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Toronto Fans Getting Short End

January 19th, 2010 | by torontosportsmedia

A couple of quick points, first, to the fine folks at CityTv who lost their jobs today, best of luck, may you find work quickly! Especially Anne Mroczkowski, the 23 year vet. How she loses her job while the town bike keeps her job is beyond me.

This issue with violence in junior hockey- if you want to end it, start with parents and coaches of the littlest kids who play the game. You know the ones, they sign of their kids up for skating and hockey 5 days a week or more at the age of 5. If players at 17 have no respect for their opponents, start with where they learned the game. We as a society are totally nuts when it comes to teaching our kids hockey. Practices, skates, games, hockey hockey hockey. The pressure, the expectations is nuts.

I help coach my son’s team. He plays house league. HOUSE League. You know 1 day a week. The odd practice here or there. Our team is pretty relaxed, but you should hear and see the other kids/parents/coaches. You would think this was the NHL. the yelling, the screaming the PUSHING. These kids are 7!

If you think the hits you have seen in junior have been bad lately, seriously, go to your local rink and take in a pee-wee game. The cement head, John Brophy wanna be’s coaching these teams…..that is where it starts. Parents screaming from the stands at Pee-Wees! It’s nuts. In one of our games the other teams coach literally almost leaped off the bench when the referee (who may have been 11) missed an offside- I thought the coach was going to kill the poor kid!

To me it’s really quite simple.Throw the book at these kids who play like idiots. Every time someone does something like this, throw the damn book at him. Hockey is a privilege not a right. Make that the example. Teach kids to play hard but to play clean. Parents, the odds of your kids making to the show are slim and none, just like they were when you played. I heard a parent ask an opposing coach in my son’s league if they could work on their power play a couple of days ago- We don’t even have penalties in our league!

Now, that that is over…..

Curious, if you have been listening to the radio in this town lately. I know, I was away for a the holidays then I had the knee surgery, but wow- what happened???? Where has the quality gone? It’s really nasty out there.

Now, I will grant you the fact that there is nothing to talk about with respect to the Maple Leafs. They are out of the hunt this year. They have no draft picks this year. They claim to be unwilling to trade their only tradeable asset. What is there to talk about?

Still, man is it weak out there.

In listening to the morning show on the Fan the last couple of days, there wasn’t one segment that I thought was the least bit interesting let alone thought provoking. Do the boys have the post holiday blues? Are they mailing it in until their contracts are up???? WOW

The Bullpen is what it is. It doesn’t really change all that much. I will say this in Mike Hogan’s defence, no one can do what he is doing solo. It’s just not good radio. Toth isn’t the answer, but give him someone, he needs a foil of some sort.

The two lunch time shows are also both so tired. I like Darren Dreger. If he says a team is interested in a player, or something is happening in a room, I believe it. He is not a host. Having him on with Wilbur just isn’t good radio. He doesn’t play well to Wilbur, and he isn’t a good interviewer. More importantly, he really doesn’t share an opinion. Down the dial, it’s the same shtick every single day. The names change, but the ripping on Kipper for this, talking about someone’s basement hockey jersey’s and MacLean interrupting to talk about how much money he has…..

I am warming up a little bit to the gameplan. It’s a little bit forced and only because they can’t talk NBA/Raptor basketball all day. If this was a market and they could talk hoops for the entire show it would be good. In another market it would be good. You do your hockey show, your NBA show. These guys would be fine.

The shows that I think are suffering the most are the drive homes. Here’s a bombshell for you- I miss Mccown taking calls. I do. I thought it humanized him a bit. His screeners did a good job of blocking out most of the crap for him and to be honest he didn’t kiss anybodies butt and it was good to hear his opinion.

Today was painful. I know Jim Kelley is unwell, and I wish him the best of health. McCown talked to him today for over 30 minutes. Kelley just isn’t that interesting to talk to for that long. It was, in a word, awful. AWFUL. It wasn’t interesting, it wasn’t compelling and it wasn’t funny. It was more like let me talk to my buddy down the road to kill time cause I don’t want to speak to the fans.

To top it off- Brunt is away again this week and we are graced with John Shannon. Now, clearly the guys at Rogers (probably the same ones who fired Anne Mroczkowski and not the bike) messed up the memo. Shannon, I would think would make a fine replacement for Nelson Millman, NOT Jim Kelley! Have you seen the Sportsnet promo on Shannon? Touting him as an INSIDER- it’s INSULTING. Shannon is a television executive. He is a damn good one at that. He is not a sports radio co-host. Again, he’s not funny, he’s not interesting and he’s not informative. Unless the topic relates to, sports broadcasting, television rights or camera angles.

Up the dial, with the Leafs in their predicament, Wilbur has no ammo. Is it just me or is Bill Watters the real life Cosmo Kramer? He talks about all these guys with funny names or nicknames. Today for example, he is talking about a former colleague who passed away. I thought, here is Wilbur going to show that he is human. Instead he rambled on about some other guy Cheech ( I was praying he was going to then refer to Chong- at least that would have been funny). Bill Watters isn’t every guy. The every guy can’t relate to him. Yet he rambles on as if we do.

To finish it off you have the after hours on the Fan. Does anything make you hit the flip button faster than Lajoie, Faulds or Eric Thomas? Seriously, the fan finally has some younger guys that should be all over the air during these hours- hell do round-tables. On espn radio on Sundays they would have a bunch of guys talking about the games going on. Do that. Anything would be better than what I have been listening to lately- the Fan has gotten stale my friends.

Well, there’s my rant for the day- We sports fans in Toronto are getting screwed with our sports radio. We deserve better.

I feel better.

TSM

@yyzsportsmedia

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9 Comments

  1. What a great article as you expressed my sentiments on Toronto radio to a tee.

    I am a basketball nut, and can tolerate hockey, so for me the Game Plan is actually great radio. Eric and Jack have great chemistry going and I catch them when I can. When Jack was stuck with that loudmouth MacLean I couldn’t even listen to it, as much as I love Jack.

    The only other show I listen to is McCown, but now I am limited to when he has Brunt in the studio with him, and yes, I agree, the phone-in hour from 4-5 p.m. is missed, as it allowed us to connect with Bob plus hear his views on a myriad of topics.

    The after-hour stuff they have on with Lajoie, Faulds, or Thomas is laughable, as they are all generalists with no charisma. It is a shame, as you mentioned, with tons of great young talent on the air, mainly doing sports updates for the FAN 590, to not replace those dinosaurs that add nothing with them.

    I would much rather have ESPN programming then but they are too cheap to pay for it. The other shows you mentioned in their line-up are so bad I act like they aren’t there.

    Yes, we are getting the short end of the stick. Hopefully it will get better with a new program director, but I am not holding my breath.

  2. Mike says:

    Brunt, Blair, Arthur and Smith. Those should be McCown’s regular co-hosts, not Shannon. I listen to the Game Plan sometimes but only when Jack and Eric are on. I like them together and it sucks that the Raptors schedule means they are gone alot. The rest of the sports talk gets a big pass from me.

    BTW, who’s the bike?

  3. Al from Burlington says:

    Glad I am not missing anything but not listening to the Fan anymore. So bad, it is sad.

  4. Brawley says:

    Dude, who’s the ‘town bike’ your referring too?

    If you can’t come right out and say her name, then give us a few easy easy hints. :)

  5. Daniel says:

    Great post.

    I pretty much feel the same way. Although I have been enjoying the 4 o’clock hour without calls. I agree about The Game Plan. I like it – they don’t go overboard on the bball, and I think they manage fine with other sports.

    I don’t mind HC at noon in short segments talking about big news or the Leafs, but they lose me when they get too indepth and interview some random centre from the Predators etc. Sometimes I think that show would be better as a recurring segment throughout the day (like on Connected) rather than an actual 2 hour daily block of time. What do I know though?

    Overall though, something about The Fan is definitely … off? I hope they change it up.

  6. Daniel says:

    “Brunt, Blair, Arthur and Smith. Those should be McCown’s regular co-hosts, not Shannon. I listen to the Game Plan sometimes but only when Jack and Eric are on.”

    Agree 100%

  7. denial says:

    Speaking of Jim Kelley..

    I have noticed time and again that when he calls in to Hogan’s show, or even sometimes to the Game Plan, he is extremely articulate, fair, insightful and enjoyable to listen to. Really. Next time he calls, pay attention and you’ll probably agree.

    However, when he’s on PTS, he stammers and stumbles, is VERY inarticulate and arrives at confusing, go-nowhere conclusions.

    And you know what? This pattern is true, to a lesser extent, with EVERY other co-host or round table panel member. They range from meh to okay to pretty good on PTS, but when they call into the other shows, they are just qualitatively better.

    The conclusion? I think this is actually the “McCowan effect.” Bob simply doesn’t bring out the best in intelligent people; he intimidates them and forces them to compete on his terms — one where snarky, irreverant judgements fall off like leaves in autumn. And if they dare disagree, he mocks them where they are defenseless.

    He’s like Simon Cowell in a way.

    This will sound insane, but the world is changing, and the best host for PTS right now would actually be Mike Hogan. Think about it.

  8. torontosportsmedia says:

    I very rarely find him to be insightful. Sorry :)

  9. thenextleafsgm says:

    Who’s ‘the bike’??? Obviously everyones had a ride.
    You’ve raised my curiosity!

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