Cox and Shannon to derail it. I see what he was trying to say though, that if the NHL is arguing that franchises are losing money and they need a bigger split of the revenues, then it is relevant to the players how the NHL is handling their business.
As somebody who wasn’t close to being born when the summit series was being played, I would have enjoyed more personal stories from the roundtable, what they felt, where they were, how scared they were of losing, etc… Bob had an interesting question about what would have happened if Canada had lost, but sadly, nobody really answered what they thought the effect would have been.
The phone calls were confusing because Bob was basically re-stating what the issues the fans had were. It wasn’t really a defense, because saying that Rogers won’t spend because they want to turn a profit on the Jays is exactly why fans are angry at Rogers being the owners and cynical of having corporate ownership.
Photo available here