Fun Day In Toronto Sports Media

Interesting day for sure. First we had Bill Houston’s blog article. In case you didn’t read it here’s the highlights:

“The biggest joke of 2009-10, unfortunately, was the spectacle of James Mirtle attempting to function as a Globe and Mail hockey writer. A statistics wonk with limited journalistic skills, poor James struggled, to say the least.”

“Still, if reading Mirtle isn’t good for a laugh, there’s always Chris Zelkovich, the broadcast columnist for the Star.”

“Among the relative newcomers to the hockey media, I enjoyed the work of Doug MacLean on Fan590 and Rogers Sportsnet. On the flip side, I continue to be unimpressed by Sportsnet’s Darin Millard, who’s been around since the launch of the channel and is easily the most irritating and unlikable personality in hockey broadcasting.”

Personally I was stunned to read Houston’s article. I am not naive enough to think everyone in the business is buddy buddy. I did however think there was a code between scribes not to slag one another. Even though Houston isn’t an offical scribe anymore, he is a reputable writer who did work with many of the folks in the industry and I felt badly for both Mirtle and Zelkovich to see their names listed.

I was surprised to see that Houston likes Richie Rich Maclean too by the way.

Folks, take a look at Brian Burke in this photo:

Now you know he isn’t overly found of wearing that tie- but you do what you have to do right?

Now take a look at this reporter:

I suspect that no matter what the question is, Brian Burke is going to attempt to be respectful in his response given his attire. He has showed up for work. He is respecting what he does and the people he is interviewing.

And I’m not sure what’s with the women in front of the image below, but still, notice the professional attire of the garb of those in attendance at this press conference???? The two gents in the back are well dressed. The gentleman who is half cut off is also dressed for work. They look professional.  They are showing Burke respect.

How does this image compare? I’m just asking, what does it suggest?:

Houston’s article is here



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April 15, 2010 1:33 am

Ah come on. That seems like kind of a cheap shot. Who cares what Howard’s wearing?

Speaking of cheap shots – the Houston article stunned me as well. What is he trying to do? Just cause controversy? Get some hits?

I like reading about sports media info, so I enjoy reading his blog, but his post today was total BS I thought. Juvenile.

April 15, 2010 9:18 am

Houston has done some stuff like this before. He’s attacked Zelkovich for things like having different numbers than what his own sources have told him or writing a column on something Bill did a few days prior. And he didn’t call him out by name, just referred to him as “Zed”. Then there was the time he followed a posters lead and mocked another poster for having no life because he commented on New Years Eve (

That Mirtle attack really went far beyond any of that. And for what exactly? Because James used an anonymous quote and he is a “statistical wonk”. So that means hockey is finally having the fight between new vs. old, stats vs gut, and frankly smart vs. dumb, that baseball had 5 years ago? Someone should tell Bill that we’ve seen how this ends and his side loses.

But I still do somewhat miss his column in The Globe. I now know I also miss his editor that would’ve never allowed such garbage to be printed.

April 15, 2010 1:35 pm

Well, I just feel like his work is what should be criticized, not his appearance – even if it does look unprofessional.

Also – who knows what happened that day? Maybe he usually does dress up for this kind of thing. Maybe the Fan doesn’t enforce a dress code. I’m not sure it’s fair or relevant for us to judge that kind of thing.

And yeah! The Houston thing is really, really bizarre. He’s acting like a WWF villain or something. It’s so over the top and pathetic.

April 15, 2010 6:09 pm

@Daniel:Keep in mind the comments come from a person who annointed Berger “stay at home” due to his company making spending cuts on travel,due to no fault of his own.Berger is a shmuck,but the unrelated personal shots speak more of the writers character than Berger.

April 16, 2010 10:17 am

That shot was likely from inside the Fan offices. I’ve seen Berger at media scrums and he is dressed more appropriately. Although I can recall a seeing him in a couple of Heathcliffe Huxtablall style sweaters – which is wrong in an entirely different way.

April 16, 2010 11:31 am

Wow, really? That is pretty lame then.

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 16, 2010 7:06 pm

I just went to Houston’s site. Looks like he took down the controversial post. After reading some of the comments readers left him, I don’t blame him! He didn’t exactly endear himself to his audence.

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 16, 2010 7:21 pm

Me again…the Houston blog was featured on this afternoon, but the links to the controversial post as well as his response lead nowhere. Something spooked William.

Rob Janssens
Rob Janssens
April 16, 2010 8:17 pm

Grrr! Now the offending post is back but all the comments have been deleted. I give up

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