Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

April 23rd, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports
108

photo credit: the internet

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by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / email

 

Good morning sports media watchers. The Social Justice League had a busy week. Accordingly we will be trading our bath robes for cowls and capes and will spend most of our time here talking about the nuances of what is and is not acceptable in the wide world of sports. If this sort of stuff really annoys you, consider this your trigger warning. As always feel free to reach out privately (links above) if you want to continue the discussion offline.

 

Suggested Soundtrack: Nothing Compares 2 You

 

Ok, let's get to work.

 

The NHL Gets it Right

 

After being penalized in a playoff game that his team was in the process of losing, Chicago Blackhawk Andrew Shaw flashed a double single-fingered salute to the refs on his way to the box. He was then seen shouting what looked like "fuck you, fucking faggot" at one of the officials. This was broadcast to the hundreds of thousands of people watching in bars and at home.

 

This happened on a Tuesday night and was the dominant story on Wednesday in most places. What would the NHL do? Should the NHL do anything?

 

Here is a round-up of the good, bad, and ugly of how the media covered this story prior to the NHL's eventual 1 (playoff) game suspension.

 

Good:

 

  • Stephen Brunt appeared on Andrew Walker's radio show (April 20, Hour 1) and the two had a good discussion, culminating in Brunt's wise point that regardless of whether this had been part of the culture in the past, the goal is to eradicate it from the culture going forward. That can only happen by setting good precedents in the present.

 

  • Jeff Marek did a very professional job drawing out Nick Kypreos as the latter was advocating for the following predictable stance: "How can you be sure what he said! You need proof! You can't convict him based on lip-reading!" Nick had all the fervour and confidence of someone who has watched a lot of Law & Order. Jeff calmly explained to him that legal standards are appropriate to courts of law and that sports leagues are different. Kypreos pushed back endlessly but eventually ran out of gas when Marek simply asked "what do you think he said Nick?" Doug MacLean also added valuable insights on how the Hawks' coach and the GM would approach defending the player. (April 20)

 

  • Species1967 over at PPP had a very clear and compelling analysis of why the NHL has to leave precedent behind and set new standards for its players going forward. In particular he nicely points out the conflict between those who argue that what is said on the ice should stay on the ice and the fact that "the league's national broadcaster in Canada touts its 4KHD TV ensures you won't miss even the smallest detail of action in a game."

 

  • Chris Hine of the Chicago Tribune talks about the Shaw case from his perspective as an openly gay sports reporter. "Now put yourself in the shoes of a closeted gay athlete. You're in a locker room or on a playing field, and you hear your teammates use that word. You start thinking, "Is this how they really feel about gay people? Is that what they would call me if I came out to them? Would I still be a member of this team? Would my career be over?""

 

  • Damien Cox continued his strong critical stance of the NHL in matters relating to the league's handling of on-ice violence. In this article (auto-play ads & video warning) he lays out the comparison with the NBA case involving Rajon Rondo as well as the 2011 NHL case involving Sean Avery.

 

Aside: comments are disabled on Cox's piece on Sportsnet. There is no link given to the editorial policy that explains why this is the case. By contrast, the Brunt piece we discussed last week is up to 450+ comments. Here are the top two by "likes":

 

Dan Fitzgerald Rank 10111 — "This is not his team yet. Whether they win this year or not he will dismantle the Jays. Bye Edwin, Bye Jose etc etc etc. The seats won't be filled next year. Mr. Rogers shame on you."

 

topherben Rank 1737 — "Well, I guess since Rogers so badly bungled bringing Shapiro over here in the first place, the least they can do is leverage their media assets to rehabilitate his image post-haste. I mean how many of these "Mark Shapiro really isn't such a bad guy" articles is Sportsnet planning to have written this season….."

 

Sportsnet also allows you to sort comments by "Editor's Pick" which was my next step. Here is what shows up:

 

Brunt comments

 

If you can't be bothered to highlight any of the 450 comments, then maybe ditch the Editor's Pick model? More generally though, it would be nice to have a consistent policy on comments. Not allowing comments on sensitive topics is understandable in some cases to protect the writer from abuse, or because of limited resources to moderate the discussion.

 

But this is Cox and this is Sportsnet. He can take the heat, and you can afford to hire full-time moderators to keep the trolls and hate-speech out. TSN ditched comments back in January, shifting everything to their social media platforms, because, as everyone knows, when you want to discuss how the Leafs off-season is going you want to do it on TSN's Instagram page.

 

More on this topic in the weeks to come … back to the topic at hand.

 

Bad:

 

  • Bryan Hayes asked a very good question: would the NHL be forced to act simply because the entire incident was caught on video? Absent the video would they still be inclined to do more than give him a slap on the wrist? If this is such a good question, why is Bryan being lumped in the Bad section? Read on …

 

  • As has become the norm on Overdrive, rather than letting Dog carry the conversation, the Noodle leapt right in and it sounded something like this: "wordswordswordswords, seat belts, smoking, racism!, Tiger Woods, wordswordswords …" By the time he was done Dog had gone back to texting and so it was Bryan and Jamie McLennan debating a topic about which the latter had so many thoughts it was as if he had none at all. Not exactly good radio.

 

  • Whether you like it or not, Bob McCown has set the expectation for the timeslot. The timeslot demands competent intellectual analysis of the big stories of the week. The current roster was not capable of doing that in this instance. This is a problem that is not going to go away on its own, and Summer Is Coming …

 

Ugly:

 

  • On to Leafs Lunch. As I was was making the podcast rounds on Friday morning (April 22) I asked myself: what were Andi Petrillo's thoughts on the Shaw suspension? Here's what TSN's iTunes podcast feed looked like on Friday morning.

 

leafslunch

 

  • In other words, two full days had gone by and no one had bothered to update the feed. Glancing down it seems like the is a problem most weeks. The message from TSN is pretty clear: we don't care about our radio station, and neither should you!

 

In conclusion, the NHL got this one right and they deserve credit for that. What Shaw did was not the worst thing anyone has ever done. Is this still something worth stamping out? Of course. Clearly if we had to choose between stopping jocks from calling each other faggots or stopping gays from being assaulted or fired for their sexual preferences we should work on the latter. Thankfully we don't have to choose. We can work on both problems at the same time.

 

Over to you: 1) Did the media blow this incident out of proportion? 2) Who is missing from the above Good/Bad/Ugly/Silent list?

 

The Company We Keep

 

Asw6waV

 

 

ESPN fired Curt Schilling this week. Schilling had posted a message on social media warning people that allowing transgender individuals to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity would put their daughters at risk from men pretending to be women. This is a reaction to a widely repudiated law from North Carolina. The NBA is being pressured to move its All Star game in response.

 

As any sensible person can see, allowing individuals to use the bathroom of their choice won't affect the fact that assault is already very illegal. So this is only worth bringing up if you want to profess your dislike for trans folk under the guise of concern for the children. If you're interested in what goes on inside the mind of a self-righteous bigot, Outsports has screencaps of Schilling's deleted posts.

 

Richard Deitsch over at SI.com has a run down on how we arrived at this point and Schilling's long and illustrious track record of hateful and uninformed comments. "This isn’t a freedom of speech issue because Schilling’s speech isn’t being censored on his feed. He has every right to espouse whatever he wants, and his employer in turn, has every right to respond accordingly should it have issues with those opinions, which ESPN clearly did. In reality had Schilling been an analyst that ESPN felt it could not live without, he likely would have gotten a longer rope, perhaps been given a lengthy suspension here as opposed to an outright termination. But he’s easily replaceable – as most of us are. I’d expect him to work somewhere in the sports media again, but it will not be at ESPN."

 

I can't imagine too many other sports outlets will be calling. Schilling wore out his welcome in the state of Rhode Island when we he bilked the taxpayers for millions. He's still a celebrity among Tea Party enthusiasts in Massachusetts, but media is about eyes and ears and clicks, and that demo is both a minority in MA and well outside the target demo for advertisers. It will be interesting to see where he lands. I suspect he will spend a year or two on the Make America Great Again speaking circuit before coming back to sports.  (Aside: Deitsch's SI articles grind my system to a halt on both my laptop and my tablet. Anyone else?)

 

Completing the social justice hat-trick, Bomani Jones went on an ESPN show wearing the well-know "Caucasians" shirt that parodies the racist Cleveland Indians "Chief Wahoo" logo. He was told to cover it up by someone at ESPN though the details around that are sketchy. The Indians decided to demote the logo from its main perch to one of less prominence recently. This comes at a time when British teams are getting rid of their racist team names. In Canada, the main offender is the Edmonton CFL team The Eskimos. There is a good debate to be had about when a team name/logo is racist versus merely being culturally appropriative.

 

Over to you: 1) Do you agree with Deitsch that Schilling had become replaceable and was canned rather than suspended as a result? 2) If the Eskimos came out tomorrow and said they were changing the name to something more representative of the city, would you care?

 

Quick Hits

 

This was the off-season of the Bat Flip in MLB, and almost everyone weighed in on the topic. The new commissioner seems to be on the side of those who think baseball's young stars should shape the game in their own image. Good.

 

On the subject of homophobic comments, Dean Blundell is in the news again. The comments made on his show by his former producer are being used as the basis for an appeal. Rogers can't be thrilled that his name is being associated with their company or that the Globe keeps using this picture every time they write about the comments that got him fired. If you need a refresher on why Dean still doesn't think his comments were homophobic, go here to this column by Simon Houpt of the Globe (which for some reason is not linked within the other Globe article). If you want an explanation of why the comments are homophobic, go here.

 

web-sp-blundell-0410

 

Chris Zelkovich writes about the 20% increase in Raptors playoff ratings over last year through the first 2 games. Expect that number to go up and up as the team strings wins together.

 

The CFL has a new drug policy, which, by the sounds of how happy everyone is about, makes the old sound as if it were written in crayon. This, however,  will be something to watch in the season to come:

 

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • I don't usually listen to Hockey Central on account of all the yelling, but I thought it was pretty good with Jeff Marek as host. Regular listeners: is there a significant difference when Darren Millard hosts?

 

  • Readers last week noted the amount of time and chuckles the Overdrive frat boys spent citing Brazzers, a popular porn video site with some mainstream connections. I know that the FAN has a "family friendly" directive out to its on-air staff (Blundell partially excluded), so this sort of thing would likely get you a sit down with the boss over there. I wonder if this is a general TSN1050 policy or an Overdrive special exemption?

 

  • If there was one kind of Tweet I could banish from Twitter it would be people who post about scoring changes. I'm watching the game too nitwits, and if I'm not, then I'm probably following the scoring on a league app not Twitter. Count me on team Steve Buffery on this one:

 

 

  • I know Damien is not trolling because he has been a strong advocate for getting rid of fighting from hockey. The Flyers fans though were not happy with this tweet.

 

 

  • Not sure who makes the decisions over at PTS these days. But here's one that bugs me. Deitsch is one of your best guests. Why do you have him on in the 4pm hour, with Shannon no less! This is a waste of money. Have him on later and save him for when you have a host who knows to be quiet when smart people are talking.

 

  • Never get into a war of words with someone who buys tweets by the barrel? (Sorry, I'll see myself out.)

 

 

  • Something is bothering John Lott and we are all the winners thanks to his newfound forthrightness. TSN1050 should sign him up as a regular guest yesterday, especially since they lost Dan Shulman. He's one of the best baseball minds in the country and seems to want to talk.

 

 

  • I didn't have time to listen to Dean's show this week. Did he talk about the Shaw incident? I am curious to know whether he found the comments homophobic.

 

—–

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

108 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    I disagree about using Deitsch as leadoff at 4:00. Talking tv/busniess is one of the best uses of shannon, so him w deitsch is good to me.

  2. Rob J says:

    Like Bill Maher said, we all likely grew up in homes that had bathrooms used by males and females and no one batted an eye. These southern Bathroom Birthers are bigots, full stop. Pro sports should take a stand and boycott

  3. GreyCountyMike says:

    Agreed on Lott …

    We need to read/hear more from him. His Facebook post last night on Colabello was excellent.

  4. mario says:

    Thanks for another good read. I am so happy I am not on twitter with all the insults going back and for between the media members one would have to wonder how they got a their jobs to begin with.

  5. Hans says:

    I think the main difference between Millard and Marek now is that Marek still treats things with a professional manner, even while still being friendly with his guests and co-hosts, whereas Millard is now all buddy and pals with everyone and comes across more as a fanboy as opposed to a host.

    I’m actually quite surprised that Millard isn’t the host of HNIC now given his pro-NHL stance and softball questions to players and such on Hcokey Central.

  6. Curt says:

    Schilling should have been fired a long time ago. At least he’s gone now, but is it just a matter of time before he turns up at his spiritual home at Fox? Kypreos is a troglodyte.

  7. Hugh says:

    Shaw deservedly got a suspension for his comments. Kris Letang looked a Ranger in the face and then purposely and violently slashed him in the throat. Letang didn’t get a penalty or a hearing. Does this mean that the next time Shaw has a problem with a ref, he should just purposely and violently slash the ref in the throat ???

    Do Pang and Simmons not get along ? Or was Pang just joking ?

    I find Lott too negative, I had to unfollow him this week. I am on and off with Buffery for the same reason.

    Kypreos is a joke. He and Don Cherry were blaming Orlov for that bad hit by the Flyer. By their ‘thinking’ I guess if a player puts himself in a dangerous area he’s open to and deserving of a free shot by another player pursuing him. Maybe the league should start placing the STOP symbols on the back of NHL jerseys …

    There is absolutely NO reason for the Edmonton Eskimos to change their team name. This is going overboard on the Redskins/Chief Wahoo PC wars. I guess someone like me, whose family emigrated from Ireland a few generations ago, should start legal proceedings and social media campaigns to get Notre Dame to stop using the derogatory term “Fighting Irish’ …

  8. WouldStaley93 says:

    @itsdeanblundell did bring this topic up on his morning show Dean Blundell & Co on Thursday morning if I’m not mistaken on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.

    Dean and George Rusic and Ryan Fabro had special guest @lesbianlu on the program Thursday to discuss Andrew Shaw and his homophobic remarks. It was good read. For those unaware Lu was a frequent guest when Dean had his show on Edge 102.1

    Lu is openly gay and a Blackhawks fan. She was really good talking about the homophobic slur Shaw clearly used and how still in this day and age it has such a vile and hateful meaning still to those LGBTQ community and the families they have.

    Equate it to a racial slur it’s unacceptable. NHL dropped the ball Shaw should have been sent a stronger message that the kind of language he used has a Zero tolerance. I would have fined him 6 million and suspended him 21 games. Set a precedent.

    I wouldn’t listen to what Nick Kypreos thinks as he will always stick up for the players. In Nick’s mind anyone who doesn’t play hockey doesn’t know anything.

    @mikeinboston I find @JeffMarek a better host then @darenmillard. Millard spends the whole show being the buddy and kiss up to Kypreos and MacLean. Not good.

    I agree with you regarding Richard Deitsch. I would have loved Deitsch to have been flown in and appear on PTS Roundtable last night instead of John Shannon. His thoughts on the Chris Colabello suspension with McCown Arash Madani and Dave Perkins would have been great.

  9. RCN says:

    Marek > Millard
    •I’d like to see Marek join the HNIC crew as panel host & leave George as a scaled back host of the show.
    •Replace Millard on Wed Nite Hockey with Ron MacLean.
    •Replace Millard on Hockey Central with Marek.
    •Give Millard the morning show at 590 (or have him replace McCown if they wanna save $ on Bob).
    PTS with Madani, Brunt & Cox regularly & other daily guests would be decent.
    •More Mike Johnson, less Nick Kypreos (insider Kypreos >> analyst Kypreos).
    •More Chris Johnston, less Doug MacLean.
    •Less John Shannon & PJ Stock
    •Much like TSN added Frank Seravalli from the US, SN should look at doing the same – may I suggest Craig Custance.

  10. Brian says:

    Millard vs Marek vs Kypreos

    I was pleased Marek was hosting the show when the Shaw debate started. Millard has rarely demonstrated an ability to form a cohesive argument on the fly, nor does he have Marek’s encyclopedic knowledge of the game. Kypreos was animated and loud but Marek remained calm and reasonable. How the Hawks and NHL would handle the situation played out exactly like Marek said it would. It’s too bad that Shaw’s contrite statement didn’t come out during the show. I only hope that Kypreos doesn’t use his leverage to remove Marek from HC@N.

    Marek is not without his flaws (he’s slightly arrogant, maybe angry, and sometimes is a bit too glib) but he’s a better hockey host than either Millard or Strombo. In fact, I think that Millard should be at best third on the depth chart. He’s now being used in highlight spots HNIC and that seems to work.

    Kypreos, however, continues to get exposed. When SN didn’t have the national NHL rights, NK could slip under the radar more often, especially during the playoffs. He’s got a long-term deal with SN but should probably be used less given his troubles with English. And for someone who is a supposed insider, he routinely repeats other insiders on Twitter.

    It’s noteworthy that SN is running video segments of NK (and other SN personalities) regarding his NHL playoff bracket. It’s definitely an attempt to make him more likeable. SN is also putting Shannon on Facebook for Q&A sessions. Again, I think this is an attempt to change perceptions. Maybe Shannon start by stopping his penchant for repeating himself. He does this a couple of times in the 6 pm hour on PTS on Friday.

    Schilling

    Schilling will find a home on American right wing radio. The problem is he’s just not as smart as he thinks he is. A few years ago he lost much of his fortune when 38 Studios went bankrupt. He says he lost $50 million, virtually all of his baseball savings. Shrewd people generally don’t put ALL their money in one investment.

    And I don’t blame Simmons for turning down Pang & crew. We also have to listen to a B crew in the Dallas/Minn series when Ferraro and Cuthbert are available. I understand it but those two are the best in the biz.

    Hayes/Noodles

    Regardless of the flawed Shaw debate I think this was the best week yet for the new Overdrive show. Some of the exchanges on the 30-year-old high school basketball star in Windsor were laugh-out-loud funny. I think they are getting comfortable and not trying quite so hard. That’s good for listeners. It’s an entirely different show from PTS. This was evident on Friday when McCown, Shannon and Dave Perkins tried to out-duel each other by naming Cleveland Rams players. Madani (who did a great job filling in for Blair — MORE PLEASE!) must have wondered if he’d stepped into a time machine.

  11. Rob J says:

    Great, reasoned commentary by Brian. I would quibble with his thought that the Dallas Stars PxP team is a B team. Dave Strader was the #2 voice for NBCSN and Daryl Reaugh has won multiple awards and also does national games. The Stars’ fans are lucky to have the best regional crew in the league. (Joe Bowen notwithstanding, haha)

  12. yaz says:

    Blundell did talk about the Shaw incident at length with Matthew Barnaby. It didn’t seem genuine, felt like a prepared speech. (Apr 20, 7 am)

    If McLennan interrupted O’Neill it was rare. Usually it is the other way around – O’Neill comes out of a web surfing coma and interjects with a non-sequitur just as Noodles is beginning to make a point, but that dynamic is part of the appeal of the show.

    I don’t agree that the 4-7 PM time slot demands ‘competent intellectual analysis of the big stories of the week’. Perhaps Bob’s loyal listeners do, but they aren’t listening to Overdrive. TSN knew what the show would be and O’Neill, Noodles freely admit they don’t know a lot about other sports. That is the play TSN 1050 made and time will tell how it goes. The bigger play is putting the old LL gang into the afternoon drive slot to get them some traction in advance of Bob’s possible retirement. Nobody in the current roster of Fan personalities can fill that void when Bob goes.

    Old Leafs Lunch also had similar lapses in posting Pods. Maybe they have the same PA doing it. Fan does take posting to iTunes seriously, like it is (and should be) a part of the normal course of the work day. It is an afterthought at TSN. Though it is important to me as I use them all the time, not sure how important expediency is to the success of any show. Blundell and Bob’s show post the quickest – before the next hour of the show is over. Naylor and LL are the worst. I think the PAs at TSN get too lost in getting the show description done and end up procrastinating. Nobody cares. You don’t need 100 words to describe 40 minutes of radio. I just want to know who is on. e.g.: Blundell. “April 22 8 am Elliotte Friedman and Paul Jones on this hour of the show. Or Bob even better: “April 21 – 6PM: Kevin Barker” And why the F is Macko and Cauz still called Macko and Cauz? Macko still hasn’t returned from his Alien abduction.

    A Ted Talk I heard – a guy said he stopped surfing porn when he heard it described as ‘filmed prostitution’. Plenty of people surf it and many are addicts. Aside from a debate about porn, just in the context of sports radio, it alienates a portion of your listenership, degrades the quality of the show and the public perception of the hosts.

  13. Sam In Scarb says:

    It has become a pleasure watching Blue Jay games on TV with the sound muted.
    Virtually everything you need to know is constantly crammed on the screen.
    There is no need to hear Pat describe the obvious or Buck still trying to learn the English language.

  14. Wayne says:

    Please less if no more Milliard. He’s a terrible host. I’m not a fan of Marek but way better than Millard. To bad we got so use the awesome job Duthie did/does! I almost never watch hockey anymore when shown on CBC or Sportsnet. The production is so terrible compared to TSN. Hopefully Sportsnet will sell the rights to MLSE and we would see more games on TSN. Scott Moore you’ve got to go!

  15. Tighthead says:

    I always thought Duthie was the key TSN target for Sportsnet. As good as Miller, Cuthbert and Ferraro are (I would say they are better than any pbp or colour person on SN, personal opinion), and Bob M is the gold standard of insider, sub in Duthie for Strombo and the whole presentation changes. The tone is better, the flow of information more cohesive, the jokes more clever. Duthie would make everyone around him better.

  16. Carl A says:

    Why is Shannon allowed to talk about any sport besides hockey? It’s amazing some of the things he says about other sports but he usually twists his opinions to something that happened in hockey. Even on hockey topics he should be restricted to 30 seconds. On the subject of team names I can remember reading some writer in the USA Today saying that Vancouver Canucks was racist. Truly uninformed

  17. billyjoejimbob says:

    Industry word is Duthie was Sportsnet’s first choice, but TSN paid up BIG to keep him — in the million-dollar per year range.

    Strombo was the choice after Duthie said no.

  18. Linus says:

    A few various comments on the topics this week…

    Raptors – The sense I get is that most people are waiting for the Raptors to show them they are legitimate after the past two post-season performances. If they get to the second round, I expect the number of eyeballs will increase dramatically. Because they have been decent for the past several years, I don’t think their run this year has caught the attention of the country the same way the Blue Jays did last year.

    Andrew Shaw – Honestly why are even debating this issue? Of course the NHL had to suspend Shaw. Professional athletes have almost every word they say recorded in HD. Say whatever you want in private but when you’re playing on TV you are a public figure.

    John Shannon – A lot of people on this board seem to take issue with Shannon and I have to agree for the most part. However, I have heard good segments when a media or production issue is being discussed (i.e. Fred Gaudelli is the guest). For the most part though, he is overused because his knowledge outside of hockey is limited.

    Dean Blundell – The show is just boring. I don’t know how else to describe it. Sometimes I listen for half an hour on my drive to work but there is nothing compelling being discussed. Blundell and Rusic seem to just be going through the motions with the standard interviews and basic questions.

  19. Claire A Fye says:

    @Carl A Actually, at one point Canuck was considered a derogatory term. Admittedly a stretch to see it that way now, but the USA Today writer was actually pretty well informed. I disagree with his take, but there was something to it.

  20. Brandon says:

    Linus gets it with Blundell. It is just boring. There’s nothing there.

    Is it knowledgeable and does it inform a great deal? No.

    Is it funny? Not to me, I hate to stereotype usually but if you have a university degree, you’re less likely to find Dean funny. A friend who used to listen to him all the time on the EDGE made that generalization years ago. He loved him there, told me he hasn’t listened more than a few times since he’s been on the Fan.

    Is it shocking? No. There’s nothing memorable about it.

    It seems like when Richards was on TSN and Brady and whomever was on the Fan, you had two different shows that appealed. Big into sports and want more debate and knowledge? Tune to 590. Want a little less knowledge and more attempts at humour and laughs in one form or another? Try 1050. Now, neither station really serves up a show that I’d enjoy. It’s disappointing.

    As for Landsberg and Naylor, are they really doing skits and parody bits? No and no. Wrong way to go about things. Out-sports the guy on the other dial who can’t talk sports. The guy who doesn’t know why the Jays game at Fenway starts early on the day of the Boston Marathon, the guy who doesn’t know how many timeouts a team gets in an NHL game, the guy who thought MLSE owned the Blue Jays after he was actually hired by Rogers (!). Do sports and do it well, word will spread and you’ll do OK. People are way past “bits” in the morning for news and sports talk if you ask me. There’s too many other options and people are way less loyal and more willing to flip.

    As for Marek v. Millard, I like them both. I enjoy the contrasting styles, but, yes, Millard isn’t going to bring much in terms of pushback or opinion, it all depends what you want in a host. I am in the camp that this will be George’s last year on the hockey broadcasts, there must be something else he can do that excites him more that he doesn’t have to work so hard to prepare for. It feels strange in that I mentioned Blundell, and Strombo. Both very different perceptions from the public of those guys (Dean – asshole, George – friendly and warm) and yet both feel like they’re visiting or pretending the world of sports broadcasting. Dean because he needed someone to give him a chance to get a new image, and George because I’m sure they paid him handsomely to draw a different demographic. Neither work, although George’s job is actually less hard than Dean, given it’s simply to set up those who know more than him, and that’s OK.

  21. Rob J says:

    Raptor fans in the Tor media talking about how their fave team will do in Round 2 like Leaf fans in the Tor media were already previewing the Leafs-Rangers series in 2013. (Spoiler alert: well, you know)

  22. mike (in boston) says:

    yaz – “I don’t agree that the 4-7 PM time slot demands ‘competent intellectual analysis of the big stories of the week’. Perhaps Bob’s loyal listeners do, but they aren’t listening to Overdrive.

    I can see that side of things, but here’s my reasoning. Anyone 25+ has spent a considerable period of their sports life listening to Bob and PTS. If you’re a sports fan who listens to sports talk radio then PTS has been a default destination: they get the best guests, and used to get the best promotion. So, whether you’re loyal to PTS or not, it is the standard by which other shows are measured.

    I think Overdrive is doing a great job of differentiating itself from PTS and being more accessible to younger listeners. However, I don’t think you can succeed ratings-wise without bringing over lots of PTS listeners, including many who are 50+. Right now, I don’t think Overdrive offers much that would be compelling to that group.

    Disclosure: I’m not part of that group, so I can’t really claim to speak for them. Would be happy to hear what others think about this.

  23. Rob says:

    I enjoy Overdrive. But at the same breath, listening to Bob McCown makes me feel 100 years old and I don’t like any of his co-hosts, so I only really have Overdrive if I want sports in drive time. I gave up on McCown years ago. The excessive talk about porn sites and using IVs to recover from bouts of heavy drinking is in really bad taste for that time of day. There is also a fair amount of piling on (bullying) from he three of the guys on the show. When the chips are down for someone, you can be sure they’ll rub salt in the wound. Yet they sure don’t accept criticism at all well either (fair amount of insecurity and big egos for no good reason)…So I have come to the realization that deep down, they are are all very shallow, but they can be very entertaining and the show is pretty good and I really enjoy Ray Ferraro when he’s on. So I can understand the push back on some of the subject matter. (This stuff about not being able to carry the show when the hockey season is over is nonsense. The discussions are actually pretty interesting. O’Neill is a sports fan and knows as much as anyone worth listening to on either station. McLennan plays the roll of the neophyte well and he spurs on some good discussions with engaging perspectives.

    I don’t want to listen to sports nerds arguing about analytics or trivia or contract terms – that is how to chase me away from a show as to me it is the definition of boring. Get the right personalities and the right guests and ask them good questions and you can have a good sports radio show. To me Overdrive is a far better show than PTS, but Overdrive is the only decent show on 1050 right now. Andi is “strugg-a-ling” (badly), Naylor and Landsberg are just putrid and Cauz needs Macko to return asap – otherwise I am listening to Dan Patrick from 9-noon…

  24. DJ says:

    MIB – To me the idea of going completely opposite of the hard core sports and towards bar talk at 4pm was very intentional.

    McCown will not be around forever. So now Overdrive has focused on a younger crowd and a certain type of show. No idea about their ratings but I know I now listen to PTS on podcast and OverDrive live as it happens.

    Now when McCown retires what will be on PTS? You and Jonah have had this debate a few times. There is no obvious heir apparent and some people will leak over to a polished OverDrive show. TSN made the move early enough that they can work through growing pains and be ready to take listeners when the next SportsNet shakeup happens.

    Just my 2 cents

  25. Original Mitch says:

    I will say this, I have had very few moments of genuine laugh out loud from both radio camps in years. But since Overdrive, those moments have gone up exponentially. Laughing out loud at the guys in my car is refreshing when stuck in traffic. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  26. peacefulposter says:

    When an NHL player is suspended for a simple word, you know we’ve reached peak political correctness:

    http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2015/12/11/dear-straight-people-im-officially-giving-you-permission-to-say-gay-faggot-and-queer/

  27. jeff says:

    @peacefulposter. So b/c 1 blogger “gives us permission” to use that term, we should all be ok with it now? Im not big on political correctness. However, this particular word, and the meaning behind how it was used, is NOT an example of our society becoming too politically correct. To think otherwise, shows a vast misunderstanding of how this work impacts the people that it is meant to harm.

  28. Alex says:

    I still find it odd that queer is a word “reclaimed” by the LBGT community. Growing up, that was the nuclear option of gay slurs.

  29. peacefulposter says:

    I actually thought we’d reached peak PC when Damian Goddard from was fired from Sportsnet for being Christian but apparently not.

  30. Mike V says:

    No surprise that a gamer-gate “hero” thinks slurs are perfectly ok.

    Also, Damian Goddard was not fired for being Christian.

  31. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    I have never been able to figure out the PC crowd – If ‘faggot’ is such a horrifying word to these people why is it ok for them to use it among themselves – The same with the N word – All the blacks and rappers can drop n-bombs on each other and that is ok – But if some white guy drops one there is rioting in the streets – If the word/s is so distasteful one would think that no-one should be using it anywhere in any context- I personally find the use of the N word by anybody disgraceful –

  32. Rob J says:

    @peaceful
    Yell it twice at your work in front of tens of thousands of customers and see what happens. Let us know how it went.

  33. Rob J says:

    @montfromlondon
    The irony of your idiotic comment is that as long as that word is said with so much hate, no gay player will ever come out publically, which means they’ll never be able to use it jokingly among each other. You are a true douche.

  34. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Rob J – Always nice to see when the cementheads have no rational rebuttal to a reasoned post they resort to namecalling – Grow up –

  35. Too Much says:

    Advertisers aren’t interested in 50+, even though they are the ones that have the money…

    I agree with DJ in that Overdrive was a deliberate move to entice a younger audience – and that doesn’t necessarily mean coming from PTS. Same as what Fan was trying to do with Blundell. (Hmm, how’s that going?)

    I really enjoy Overdrive and I’m over 50, although some of the issues raised by MIB (brazzers) should go. But I’ve gone from PTS to 1050 with the occasional exception of the Friday round table – I.e. If Shannon isn’t on. He’s the only person who has ever made me yell at the radio, “shut up!”

  36. Rob J says:

    @Montfrom london
    You wrote “If F—– is such a horrifying word to these people…” I apologize for what I called you. You’re more like an ignorant bigoted prick.

  37. Mike V says:

    Raptors continue to struggle on TV. https://twitter.com/paulosenra/status/724654293949669376
    Of course, this guy and Bill Brioux reported game 1 had 491k, then Chris Z wrote it was 602k so who knows what’s actually right and not.

  38. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Rob J – Get a grip sonny boy – You win –
    MiB – What is wrong with Rob J? I thought this sort of name calling
    was not tolerated-

  39. Rob J says:

    Mikey save me from the bad man and his words haha. If I’m banned for calling a bigoted prick a bigoted prick, I accept.

  40. Claire A Fye says:

    @Too Much and @DJ I think you’re both right as to what the thinking was in moving the Leafs Lunch crew to afternoons. But I would add it’s mainly because it’s such a good show. I disagree with MIB that it’s strictly aimed at younger listeners. It’s actually aimed at those who want to be entertained no matter how old they are. Mike, you mentioned those over 25 have been listening to Bob for years and that’s the show that’s the “standard by which other shows are measured”. I’d use a different analogy. Bob is Wayne Gretzky…he used to be great but his presence is all in the past. Overdrive is Connor McDavid. Or maybe Jack Eichel…

  41. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Rob j -What you call me matters not a whit as it just goes to show you are poor childish loser – I was merely pointing out to MiB what a foolish load you are posting with no real rebuttal – Bigoted because I have a contrary opinion? There are people who can give the professional help you obviously need – Seek them out and heed their suggestions before it is too late – Bye Bye

  42. Rob J says:

    I better have a different opinion than you, Mont. I’m sure all the commenters here do too. Please avoid commenting in thr future

  43. Cirroc says:

    I also really enjoyed Overdrive last week. I love the rapport between the guys and as someone else stated, it’s nice to be able to laugh out loud after a long day at work.

    As for Naylor and Landsberg, I actually heard Landsberg refer to a guest as “being a whiny bitch” this morning. Is this guy for real?

  44. mike (in boston) says:

    Please avoid insulting other commenters. It’s fine to refer a point of view or argument as idiotic (assuming you’re willing to explain why), but try not to call people idiots.

    In other matters, I am listening to some podcasts from Friday and it is amazing how many in the media got caught up in the excitement of the Raps’ Game 3 win. I heard several people expound at length about the technical improvements their experts eyes are seeing in the Raps’ systems etc. Some went on to declare the series to be essentially over.

    For an especially humorous exchange (in retrospect) check out Arash Madani & Cathal Kelly on the Jeff Blair show (April 22, Hour 1).

  45. Rob J says:

    The Raptors coach wins an award for cooperating with the media?! Doesn’t he work for the same 2 telecoms that own 99 percent of the local media? They’re his co-workers, for crying out loud. I bet the voters were not aware of this when they cast their ballots.

  46. Mike V says:

    So Casey should be disqualified from a league-wide PWBA award because some of the owners also have a media arm. Is that what I’m reading here?

  47. Alex says:

    Does the local media call him by his nickname the same as Gibby?

  48. Rob J says:

    The award should not exist. Blatant conflict of interest for media to decide who sucks-up to them the best. The media should not vote on stuff like halls of fame or individual awards. The relationship should be adversarial, not chummy with an award for it to boot.

  49. Rob J says:

    @alex
    Haha, not sure but when he or Gibby say something remotely funny, their media buds laugh and laugh and laugh

  50. Mike V says:

    I fail to see how having a collegial relationship with the sports media is a bad thing. Then again, I don’t think someone is automatically a shill for daring to mention something positive or think the media’s job is to troll.

  51. Dros says:

    Wow, some incredibly closed-minded remarks from MontFromLondonOnt and PeacefulPoster…

    TSM, clean up your act. This kind of stuff doesn’t belong on here.

    Also, the “PC crowd” is just something that people like them throw around because they want to be able to spew whatever hatred they want without being reprimanded. News flash: you’re not entitled to offend gays, lesbians or people of colour just because your mentality is backwards.

    “God, I remember the days where I could call anybody anything I wanted with impunity! Oh, how I wish it could be that way again!”

    Come join the rest of us in the 21st century.

  52. jackbee says:

    How does Blundell keep a job on the FAN when he gets details wrong like why is game in Boston starting 1100 am re Boston Marathon Day, among other mistakes.

    I don’t mind some of Landsberg’s comedy bits like Buster Olney’s better bagels parodies when Buster comes on the air, though I think Buster is getting a bit tired of it if this morning’s dissertation is any indication.

    As for Petrillo — still very unlistenable with her voice being a bit too whiny for me. Plus a major snaufu today when she told telling listeners and viewers to call in and win Marlies playoffs tickets by TWICE saying phone number of 416-870-1070 instead of 416-870-1050.

    The proper station phone number is on screen and must be on her daily program sheet. Yet Petrillo made the verbal error and given the second caller getting through would be the winner, that anyone not in front of a tv and listening to the show for 1st time would e you know what out of luck calling the 1070 phone number. Can’t see her as hosting Leafs Lunch after summer break in October.

  53. Jeff says:

    @MontfromLondonOn — Do you see the delicious irony of you getting upset at calling YOU a name? Yet earlier in your comments you couldn’t understand the problem with calling people a f____t or n____r ? So it’s ok to use hateful speech towards others, as long as nobody calls you a douche? Got it, thanks.

  54. Hans says:

    Jackbee – I think you’re being a bit overly critical with Andi given it’s the first time she goofed on the numbers like that. You don’t think she’s the best host for Leafs Lunch and that’s cool and all but don’t use every little thing as a “SEE!” moment.

  55. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Jeff etal – You miss my point – I am not upset that people call me names – I don’t in turn call my close friends those names if I consider the names hurtful – However if someone drops an F—– word on a gay they are so incensed that in conversation with their gay friends they call their gay friends by the same name that upset them in the first place! Deliver me from bigoted gay activists the most hateful intolerant group I have ever heard of – Please consider that not everyone is enamored of the gay lifestyle – As this is turning into a real mudslinging event this is all I will say on this topic as this is first and foremost a sports media site- I will not reply to name calling because my opinion differs from others – Back to our regular programming-

  56. KNKN says:

    @RobJ Casey is great with any media, not just any that own the team. Very friendly and cooperativeand deserving of the award.

  57. Bora says:

    I find it ironic that Shannon said Dick Vitale has never said a negative thing about college basketball in 25 years. 🙂

  58. Pants Go Brown says:

    Sweet Jesus, the Jays get hammered 10 – 1 tonight and Buck and Tabby yammer on about all sorts of stuff aside from how poorly the Jays played. Dickie was terrible and the bull-pen even worse. When I listen to them, I sometimes wonder if we have watched the same game.

  59. Curt says:

    Bob Nightengale talks to Victor Conte about what might have happened in the Colabello story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/bob-nightengale/2016/04/25/mlb-ped-drugs-chris-colabello-chemists-victor-conte/83513014/

    It’s a good read.

  60. DJ says:

    Man has this comments section degraded.

    Fire Andi – she read a phone number wrong. Come on people. Everyone makes mistakes. EVERYONE. It is live media. Have you ever actually remembered a phone number from how someone on air says it? They rifle through it so fast you cant possibly remember it anyways. How do you leave your phone number on someones answering machine? I leave it by speaking super slow and I make sure I repeat it at least twice.

    Radio stations say the phone number more as to identify to listeners it is time to call in.

    I get this is a site to be critical of people and the things they do within sports media but it has become SOOOOOOO micro people are losing site of the big picture it seems.

  61. Claire A Fye says:

    @DJ Be prepared for some blowback DJ. You’re absolutely right in everything you said but that doesn’t mean you won’t get comments from others denouncing you. To be fair, I think it’s pretty much true of every site that allows comments. Newspapers and other similar sites have been forced to discontinue comments because of the hateful things people have posted. There’s a video going viral of men reading some pretty hateful things that were tweeted to some female sportswriters. It was painful to watch. While I don’t see a lot of hate here, there’s no question the level of discourse has fallen considerably. Somewhere it was mentioned that the powers that be read the comments here and come up with ideas based on what’s been posted. I guarantee if that happened it was strictly coincidental and rare. It reminds me of the axiom, “the general manager who listens to the fans will soon be sitting among them.”

  62. Matty Zero says:

    Jackbee must not like Andi’s Vocal Fry. Yes, it’s a thing, but doesn’t bother me. She does a fine job, and I usually like the guests. Not like the other guys are reeling in listeners with the Shannon and Stock sideshow.

    Landsberg should kill the bits immediately. To waste the time of guests is kinda rude and they just are not funny, at all.

    Yes, PTS rules the roost, but as it becomes more and more of a promotional arm of all things Sportsnet, I could see Overdrive chip away at the audience numbers.

    Aside – How many different ways does Buck pronounce ‘Encarnacion’?

  63. Art says:

    @DJ

    I agree that nit picking on the phone number thing is going too far. Same thing could have happened to anyone. Ofcorse that is no reason to get rid of Andi. That being said there are plenty of other reasons to do so. Frankly she just isn’t very good. forget minor blunders everyone makes them and just ask is it working? Is she the right fit for the job? I think the answer to that is no. The audience is mostly male and she is spending too much time with fluff talk that doesn’t appeal to her audience. Men don’t want to hear about shopping. They tuned into hear leaf talk. That’s why the show is called Leafs Lunch and not Shoes and Stuff.

    I think that point has been made by a number of people here and is valid criticism.

    Now to be fair I should say that I stopped listening to the show, so it is possible she has cut down on that stuff and improved and I just don’t know it.

  64. BoJack says:

    Why isn’t Arthur on the list of people who discussed the Shaw suspension? Seems right up his alley ….. I guess he’s covering the Raptors but isn’t that why you have all those columnists? Couldn’t Rosie or Fitzy or Feschuk step in? Also, this is 2016 …… you can write more than one thing at a time. Newspapers man ….. can’t handle the 21st century and blame everyone but themselves.

  65. Antonio says:

    IN 2016: “Sticks and stones will break my bones but words are worse than Hitler.”

    Kadri does a throat slashing motion to an opponent – no suspension. Shaw uses a “bad” word – 1 game suspension.. in the freaking playoffs.

  66. Art says:

    @Antonio

    It’s more than a bad word. it’s not like shit or even F**K. It’s word that offends not just the person you are targeting but an entire group of people. You couldn’t get away with dropping the bomb and this is very much the same thing.

    Now I believe this suspension happend because it was caught on camera and it’s a PR thing. Had it happened in a scrum (as it probably does 100 times a game) then nothing happens.

    But at the same time If you use that word at work in front of buddies maybe everyone laughs, If you use it in front of a customer, the HR person, a boss or a coworker who takes offence… You might just get fired.

    Just the way it is. And It’s probably for the best.

  67. Antonio says:

    @Art
    I suppose that’s the way things are in 2016. What I don’t get is that you can essentially threaten to slit the throat of an opponent and get no suspension. Also, remember Kadri’s threat was caught on tape as well.

    Is using this “bad” word worse? I cant say it is.

  68. Art says:

    @Antonio

    I agree with you completely that Kadri should have gotten a suspension for the throat gesture.

    but again that word is not just a “bad word”

    And using a different offence that has nothing to do with or is not comparable to justify an action is a flawed argument.

    That’s like saying I should get away with Speeding because you got away with shop lifting.

  69. Big G says:

    Jamie Campbell just completely lost all credibility today on Blair’s show.

    A. He said most people admit their mistakes to get it over with when their guilty.( Brunt firmly disagreed) Jamie went to the absurd extreme to try to name the few people that admitted to doping when caught, sadly despite Jamie working in baseball he misremembers Rogers Clemens bizarre denial although evidence and statement by Clemens trainer showed pure guilt, not to mention Jamie’s friend in broadcasting Greg Zaun who had an outrageous explanation for the cheque he wrote to Balco after his name showed up in the Mitchell report, Barry Bonds the tremendous growth in head size and power continued denial by saying he does not know how the drugs got in his system, the famous finger denial in a court room on live tv by Rafeal Palmeiro, “I did not take steroids” this was in March 2005 in Aug 2005 Palmeiro tested positive In other sports Floyd Landis denied for years creating the biggest doping scandal in history.

    B. Jamie Questioned MLB’s drug testing procedure. Despite being told by Jeff that the testing was overhauled after Braun’s acquittal and also being told by Brunt a man who has covered doping that the chances of an error in testing are very very unlikely.
    c. Jamie said he has seen first hand Collabello’s careful diet habits (I’ve seen him always pick apart the ingredients when he orders food.
    D. Jamie pushing people to watch the interview in his words exactly “to see just how broken this man is”.” He’s a very broken man” Jamie says. Newsflash to Mr Campbell there is always a “SHOW” of outrageous emotion that follows guilt.

    Brunt and Blair clearly were not buying what Campbell was selling. Campbell lost all sense of integrity today on the Blair show.

    Despite Brunt (who covered doping in sports for years) and Blair’s resistance to defend Collabello based on the trends of bizarre denials in sports, Jamie stood by his defense of Collabello and criticism of the league.

  70. GreyCountyMike says:

    Big G: Not surprising, really. While some media types employed by Rogers have done a fair job on the Colabello story (and kudos to them), there are others who just can’t help themselves in their blind devotion to the player, the team and the ownership.

    I had a very reputable media member share with me recently his first-hand experiences of Rogers “reporters” and some very bizarre behavior about the beloved Jays. This included the attempted covering up of an incident with the team.

    Personally, I’ve gotten to the point that it doesn’t offend me any more … other than when the professional in question can’t own up to it. If your role is to cheer-lead, fine … just don’t try to sell yourself as a credible journalist.

  71. Rob in Aurora says:

    Andi is actually getting worse, not better. She’s sounding more and more like a puck bunny that got into the businss to be closer to the players. I never thought that before, but she is letting her real personality show and it doesn’t fit in with all sports radio. There is room for women in this segment of the radio industry, but not girlie talk. Having Dave Feschuk on co-hosting with her repeatedly isn’t helping at all – (man I really can’t stand that guy). I’ve moved on. I still will tune in, wait to be pissed off, which takes very little time, then I tune out. It’s only an hour long show and I don’t listen to Richards at 1 PM. His show is pretty bad too, so I just find something else.

  72. Curt says:

    @ GreyCountyMike – You summed up my feelings perfectly. It’s what you expect from the SN Jays crew, isn’t it. Campbell is merely the chief fanboy in a crew of fanboys. As for Zaun trying to explain away Colabello’s failed test last week, well, pathetic is a word that comes to mind, especially considering his own history.

  73. Alex says:

    Not a fan of the guy, but i think Simmons on toronto mike’s new pod episode could be interesting. Most of the shows that i heard i have liked. (I only listen to the sports ones, since i have reference for the music ones.)

  74. Rob J says:

    Does anyone know the origin of Vocal Fry and why every female in media uses it? Personally I find it aggravating especially at the end of sentences. Maybe a bigger breath needs to be taken? I’ve also heard that its because kids don’t sing in schools anymore and therefore people have trouble sustaining breath. Whatever, it really sounds miserable! It seems to be mandatory on CBC radio, for example.

  75. Original Mitch says:

    If anybody not on reality TV using Vocal Fry should be fired immediately!
    Also, Jamie Campbell as a journalist: LOL.

  76. Art says:

    Can’t stand Steve Simmons do I’ll skip The Toronto Mike’d podcast this week. Any time i hear Simmons on TSN Radio I flip to 590.

    But speaking about Podcasts. Don Cherry is on Bastl’s Bytes this week. part 1 of his 2 part interview. It’s pretty cool he had Ron MacLean on last week now Don Cherry. Bastl is getting some great guests.

    one last thing What the hell is Focal Fry?

  77. Rob J says:

    Its a low gutteral ‘growl’ that is used when speaking especially near the end of sentences which apparently is mandatory for any female radio or TV host and guest. Once you recognize it, you’ll literally hear it all the time. Its kind of like how the Kardashian sisters talk. My other dumb pet peeve is people beginning answers with ‘so’ when its not ended. E.g. “What needs does your team have?” Answer: “So, we definitely want to improve in goal…” When did ‘so’ replace ‘um’ and can it stop? People even start tweets with ‘So’. How come? Just say what you need to !

  78. Art says:

    @Rob J

    Ha Ha, Damn you Rob! I’m sure that’s all I’m going to hear now. I agree with you on the So to start a sentence. Another one is “I mean” Why do people say that to start a sentence? Yeah you mean that, why else would you be saying it?

    Here is one to end a sentence.. Bob McKenzie says “and that” a lot at the end of his sentence. I love Bob but it’s all I hear now when he’s on the radio.

  79. Rob J says:

    Hey, if I have to be annoyed, I’m taking people down with me! Jessica Mendoza of ESPN baseball uses it too. You almost want to yell ‘Clear your throat!’ That’s all from me on that topic. Hopefully every single broadcasting prof reads this.

  80. Hans says:

    Art – I can understand your dislike of Simmons but at the same time Mike’s interview with him was quite good. They touched on many things, many that have been discussed here such as Stephen Brunt and his current standing at Rogers, and I was a bit surprised to hear Simmons be as candid he was.

    That’s not to say one would change your opinion about him afterwards. Simmons is quite full of himself and that came across in the interview loud and clear.

    The interview also left me with one question: Does anyone in the media business actually like Damian Cox?

  81. Art says:

    @Hans

    I will admit you have sparked my interest, as well as some stuff I just saw on twitter. I didn’t know he got Howard Berger fired. I’m very curious as to why and how.

    I’m torn. sounds like there is some very interesting info there. At the same time I just hate his so damn much, and can’t stand listening to him.

  82. Original Mitch says:

    @Art do tell, what is this Howard Berger thing you speak of?

  83. Art says:

    @Original Mitch

    No Idea I haven’t listened to the podcast. I just saw something about it on twitter.

    @BlogeSamlming tweeted. “Gets Howard Berger fired in the douchiest way possible. (Why not just talk face to face if you knew the memo was going to bosses too?)”

    Then @TorontoMike responded with a link to his podcast. as part of the description it says “how he got Howard Berger fired”

    I guess I’ll listen to it and let you know the details.

  84. Art says:

    @Original Mitch

    Ok it wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be.

    Simmons was the sports editor at the Calgary Herald when he was 25. He assigned Berger to cover swimming. Berger wrote a story about the Stamps instead. Simmons decided to write Berger a memo telling him to cover what he is assigned. The bosses were copied on the memo (a company policy for all memos) Bosses fired Berger. Simmons claims he didn’t want that to happen.

  85. Hans says:

    Original Mitch and Art – apparently it regards a time when Simmons was the head of a sports department and Berger was one of the reporters where Berger didn’t do the assignment he was told to do. Simmons sent a memo ‘reminding’ people to go and do their assignments ad the highers ups saw the memo and ‘ordered’ Simmons to fire Berger.

    Of course that is Simmons POV so take it for what it’s worth.

  86. Art says:

    Seems like classic Simmons to me.

    Pull a DBag move, it back fires he makes excuses.

    Just like right a story about Kessel eating hotdogs every day outside his appartment at King and Bay. Finds out Kessel lives at College park, Then says I misunderstood my source on the location.

    Simmons absolutely could have just went and talked to Berger, but instead he decided to be a big shot.

    because that’s who he is a attention seeking, full of him self big shot wanna be DBag.

  87. Art says:

    write a story.* damn this site needs a edit button lol.

  88. dogpounder says:

    Listening to Blair’s ill voice is very difficult. Hope he gets better.

  89. Jonathan Giggs says:

    Might be best to listen to Steve Simmons’ explanation about various events before damning him. He was very candid about many things and people, and was also self-critical.

  90. Art says:

    @Jonathan Giggs

    I did listen to the Berger story. I’m not going to listen to the entire podcast because frankly I hate the sound of Simmons voice.

    my opinion of him isn’t based on this podcast or 1 event. It’s how I feel about him over his entire career.

  91. Steve Clark says:

    @RobInAurora..

    Your commentary might have ranked as one of the more head-shaking missives I have seen on this space. Referring to a female host as a “puck bunny” who got into the business “to be closer to players” is right up there in terms of the misogynistic things people say about women in sports. I suggest you read, and look at this recent piece and maybe you will think about retracting your words.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/29/sports/more-than-mean-women-journalists-julie-dicaro-sarah-spain.html

  92. JS #1 says:

    Can anyone answer? I’m a Pistons fan and an NBA fan living in Windsor. There are no regional broadcasts for NBA playoff games for all teams except for the Raptors! As rights holders I see playoff games on SN and TSN, with the excellent TNT and ESPN broadcasts!(with top tier announce crews, sideline reporters and studio shows). Why for Raptor games do we get a second tier type “regional” broadcast? Is this not causing more people to go to “illegal streams”? Would it not save money to just show the higher quality broadcast? Ratings and ad revenue would not be affected because Canadians have no choice! Thoughts? Tirico or Devlin? Barlkey or Leo? Grange or Sager? Tin,Sid, Rod or Ernie and Jalen?I find it interesting that Windsor is not in the Piston region(raps didn’t exsist 25 years ago) but Windsor and “all” of Canada are the Raptor region.

  93. Art says:

    I want to give you a good answer, but I can’t resist the temptation to Simply say basketball sucks

  94. Rob J says:

    What Art said

  95. Rob in Aurora says:

    Steve Clark – So if I am critical of a woman in the workforce I am being “misogynistic”…OK, I got it. So using that logic, if I say something negative about Bill Cosby, I am obviously a racist too. (Get off your high horse and give your head an actual shake). I almost took offense, but this was a laughable (stupid, ridiculous) accusation, so I had to respond – this kind of inflammatory garbage needs to be addressed directly. Consider yourself corrected now – and please, if my comments ruffle your delicate sensibilities so much, just skip over them.

  96. Easy says:

    Oh boy getcha popcorn ready this could be good lol.

    I see Steve Clark’s point but I think it’s taken to far. too compare Rob’s comments with the comments in the link he provided is a big stretch. I could see that Rob’s comments were misogynistic in a way.. but he sure as hell didn’t take it any where near as far as that article did. Not even close.

    He did call her a puck bunny which is sexist in some way. but I wonder are we to then pretend that women with that type of mindset don’t exist? If a man says cretin things or drools over women some may call him a sleaze or a pig. I am sure I have heard those words to describe male broadcasters. nobody seems to have a problem with that. So if a female broadcaster were to behave in a similar fashion are we not allowed to use a word to describe that?

    Now I am not saying that Andi Petrillo does anything like that. but if a women did could we call her a puck bunny? or something like that?

  97. Rob in Aurora says:

    JS1 – So the entire Raptor market needs to accommodate some Piston fan who lives in Windsor?…. Really? You’re going with that in this blog? Sorry man, but your comment & question was really, really dumb and tone deaf, just like most Americans are about Canada

    I am not much of a B-Ball fan – but I enjoy the playoffs, especially when the Raptors are in them – and I love Ernie, Shaq and Kenny and especially Charles. The rest of the US media are just talking heads to me….I believe I am in the large majority of Canadians who would much (no, make that very much) prefer to watch and listen to the Raptor coverage originating from Canada and catering to Canadians, rather than enduring some random American broadcast crew. Some of us are proud to be Canadian.

  98. Rob J says:

    @Rob in Aurora
    What’s Canadian about the Raptors except their ownership? They’re just as American as every other NBA team.

  99. Jamally says:

    Those who say “basketball sucks” give no reason why yet sing the praises of the most boring of all sports, ice hockey.

  100. Art says:

    @Jamally

    I’ll give you some reasons

    -Hockey is much faster than Bastketball
    -Hockey is a rougher sport with hitting
    -Hockey focuses on teams and rivalry’s not so much on 1 guy. example.. when the schedule comes out Leaf fans will say when’s Montreal coming to town. In Basketball it’s when Lebron coming to town.
    -continuous OT in the NHL Playoffs is the most intense and entertaing thing in all of sports.

    those a just a few reasons but here is the most important.

    In every sport but basketball a single scoring play at any point of the game actually matters. When a goal is scored in hockey or soccer, a run in baseball a TD or even a FG in football… I cheer loud and hard. It’s a big moment in the game, It’s climatic. In basketball why would I even react to a basket in the 2nd Q there will be another in 10 seconds followed by 100 just like it.

    And when a basketball game finally gets to the part that matters then last 2 minutes… they call Timeouts like crazy and slow it down.

    Basketball sucks

  101. DJ says:

    Rob in Aurora

    Normally I like your opinions but you are on Mars on this one, IMO.

    Calling someone a puck bunny is misogynistic. I am sorry, it just is.

    You just said she doesn’t like sports, but she is in it for the guys. In what world is that not a horrific thing to say about a professional?

    Seriously people…..have a little decency.

    You don’t like Andi because of the topic matter, or she doesn’t make you laugh like Hayes did….say that, we can debate it. That is a potentially interesting conversation.

    When you say demeaning things about people because of their gender you minimize both yourself and this website.

  102. DJ says:

    Also

    Rob J

    The most Canadian thing about the Raptors is that they are in Canada….

  103. Rob J says:

    @DJ
    So are my relatives visiting from Holland

  104. Alex says:

    How many weeks ago were people praising the comments section? 🙂

  105. dogpounder says:

    Yeah that didn’t last long.

  106. Rob J says:

    Hey, if people need tutorials to reduce misogyny and homophobia, this is a good a place as any, since both are still ridiculously prevalent in the sports world. When Trump wins in Nov and bans Kadri from playing in his ’empire’ I’m sure there’ll be a tutotial on fighting Islamapohobia on this board.

  107. Cirroc says:

    I caught the tail end of Andi Petrillo this week on LL speaking about people’s treatment of her. She mentioned people attacking her online and apparently sending her nude photos. “I’m not turned on”, “You’re not that big”, etc… Not knowing the context of the conversation it was very strange.

  108. mike (in boston) says:

    Stop causing trouble Alex …

    New column is up and with it comes a new opportunity for a good and productive discussion.

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