Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

September 5th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: Sportsnet


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail


Good morning sports media observers. Lots of major stories this week as we finally put the summer behind us. Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment here and keep the conversation going during the dog days. A reminder: please don’t attack other commenters. Disagree all you want but please try to do so in a way that moves the debate forward. Also, agreeing to disagree is a fine option.


The Real Blundell Resurfaces


On Saturday of last week a 60 year old Atlanta Braves season ticket holder fell headfirst from the upper deck onto the seats below. The game was stopped while medical staff tried to revive him, but he died from his injuries. Investigators are still looking into the circumstances surrounding his death. His family released the following statement: “The night Greg passed away, he was doing one of his favorite things – watching the Braves.”


Fan safety has been a big topic this year after a broken bat almost killed a fan in Boston. On Monday morning, 36 hours after a fan died while attending a baseball game, Dean Blundell, George Rusic, and Ryan Fabro took to the airwaves to tackle this sensitive subject. Here is how that conversation went:




Dean: “did you hear about that guy at Turner field? Fell 80 feet … greased … He goes to lean over the railing to boo A-Rod. Blerrrrrr …. Whooooo …. <whistling sound of an object falling> … 85 feet and lands next to Brian McCann’s mum.”


George: “how greased do you have to be <laughing> where you don’t have the balance and fall 85 feet to your death? …. I always wondered how the mourning process works with something like that? Like if you’re visiting the family are you like ‘sorry, i guess’ …”


<audible laughing>


Dean: “I do too. Great question. Some people will be sad … because they lost a whatever … a drunk. I don’t know anything about the guy … but if the last thing you do is fall over a railing trying to boo A-Rod … God’s got your number.”


George: “how is the obituary written for something like that?”


Dean: “<imitates solemn sounding obituary describing the person falling to his death booing A-Rod> … Once again A-Rod wins it. What a season.”


<multiple voices laughing>




While this kind of callous commentary might appeal to certain people, many listeners wrote to express their disgust.


Let’s take a walk down memory lane to when Dean was brought to the FAN.  In 2013-14 Brady & Walker put up record ratings for the station and so many observers were puzzled when Don Kollins decided to hire Blundell to take over one of the FAN’s most lucrative timeslots. As I wrote at the time, this was not a risk worth taking. Why bring in someone with a track record of saying awful things on the air when you have a strong performing show already in place?


Following his high profile dismissal for homophobic comments, many were concerned about the decision to bring that baggage over to Rogers. Senior management sought to calm those fears. Radio VP Julie Adam said of Dean:


Rogers has a zero tolerance in regards to discrimination, and our track record speaks to that, and we wouldn’t have him in if we felt there was going to be any risk to our reputation regarding that.” 


Sportsnet president Scott Moore said this:


I’ve spent a great deal of time with Dean and … he understands what we’re looking for. We were pleased with both the performance and reaction on his dry runs last year. He was playing a role on a younger-male radio station at a time when the shock jock format was hot. He realizes that the world has changed a little bit and that he … has to reinvent himself a little bit. I’m sure he will be a good fit.”




While Dean is most famous for the comments about rape that eventually got him fired, he also sports a track record of making fun of tragic deaths. When Edmonton Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss was found drowned in his home country of Latvia, Dean joked:


How much must it suck playing hockey in Edmonton when you . . . I’m not going back. I mean, you’d rather jump off a bridge in like a war-torn country in a freezing cold river than go back to Edmonton. Shame. I hope they find him. I’ve been to Edmonton. I know what that guy’s talking about.”


So for all the bluster about how Dean was not being brought in to be a shock-jock, that is exactly what he is currently providing to Rogers. And despite his #apology for making fun of Pelss’ death, he went right back to that card at the soonest opportunity.


The FAN now finds themselves in the worst-case scenario. “Blundell & Co” has not delivered the ratings gain they were banking on and Dean has reverted to saying the kind of things that got him fired from his last job. While his 102.1 had strong ratings when he joked about prison rape, his FAN show does not. With a new PD about to take over at the FAN, dealing with the morning show will become the top priority.


Questions for you: 1) if you were a guest, would you want to come on the morning show to talk sports with Dean? I’m thinking of guys like Jerry Howarth and Stephen Brunt … people who have serious credibility in this market. 2) With the return of Mike Richards slated for this coming week, which station are you planning to listen to?


Curt Schilling’s Emails


The other major story this week was Awful Announcing’s decision to publish correspondence from Curt Schilling to one of their writers following the ESPN baseball announcer’s suspension for this tweet:



Schilling took issue with AA’s coverage of his case and wrote a lengthy email criticizing writer Dan Levy. The site decided to publish Schilling’s emails, which in turn prompted a lot of outrage from all sides about the ethics of sharing what was clearly assumed to be a private conversation. AA GM Ben Koo wrote about the reasoning here.


This is a complex journalistic issue. Under most circumstances publishing personal correspondence should be wrong. Whether or not someone explicitly asks for “off the record” status, there is a reasonable expectation that emails sent directly to someone will not be published, absent something like criminal harassment. But obviously if the news value of emails were sufficiently high that could outweigh the breach of implicit or explicit confidentiality. Lots of famous news stories have been broken because private correspondence became public.


I discussed this case with a few people in the media this week and my main question is: what exactly is the news value of Schilling’s emails? All we really learned is that his apology for his tweet drawing a comparison between Muslim extremists and Hitler’s Nazi Party was insincere. I can see how that might be relevant to some people — namely those who thought the apology was sincere — but does that justify the credibility hit AA will take for violating confidentiality?


The main effect of publishing Schilling’s emails is embarrassment for Schilling. He comes across as very unhinged, and one has to think that this played a part in AA’s decision. Schilling’s original suspension has now been extended through the end of the season. I can’t see any value in bringing him back. As Richard Deitsch put it, Schilling is an average broadcaster, and there are plenty of those around.


What do readers think? I’m especially keen to hear from those of you with journalism degrees: is personal correspondence necessarily private? Is this evidence that blogs lack adequate editorial standards?


Musical Columnists


Sean Fitz-Gerald has left the Post for the Star. This leaves the Post with only John Lott and Scott Stinson as people with a significant profile. (Apologies to those working there whose names I don’t know). [edit – forgot Eric Koreen. Sorry Eric!] In light of the new relationship between the Sun and the Post I wonder how long the Post’s sports section will last. Lott is excellent on baseball and would be a seamless replacement for Bob Elliott when he retires. I have enjoyed many of Stinson’s pieces, but he’s still relatively new to the lead columnist spot.


Over at the Star, they now have a boatload of “generalist” types. Arthur writes on any and all topics. So does Rosie. So does Cox. Fitz-Gerald will have to fight to find his niche in this crowded space. But they have really solidified their place as the biggest sports section in Canada [Edit: apparently this is not the case. The Sun has more writers and covers more events. Apologies for the error.]. With the impending launch of their new tablet app, it’s great to see them loading up on content.


Over at the Sun, there are three main general columnists: Simmons, Buffery, and Lankhof. I don’t read any of these people on a regular basis but plenty of you do since all three have been around for ages. Clearly they are doing something right in the eyes of their bosses.


Then there’s the Globe. Basically it’s Cathal Kelly‘s paper now, and his track record since taking over the lead columnist spot is not good. His eccentric pieces are fine, and that’s probably where he would be best used. The Globe needs some more columnists so Cathal doesn’t have to carry the weight of being the voice of the sports department.


On this topic, here’s a question for you this weekend. Who is your “go-to” generalist when a big story breaks? All of the papers have people competing for your eyeballs, as do and Whose opinion do you want to read first?


Quick Hits


Sportsnet have doubled their Jays ratings relative to summer 2014, thanks obviously to the division leading team. That ought to take some of the pressure from the bad NHL ratings off.


Baseball Central on the FAN has been extended to 2 hours, which is a good move for the playoff push. I think they could use a 3rd voice though. Someone like Shi Davidi would be a great regular addition to that show.


TSN Radio is launching its Hamilton  station this weekend. That brings TSN up to 7 all-sports stations in the country. TSN1150 will feature a daily noon CFL show as well as a daily drive time show. I don’t get this at all. Why counter-program Leafs Lunch with TiCats talk when LL is one of 1050’s most popular shows? The same point applies to drive time: is there really enough Hamiton-focused sports talk to justify taking listeners away from Naylor? A more sensible move would be to go local from 3-5 and then tap in to Naylor’s show from 5-7.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • Credit to TSN Drive for covering both the Bautista Sportsnet boycott and the Schilling suspension. One involves a competitor and one involves a partner. I thought they might steer clear of these topics.


  • Here’s Gregg Zaun hyping Jays tickets on Twitter. Anyone find this an odd look for the Manalyst?



  • Speaking of Twitter, Constable Cox of the bias bureau recently enlarged his job portfolio to include official score-keeper of the Toronto Sports Media League. Here’s his recent update of the leaderboard. Never change Damien.



  • Congratulations to all the bench talent who worked overtime this summer filling in for the regular hosts at both stations. Here’s hoping your hard work leads to bigger and better things either here or elsewhere.


  • Where’s Bob Mackowycz? It’s been 70 days since his last tweet.




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)


  1. scarboro_scamp says:

    Blundell was a mistake that I hope gets rectified soon. Making a mockery of the sad circumstances in Atlanta should have been grounds for immediate suspension/dismissal. Until he is replaced (and Richards, too) I choose not to listen to sports radio in the morning. I am solidly on the FM dial looking for good music. On my way home at the end of the day, it’s right back to 590 The Fan. I feel so bad for sports people that have to talk to Blundell & Co. It must be horrible. This was a swing-and-a-miss if there ever was one.

    Thanks for another excellent column. Look forward to it every week.

  2. MattK says:

    Ah don’t really have a problem with Dean doing that, if you are being a idiot and die people can laugh about it. Eric Koreen has a decent profile with the Post (has more followers then the 3 you mentioned), he even did 5 questions here!

  3. WestDale Rocks says:

    Blundell has a sense of humour that is quite different from the vast majority of humans. And Rusic is just a Yes Man sycophant, resembling a yapping chihuahua, who loves and is loved only by its owner, jumping up as it flits around following along. Any guest worth their salt, and who knows the show, would do well to avoid it. Perhaps Blundell should visit the first row of the upper deck at the Dome to see how steep it is up there. It’s a bit nervewracking trying to squeeze past people trying to find your seat and looking down on the railing side to see thirty feet between you and the landing area. Drunk or sober, making fun of a tragic death isn’t funny. The Fan needs to fire Blundell and banish Rusic to the nether regions of overnight. Richards? We’ll see. More class than Blundell, but that’s not saying a whole lot. Look, programmers need to realize a few things here: 1. Humour is incredibly subjective. And 2, even people who love t laugh and might see the humour in exactly the same thing at 2pm, get really annoyed by this stuff at 7am. Sports radio morning shows need to be straight up. No humour. No making fun of dead people. No imitations. Just give it to me straight. Interview Pierre Maguire. Interview Alex Marvez. Have a chat about issues. Brady and Walker were good examples of this. Intelligent chat and good interviews. And the numbers prove it.

  4. scarboro_scamp says:

    What if he had inner ear/balance issues? Guess he’s an ‘idiot’ for not being healthy.

    This type of mentality is just sad.

    FYI – The summer Joey Vendetta sessions on The Fan are also barely listenable. Back to the FM side of things when he starts name-dropping.

  5. MattK says:

    From Deadspin on the Atlanta fan.

    The fatal fall was about 85 feet. According to a witness, Murrey fell from the second row and was, “acting belligerently drunk all game.” When Rodriguez came to the plate, he arose suddenly to yell something and then slipped and fell over the guardrail.

  6. Ken says:

    People have been laughing at stupid deaths forever and they are yearly immortalized in the Darwin awards. To suggest that someone get fired for doing the same thing everyone else does with their friends is ridiculous.

    This is such a non-story.

  7. MattK says:

    You’re a 60 year old man wasted at a Braves game who has to rush towards the railing to heckle someone. Guy was a idiot. Is it sad for his family that he died? I assume so. But how about acting like a adult when in public and not a buffoon.

  8. steph says:

    Yeah, blundell has proven to be pretty much as advertised, blunder after blunder with sports knowledge and the stuff like this week thrown in for good measure. Looking back, maybe Landry and Stellick weren’t so bad after all. Completely agree on the vendetta thing mentioned above. The guy is the worst, we get it, you know famous people and you’re from LA or something. I don’t care what ABC hockey star is up to this summer. ughhhh, instant dial switch for me.

  9. Matt says:

    Also Dean’s going back to routinely making fun of the intern, an old tired bit. To be honest this summer Matt cauz has been impressive and emerged as the ,mosttalented man at 1050 I. My view. I truly think he know his stuff about sports and keeps things fun enough he could handle the Am slot if given the right co-host and provide the right type of balanced am show (80% sports, 10% humour, 10% news) that I think we are all looking for.

  10. DerrickTO says:

    Having lived in the Toronto area my entire life and being a sports fan, as is my wife, as are my kids, I see the Blundell Chapter (which so obviously is coming to a close and is going to be about as short-lived as the oft-compared Andrew Krystall Experiment) as being the most painfully embarrassing chapter of the Fan 590’s history.

    A colossal blunder with a lot of people who won’t step forward and take the blame for this but will sweep this under the rug. To be blunt, I admit not giving the show a chance back in January or whenever it started, because I heard enough of Dean’s “act” on the Edge to know he didn’t know sports well enough to talk it and be credible, and his style of radio expired like an old bag of milk around 2006, honestly. ESPN Radio would never make a move like this? WFAN would never make a move like this. Find me a major market in the USA that decided to replace credible sports hosts with proven track records in morning drive with a guy who’d never done sports talk before. Within the last decade, of course. I’ll be waiting as long as you’ll be looking.

    Blundell is getting fired. His boss, had he not flown the coop immediately after hiring him, would be getting fired with him. Again, I’m in the car before 9 every morning. I love sports. It would never, ever, ever occur to me to turn on his show and I thought I was being judgmental about this, until you meet so many other people, at work, socially, at Jays games, and they all say AND DO the exact same thing.

    No one bats 1.000. They screwed up and screwed up badly. My guess is they know it and this gets dusted off long before Blue Jays season starts next April. What they do to replace him is anyone’s guess. But time to write the cheque and make this go away. Richards has a following and I’d bet lots of changing the dial has occured in the several months Blundell has been on. Let’s face it, they can put a monkey on this September and October with the Blue Jays in a playoff race and the ratings won’t be terrible in the morning, but I’m guessing the damage reputation-wise and perception-wise is that the show’s a failure, many people at Rogers are embarrassed by this radio show (anyone see any TV commercials for Dean’s show since, I don’t know, the week he was first on the air in the winter???).

    Why not let Dean be on McCown’s show? They’re embarrassed.
    Why not plug Blundell on Tim and Sid? They’re embarrassed.
    Why not have him on Breakfast Television? They’re embarrassed.

    Well-written, Mike In Bah-ston. It’s all but over for this terrible experiment, it’s just a question of when.

    By the way, agree, love expanding Baseball Central to another hour. Can’t get enough Jays right now.

  11. Rob J says:

    As a tall guy, I don’t even like standing up for the anthems when I’m in the front row of the upper deck at the RC. I really am surprised no one has ever fallen over. PS I heard that as part of the reno, they’re going to install green seats there instead of blue. That will be strange.

  12. Chris says:

    In fairness to Julie. She did say “a little”

  13. MattK says:

    You are giving ESPN a bit too much credit, they gave Colin Cowherd a national radio program, hired Rush Limbaugh, Ray Lewis, SAS and Skip Bayless.

  14. scarboro_scamp says:

    Again, one shouldn’t expect to die if heckling a player at the baseball game. Whether imbibing or not. I don’t think it makes good morning commute radio to make light of it. I’d like to listen to conversation about, you know, sports. Blundell is just bad at this particular job and he shouldn’t be doing sports talk radio.

  15. mario says:

    Thanks for a great read again MIB..I given have up on morning sports talk radio for the most part as well. Don’t know why Bell would want another station in Hamilton which no one will probably listen to, they can’t even get listeners on 1050? I would fix that one first.

  16. Sam in Scarb says:

    Great to know The Dan Patrick Show will be on daily live on TSN 1150 Hamilton.
    It will knock the snot in the ratings out of the 2 Toronto all sports stations in that time period.
    Maybe,just maybe that is what it will take for the Toronto sports stations to upgrade their staff.

  17. AP says:

    I missed this Bautista boycott, but I just read about it. Is it resolved now?

  18. yaz says:

    If Blundell’s comments on the death at the Braves game weren’t mentioned above I doubt anybody here would have even brought them up. For the record, I don’t like the Blundell show and have mentioned as much in other posts. I was and am a big fan of Brady and Walker and miss them in the morning slot and wish they were back.

    Blundell and Rusic didn’t ‘take to the air to tackle this sensitive subject’. They aren’t The View or Oprah. They mentioned it in the course of a 3 hour show in which they often comment on news items. To suggest that comments on a death at a Braves game last week and the death of an Oilers player two years ago constitute a ‘track record’ is a hell of a stretch and is more suggestive of a bias against Blundell than proof of Blundell’s corrosiveness.

    As far as Blundell’s sense of humour being @westdalerocks ‘different than the vast majority of humans’: perhaps, but different than the vast majority of males 18-45 listening to Sports Radio? Howard Stern does much ‘worse’ and gets paid 80 million a year to do it. ( granted, not a Sports show)

    Blundell’s ratings aren’t stellar but I doubt they would be considered a ‘colossal failure’ unless there’s a new book out I haven’t seen. Hiring Blundell was a calculated risk worth taking. Will his FM listeners show up on the AM side or not? Roll the dice. Blundell is in rarified air up there with Bobcat in terms of Toronto radio status. I doubt Blundell would have been let go from his FM gig over his homophobic comments if they didn’t have bearing on the court case he was commenting on. Also, hiring Blundell was in the context of Tim & Sid needing a replacement and you’re putting a more comedic anchor up against the gong show that is the Mike Richards show. It isn’t exactly Mitch Albom down the dial on 1050.

    Outside the box, did anybody ever consider the first consideration by The Fan in putting Blundell on 590 was not in the ratings he would bring but to keep him off of TSN 1050? A la NBC Leno/Conan.

  19. TommyD says:

    Dean Blundell is not quite as unlistenable as Andrew Krystal was, but he is getting closer and closer. He is clearly over his head having to talk as much sports as the job calls for. He has taken more and more to using references such as ‘whatchamacallit’ and ‘whatshisname’ because he just doesn’t know what he is talking about. Kollins made a couple of good moves such as bring on Brady, Walker and Blair but he almost destroyed the station in the process by messing up the most important time slots. See Krystal, Blundell and moving PTS to 3pm.

    Speaking of unlistenable, Ken Reid on PTS is a channel changer for me.

  20. Sam says:

    “Who is your “go-to” generalist when a big story breaks?”

    Arthur, though I’d probably put tuning into McCown if its a topic I know he’ll get out of bed for, so to speak.

  21. Sam says:

    In the custom of reddit’s “showerthoughts”, wouldn’t it be great if Deitsch co-hosted on Mondays on PTS like Arthur does. Or Brunt would be great too – just to get him once a week.

  22. GreyCountyMike says:

    TommyD makes a valid point about Dean Blundell’s overall lack of knowledge on sports. It’s understandable that even a sports station might want more of a “generalist” in the morning drive time, but the cornerstone personality still needs a solid grasp of the topics that the station’s market purports to cover. Derringer pulled it off at The FAN; Blundell is, as TommyD says, over his head.

  23. Rob J, this past Monday I went to the Cleveland game, sitting in the 2nd row, 500 level. In front of us about 5 seats down were a Mom and Dad, with about 5 kids running loose who were all pretty much at eye level or slightly above with the bar, which is quite low. The kids were constantly pulling on the bar, leaning over to watch the game, while the parents seemed pretty disinterested. My wife was the one who brought it to my attention and she alerted me to it. I assured her that the kids were told before the game how to be careful, and I am sure that the parents instinctively know how to keep an eye on them, but still, all it takes is one slip-up and it is too late. At the Olympic Stadium, in the top level, there is a tall plexiglass that was designed that you have to look through to see the game, and it works, as you can’t fall over. I still sat there sometimes, but did prefer to sit a few rows up to get a better view. Maybe the Rogers Centre can design something similar.

  24. Darrell says:

    I like Rusic when he was with Jeff Sammut. The FAN 590 has totally pooped the bed on the morning show. It is totally unlistenable. I woke up that morning listening to that tasteless bit and why he is still employed with the FAN shows how pointless their lineup is.

    Outside of Tim + Sid – name a current radio program that excels in the past 5 years on the FAN. NONE!

  25. Dogpounder says:

    “The Dan Patrick Show will be on daily live on TSN 1150 Hamilton.”

    For real??

    This is excellent. A great option this winter for people who don’t want to listen to much hockey talk.

  26. Steve Clark says:

    Mike, I do not see how a Noon hour Tiger Cat show chips into the audience of Leafs Lunch with any significance. Different focus, different audience. Will some switch off Leafs Lunch to tune into the TiCat show? Sure. But theyre also repeating Leafs show from 2-4. Though it may not seem it with Raptors/ Leafs coverage , but the market that TSN 1150 will want to serve is those in Hamilton, and the Golden Horseshoe. Maybe Burlington might be as far as where the station will make a dent. While I have a bias, being a broadcaster part-time in Hamilton, it is a very worthwhile endeavour to switch to all sports. There is a lot of untapped Hamilton sports and on-air talent. For the Summer and Fall the Tiger Cats will anchor the program. Then in the fall, they’ll focus on McMaster Football, Hamilton Bulldogs (though no live coverage) and also cover off the Bills, Sabres etc. Lots of content to filter through.

    Anyone who has been to the old Buffalo Aud and sat in the Orange seats knows all about steep declines in seating. Those seats should have come with a safety harness!

    By the time the Atlanta fan had got to Dean Blundell and company I had read several articles about how people were affected by seeing the tragedy. Yankees colour commentator Suzyn Waldman commented on the haunting sound of hearing the man hit the ground, and that does not cover those who saw more. Not sure I saw the humour in the situation given what I had already read.

  27. Mike S says:

    According to the TSN website here is the lineup for TSN 1150 when it starts on Tuesday:

    12:00 AM ESPN Radio
    6:00 AM Mike & Mike
    9:00 AM The Dan Patrick Show
    12:00 PM Ticats at Noon (Jim Tatti)
    2:00 PM TSN Lunch
    4:00 PM Marsh and Milt (Marshall Ferguson & Steve Milton)
    7:00 PM ESPN Radio

  28. The Londoner says:

    I switched to listening to music once Fan590 hired Dean Blundell. I agree with everything Mike in Boston wrote as well as the others above me.

    Interesting to note that in the design of SunTrust Park, higher railings than those in Turner Field were put into plan even before this death occurred. This incident reminded me of the horrible moment in I think 2012 when an Arlington firefighter reached for a foul ball and fell 6 metres to his death right in front of his young son.

    I don’t know if this is worth mentioning, but new Toronto Maple Leaf Martin Marincin was closed friends with Dean Blundell target Kristians Pells. Different nationalities, Kristians was Latvian and Martin is Slovak, but they roomed together as they were coming up the Oilers system. Marincin will tweet out from time to time how much he misses Kristians.

    If Saginaw Spirt forward Terry Trafford killed himself today instead of in 2014, I shudder to think what Dean Blundell and his worthless lickspittle George Rusic would come up with. What an awful way to make a living, making fun of tragedies.

  29. WestDale Rocks says:

    @MikeS. Mike and Mike at 6am in The Hammer? Bring it on!!! Wouldn’t be surprised if this show brings in a TON of listeners!!! I’m not a fan of US sports radio–too much college and NBA stuff—but this is a really good show and could actually unseat the pap that’s forced down our throats in the AM from 590 and 1050.

  30. Laurene says:

    What could you decide on?

  31. Alex says:

    Funny, Pap is how i would have described Mike and Mike. Admittedly, i have not listened to it in over a decade, but when i did, it was banal and formulaic.

    But then, safe and predictable is better than dreck like Cowherd.

  32. MattK says:

    Is Dan Patrick the best sports radio program in North America? Haven’t listened to much of him but he seems to know the right tone to take with each subject.

    fwiw I would rather have Dean lose his job because he isn’t good sports radio then a “blunder” like this.

  33. AP says:

    We always talk about how the other fan personalities should be given a chance to move up. Sorry to say, but George Rusic is an example of why you might not. You might not want to find out more of these guy’s personalities.

  34. Grant says:

    Blundell’s show is humor based. That’s really the make up of the program. To devote an article to a comment made that the family will never hear and publicly call for a firing….how hypocritical is that? We have a freedom in this country to listen to what we choose. If this is personally offensive then you have that choice to not listen, but what this to me is an example of yet again someone trying to tell people what they should be offended by. For many Dean isn’t their cup of tea, but for others who aren’t taking life overly serious and just want a few laughs on their way into work. You have the right to not listen and you have the right to listen. Also if you were a regular listener, not unlike Howard Stern, you’d realize there is a caring side to Blundell as well. He just looks at the lighter side of life and sometimes makes jokes that some aren’t comfortable with. Calling for his axe over this seems more vendetta related or simply somebody that’s been waiting to go after him the first chance they get. This story would bring as much attention to the comment than the comment itself, so if the family or loved ones is a concern drawing attention to it is an ultimate irony. I enjoy the program and a big part of the reason is it’s comedy. Are you going to write about Chris Rock’s offensive stand up when he comes to Toronto or Jeff O’Neil being a bit off colored on Leafs Lunch. Not a fan of site’s playing judge. Too much of that these days.

  35. Jp says:

    I believe Joey bats’s boycott on his employer’s press representatives is over since he was interviewed by Barry Davis after Saturday’s game

  36. scarboro_scamp says:

    I don’t think we’re screaming for vengeance about this one Blundell comment – I think it’s just further proof that Blundell and sports talk radio aren’t a good fit. Based on his body of work at the Fan, it just hasn’t been a good fit. If they can trade him to TSN, I’d say go for it. I’ve yet to meet one person that really digs the new morning show.

  37. Darrell says:

    I personally think Tim and Sid will always be the morning show duo over Blundell.

    Blundell’s act is not good for sports radio. I don’t care who you are, you cannot make jokes about a man falling off the upper bowl of a baseball stadium and hitting his head on the cement – less than 24 hours from the incident. That’s tasteless, classless and really lacks credibility and professionalism.

    Those of you who say that Blundell caters to the secular audience, so did Tim + Sid.

    Idiot Kollins screwed up the station entirely and certainly the morning show.

  38. Dennis says:

    Love this game

  39. WestDale Rocks says:

    @Grant “Blundell’s show is humor based.” The fact that you just made the connection between the tragic death of a person at a ball game and “humour” says it all. Whether the man was drunk or sober, obnoxious or quiet, large or small…is irrelevant. He went over a railing, fell 30 feet to his death, then got laughed at by Dean Blundell and George Rusic. It’s tasteless and way off base…and about the farthest thing from “humour” there is.

  40. Cameron says:

    It’s more than Blundell’s bad humor. It’s the complete lack of sports knowledge. He can’t complete sentence without and um and um ten times. And his jays talk is just embarrassing

  41. Blue Jay Fan says:


    If a man falling to his death is on Dean’s list of things to joke about that day, It must of been a short day for Dean and his so called humor. It’s one thing when a guy is naturally funny and can find anything outside sensitive topics to be funny about it’s another thing when a guy is just searching because he’s not naturally funny,especially on a all sports format.

  42. Andrew says:

    Dan Patrick would probably rank at the top of the list but you’re not going to hear much if anything about Canadian based teams. My only must listen show is Tony Kornheiser on ESPN 980 from 10 – 12. It’s not entirely sports based, he does politics and movies also. With the Nats in the dumps and the NFL team displaying Leaf like levels of mismanagement, it’s even more amusing. He doesn’t take phone calls but ends the show with emails and listener produced(The Littles) songs. It may not be for everyone but it’s light years ahead of anything else during the day.

  43. darren says:

    This site always makes me laugh. While i appreciate some content here you clearly you have a bias and favourites. Even more appalling, an Agenda that strays far from this site and its offerings being any thing that resembles objective or constructive.

    1. The fact that dept store lawyers and other folks that contribute to this site and offer their opinions on people careers they so desperately want to be in but can’t is interesting.

    2. Say what you like about Blundell (and you do) I’d be very leary of lumping him into a category that fits your M.O. He’s a very successful announcer and has been for quite sometime.

    3. He was fired. The star drove the narrative and somehow lost here is that he was chastising a man that sexually assaulted four people. Had that been four women you all may have rushed to agreement instead of judgement. Off colour, yes. Homophobic, no. had any of you listened to him for 13 years you would side with his ardent support of all groups and equality. But its easy to latch on to a public lynching even when its incorrect…its makes us feel good. I believe they call it grandstanding.

    4. To insinuate that the Morning Crew laughed at someones death is also a stretch. Earlier posts referencing the darwin awards isn’t far off the mark. I’m sure some of you may have laughed at those. Because Dean is an easy target you choose to pick low hanging fruit thats served to you on a twitter platter and try and create effect. At someone else’s expense. The irony was there. Sad story but those who can’t see the irony (which was the premise of the conversation). I heard it. they said it was Sad (and ironic)

    5. Most of the posts and comments I’ve read are just people trying to add their fuel to the fire. If we use the adage of misery loving company I think we gain some perspective here. Most of you comment on how terrible the show is and you continually quote the things you take offence to or don’t like. You must be listening. If you say you don’t than you’re not being truthful or you aren’t qualified to say that he’s “over his head”.

    6. A new format takes time. At first I didn’t think Dean was a fit. I do more as time goes on and expect him to settle in and offer the sports format something different. its been 6 months. This is hard for most of you to deal with. You have all regularly beat up on most inceptions of shows on both stations. This is no different.

    7. for you to reach back and use the Kristians Pellss death is more grandstanding and sad. He stated in several articles, he didn’t know he had passed (at the time he hadn’t) and was the first to apologize

    I’ve met Jonah a couple of times. He seems like he wants this board to be objective. Maybe this has lost its focus or maybe people want to tell others how they should feel or think. I’m not sure. However, i do know that this is more agenda driven and on certain levels more childish than things you are accusing people of here.

    this world is a better place when you don’t tell people how they should consume or why something is bad for everyone. For those of you fighting Blundells hateful presence on the with more hate is truly the problem. I wish better for this board and the subjects covered.

  44. Blue Jay Fan says:


    “this world is a better place when you don’t tell people how they should consume or why something is bad for everyone”

    Darren you are pretty much trying to police comments and what you think are the emotions and motives behind the comments which is absurdly unfair, how about not trying to make accusations of motives and intentions or maybe your comment is just your opinion as is every other comment on this board. It’s called freedom of speech, regardless of what your self written constituion is all about.

  45. darren says:

    I think you have added to my point. Decry freedom of speech by using the freedom of speech card.

    Was pointing out the hypocrisy and offering my thoughts on the irony of the article and comments and questioning the agenda it was motivated by. Its painfully plain to see. I believe that the author didn’t hear the comments in question. Jonah asked people to send him their comments and admittedly didn’t hear them either. Its basically trolling to an already captive audience.

    I offered a different side.

    Argue points. Discuss objectively. Its discernibly clear Many of the Comments and the articles on Blundell Show are based on pejorative comments based on personal taste.

    Telling someone his comments are in bad taste and subsequently calling them an idiot and they should be fired is truly caustic.

    I enjoy a good discussion. However if you are going to start a fire and ask people to pile on, have some facts and present all sides. The author of the article has done the opposite here….and is attempting to drive a narrative that simply is not there.

    The author also seems to pass over many apologies and restitution dean has made when he was accountable but uses old fodder to load his gun. Seems either irresponsible or agenda driven.

    This not only borders on closed minded but some of the language is effectually litigious, especially insinuating he agrees with rape or is homophobic and linking that to being “the real Dean”.

    Simply saying, maybe we could contribute more to the construct of conversations with more of a two sided approach. That is clearly not in the article nor represented in the comments.

  46. AP says:

    I know I’m only commenting in this thread because I literally don’t tune into the Fan 590 morning show anymore. I tried it for a couple of months on and off but it’s definitely last on the dial now. I don’t feel the need to listen to a non sports guy who doesn’t matter, giving his thoughts. Listening to Dean is no different than listening to call in fans. It’s amusing for the length of a call, but why would you listen longer?

  47. yaz says:

    I just don’t like the Blundell show ( not for reasons at top of this page) and hope Brady & Walker didn’t get too used to sleeping in. Despite that, the Blundell comments on the unfortunate death of a drunk fan at a Braves game were a few inconsequential comments on the news of the day. They are presented here as if Blundell did a 45 minute set at the guy’s funeral or at Yuk Yuk’s or something. Using Blundell’s nothing comments to prove a track record or justify his firing are ridiculous.

  48. AP says:

    Rovell is no longer a PTS guy. He’s on TSN radio. But all those years on PTS I never realized he was despised by some.

  49. (Another) Andrew says:

    Rovell is no longer a PTS guy. He’s on TSN radio.

    Really? Did that just happen in the last few weeks? I’ve barely listened to The Fan since late July but I’m pretty sure I heard his voice on PTS a couple of times this summer.

  50. Alex says:

    Rovell was TSN only for 2-3 years because of The four letter’s policy about talent appearing on competing stations and 590 fellunder that umbrella. Then, he came back and they made a fanfare about it.

    Now, it see,ms they are clamping down again with all the espn baseball guys (keri, etc) being tsn only. If you notice, 590 now has a bunch of guys as regulars from the MLB Network to fill that void, including Duquette and Cliff Floyd.

    I would not miss Rovell because i find him kind of unctuous and pro-big business, where i think a sports business reporter should be more balanced.

  51. Dogpounder says:

    Rovell has been on PTS regularly for a couple months now.

  52. Alex says:

    Wasnt the question that he stopped being on in the last couple weeks?

  53. Zebb says:

    For a week TSN advertises that TSN3 will show the Ohio St.-Virginia Tech game last night (Monday). Come kickoff at 8 pm, 4 TSNs are showing Canada basketball, TSN2 has tennis. Basketball leads into Sportscentre on TSN3. At halftime they tweet that it was a listing error and it can be watched online. For 100 minutes they ignored what had to be hundreds of tweets from upset viewers.

    Terrible all around.

  54. Zebb, I agree 100% with you, but you forgot that TSN promoted with the 5 channels wall to wall tennis coverage of the Majors, but last night, the other big tennis match on Armstrong, which had Berdych vs. Gasquet, was not even shown (just online), and only Federer vs. Isner on Ashe was shown. Why have the same programming on multiple channels? Isn’t the idea to spread it around? The Ohio State – Virginia game was on the info description on TSN3, so it was originally programmed to be shown. TSN hired a bunch of people to manage the programming on these extra channels, so I have no idea how they could screw it up.

    Bottom line, mistakes happen, and overall I am pleased with the programming on TSN with the extra channels, I just wish they would cut down the duplicity of programming on multiple channels.

  55. Brian Harvey says:

    Any particular why TSN did not show the OSU & VT game on Monday despite in being in the listings? Instead we getting 3.5 hours of repeating Sportscenter. Also, why did Rogers not show as part of the Super Sports Pak?

  56. Mike S says:

    I had a similar question about TSN programming a couple of months ago……….here is what another commenter (Dan) posted on this site about this issue:

    “For as long as there are customers with analogue cable and only get one TSN feed, TSN will continue to put events across numerous feeds in order to get the biggest viewership possible. Once everyone goes digital and can get TSN1,3,4,5 they will have no need to offer the same programming across more than one feed at the same time”

  57. Pete says:

    I admit, I didn’t mind Blundell initially. Definitely not enough to justify punting Brady & Walker from the time slot (people called it from the get go it was a horrible decision), but enough to live with a move I had no control over. But over his first 6 months, his lack of sports knowledge has hampered his ability to carry a conversation and is embarrassing when trying to get to the nuts and bolts with a reputable guest, he’s forced advertisers to flee at what I’m sure is an alarming rate for Rogers, and has resorted to segments like “What Happened?” and “Who’s your daddy?” to get by, a telltale sign his show has become a failure. Add Rusic on top, who went from listenable on late nights with Jeff Sammut to someone I never want to hear from again, and you have a disastrously bad combo.

    Rogers’ saving grace is that the even worse Mike Richards is back on the other dial. Talk about crummy morning options. I just listen to music now rather than have these two clowns be the first ones to break down and tell me about the sports happenings from the day before.

  58. Antonio says:

    Nothing will happen to Blundell. He’s smart enough to know as long as he doesn’t insult gay people, he’ll have his job. Almost anything else goes.

  59. Mike S says:

    Here is what Matthew Cauz said this morning on Macko & Cauz about Mackowycz:

    “Bob Mackowycz will return to this show at some point”

  60. lb71 says:

    James Mirtle at the Globe is a top quality hockey writer and one of my go to guys for hockey news.

  61. Alex says:

    Rovell on PTS today.

  62. Too Much says:

    Just heard Mike Richards on TSN Drive – turns out he’s been away because of surgery for colorectal cancer. So much for the inflammatory “rehab” rumours that have been out there.

  63. Darren Johnston says:

    Another world class hour of PTS today, Bob returns and for the first hour, he and Devlin bitch about Bob not being able to watch the Ohio State FTB game last night, they even had Rovel on during the hour as a guest and he had to wait on the line at least 2 minutes while Bob was rambling on about the same shit!!! Just unwatchable.

  64. Kamlesh says:

    Lots of audio trouble in PTS today. Shi Davidi sounded like he was in the middle of Disneyland and Bob Ryan’s phone was the pits. Better to listen to this.

  65. Mullah_Kintyre says:

    In 2015, why would anyone need to listen to radio to be told about “sports happenings from the day before”?
    The whole idea of a ‘mainstream’ sports media seems antiquated now. I would assume almost everyone has more specific and immediate sources of information (and talk and other stuff) for their own particular interests.

  66. Benny says:

    Right on cue Brunt was on with Blundell on Monday morning.

    Best generalist? Probably Grange or Buffery.

  67. AP says:

    @Mullah_Kintyre, we don’t tune in to find out what happened. We tune in for discussion of what happened. That won’t change any time soon.

  68. Wefewee says:

    Thanks for all this; I love to see everyone’s point of view.
    In the meantime, isn’t this the website where I should be reading about Richard’s return to TSN 1050 and learn why he was away?

  69. Sam in Scarb says:

    So you are in your car mid-morning and you want sports talk and your choices are

    Cauz & ??
    Dan Patrick
    Could be the first ratings shutout in ratings history.

  70. SUDSY1515 says:

    Really getting fed up with TSN…..Not showing the college game on Monday night was wrong and offering no scroll on screen explaining why, was unacceptable!

  71. Alex says:

    Things i never expected to hear on PTS:

    “There are more important things than money.” – bob

  72. (Another) Andrew says:

    isn’t this the website where I should be reading about Richard’s return to TSN 1050 and learn why he was away?

    I don’t know about him coming back but it was well known that he was away due to a serious medical issue.

    I caught about one minute of The Fan today when I changed the station at a traffic light. Stromboulopoulos was on at some press conference about the World Cup of Hockey saying he liked or was intrigued or something by the participation of an U23 North American team. For shame George, for shame.

  73. (Another) Andrew says:

    Really getting fed up with TSN…..Not showing the college game on Monday night was wrong and offering no scroll on screen explaining why, was unacceptable!

    During the tennis ESPN commentator Mike Tirico was giving regular updates of the Ohio @ Virginia Tech score and even discussed, briefly, quarterback issues with Brad Gilbert. It must’ve felt like adding insult to injury to football fans watching TSN when Tirico reminded them they could switch over to a different ESPN and watch the football live.

  74. RobInAurora says:

    I notice that Rogers offers a sports package that includes the Big 10 Network along with other sports centric offerings that are not on basic cable. I would presume that Monday nights’s Ohio State game would have been being carried on Big 10 Network, as the Buckeyes are such a high profile team (and Monday had a limited schedule as well) – – If that was in fact the case, TSN would not have had the rights to show the Ohio State / VT game…That’s the only logical explanation I can think of.

    Before anyone gets all lathered up with righteous indignation, with all the channels available, this kind of scheduling oversight is something that we can expect to happen frequently until a system is put in place that accommodates TSN’s coverage of NCAA, as well as Rogers’ rights to show games covered exclusively ion the BIG 10 Network. This would have been embarrassing for TSN, but they are never going to provide an explanation for that kind of mix up as it would in effect be an advertisement for their competition.

    I am a Bucks fan, so I hope this does not mean that I am not going to be deprived of seeing any Ohio State games at all (I know my American buddies have to have BIG 10 network to be able to see many of the OSU games)….It’s not like they are carried on TSN weekly, so who knows? We’ll wait and see how it shakes out.

  75. RobInAurora says:

    On his first day back, Matt Cauz mentioned that Bob is coming back eventually. I will withhold speculation as to where he has been or why he’s been absent, because as many did here and elsewhere, there was a lot of speculation on Mike Richards’ (of TSN) “apparent” substance abuse issues when he took a leave for medical issues over the summer…as it turns out, the substance abuse was in fact cancer treatment. (…not the same thing)

    So we’ll just assume Bob has likely had to deal with something in his personal life (the fact his absence coincided with Richards’ was an odd and unfortunate coincidence – I would much prefer listening to Bob solo than Gareth Wheeler)…Bob tweeted a somewhat cryptic comment a few days before disappearing from the airwaves (and Twitter) that “Que Sera Sera is way sadder than I think people give it credit for.”…not sure what that means – but maybe something has happened in his personal life that required him to take time away. His Twitter feed has been dark since June…

    Whatever the reason for his absence is, I was very glad to hear that the plan is for him to return to 9-noon. He seems like a very well liked and decent guy – so as an every day listener at work, I would wish him all the best – and he’s entitled to his privacy (as much as I am entitled to dislike Gareth Wheeeler’s work as his fill in!)

  76. Steve G says:

    @RobInAurora – B1G 10 Network doesn’t get prime time weeknight games – at least at this high of a marquee value. This one was ESPN and TSN apparently ran promos all week saying it would be on TSN3. That feed – like a couple of their other ones – instead had the Canada/Uruguay FIBA game – and when it ended they changed to SportsCentre. They ignored all of the social media complaints and questions they were getting until about 2 hours after kick off…and then labelled it as a ‘listings error’ or something like that – and directed people to watch it on their mobile app. And…it appeared as thought THAT crashed for a while too.

  77. Poker Guy says:

    I just watched Mike Richards return, and his special announcement. For those who have not seen it, please check it out.
    It is a very forthcoming, and moving piece of video.
    I am happy for Mike, that he is on the road to recovery.

  78. Navajo Joe says:

    Blundell and Richards are equally unlistenable.
    Terrible decisions by both stations to hire them.
    Find myself longing for the Landry/Stellick days!
    Meantime it’s Radio 2 or Jazz FM in the mornings.

  79. chuck says:

    @Alex, Rovell is too “”big business?” So who do you suggest following? Is there even 1 sports business reporter in Canada?

  80. Mont from London Ont says:

    Does anyone know if the Appalachian – Clemson game
    on Saturday 12Sep15 is on TV anywhere -I can’t find
    anything definite – My nephew is in Belmont NC and a
    Mountaineer alumnus and is still floating about the
    Appalachian upset over the Wolverines – I’d like to
    watch it if possible – Thanks

  81. Daniel says:

    @Sam in Scarb

    Dan Patrick was on 1050 in the AM when it launched. I like the show but I don’t think it made an impact ratings wise.

  82. William D says:


    Dan Patrick’s show was a syndicated on TSN during TSN’s infancy and I think that takes away from viewer and listnership, in that it makes the viewer and the listner feel as though the announcer is exclusively addressing the american audience. I think in house shows here in Canada serve the audience better.

  83. Sam in Scarb says:

    @ Daniel & William D
    I guess my point was Patrick has a wide variety of topics and guests.
    Not hockey,hockey and more hockey October till June.

  84. alex says:


    Would FOB brian cooper be considered a reporter? Unlikely, since he is head of a marketing company. I also dont know what media he does other than be on PTS.

    Dont know of anyone else

  85. RobInAurora says:

    Hi Steve: Was Big 10 Network definitely not carrying the OSU/VT game? (I can’t think of any other reason why TSN would have screwed up and not admitted it or explained why.) Perhaps Big 10 negotiated to get that game due to the fact it was game 1 of a new season…

    If they didn’t have the game, I can’t think of why TSN made the error. Looks bad on them. They all need as much content and variety as they can get, so growing their viewers’ interest in NCAA football and BB will be important for them

  86. yaz says:

    A caller called Cauz a ‘traitor’ re Mackowycz near end of the 9 am hour Sept 11. I missed beginning of it. Cauz was laughing and had a quick retort that he was not a traitor. Waited for podcast and they edited it out. More interesting than whatever it is that Cauz said is the fact that they edited this portion out. Hour 2 is 40 mins. Hour 3 is 41 mins. Edited hour 1 is 35 mins. Unless it was bleeped on air, shouldn’t be edited out.

  87. Billyjoejimbob says:


    The radio wars are over. Check out the latest ratings. It’s over.

  88. Mont from London Ont says:

    Where are the radio ratings available?

  89. billyjoejimbob says:

    I was sent a copy by a buddy in the industry. I can’t post the exact numbers, but TSN’s are dismal. Put it this way, most of their ratings start with a 0.

    My buddy doesn’t work for them, but was disappointed because more competition is better for everyone. If I was a Bell big shot, I’d be asking if it was worth it.

  90. Mike V says:

    TSM posted them on Twitter. Overall it was a 5.7 to 0.4. But was it ever really a war?

    Also, Brady and Walker in the afternoon beat Blundell in the morning drive so hopefully that experiment is over soon.

  91. Blue Jay Fan says:

    Some serious cosmetic changes needed at TSN radio. Right now sportsnet is probably going to beat their Brains in for a long time, given sportsnets national access to the mlb and nhl. Makes one wonder if TSN 1050 will survive.

  92. Rob in Aurora says:

    TSN 1050 doesn’t have bluejay rights. They do have leaf games and can carry NFL and other major league baseball games on air… What they excel at is the quality of the guests and for the most part superior program hosts in two of the four major time slots. I call it aa wash in the to drive time slots… both stations have weaknesses in the morning and the afternoon have strengths and weaknesses that offset… Primetime sports is not a good show anymore – but Naylor is a very weak host on TSN. TSN has far superior expert guests and insiders vs 590…. Leafs lunch is the most entertaining show on sports radio. Macko and cause are also really good together

  93. Rob in Aurora says:

    Sorry for the poor grammar and punctuation above… I’m using voice recognition on a tablet…. i posted by mistake before I could edit and review… (beats the heck out of trying to type!)

  94. Buster says:

    Lol at the Rogers folks celebrating summer radio ratings. No one gives a shit. Just like no one gives a shit about the 9-12 and 1-4 time slots. Stop being so transparent.

  95. Bobby G says:

    Assuming those ratings numbers are correct, summer or not, the only thing no one gives a shit about is TSN radio. Unless, of course, someone can prove TSNR listeners take radio-free vacations in the summer and Fan listeners don’t. The totals don’t matter as much in the summer but the discrepancy between the two is important.

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